Publication Date


Series Number

Fisheries Research Report No. 254


Government of Western Australia Department of Fisheries




1035 - 4549


This project, in consultation with an industry working group, has been instrumental in establishing a closed area in the western rock lobster fishery to assess the potential ecosystem effects of removing lobster biomass from deep water (40-100 m). The major outcome of this research is an improved understanding of the ecosystem that supports the western rock lobster. These types of information for improve the Department of Fisheries’ ability to manage the fishery in an ecosystem based manner and provide scientifically defensible data to more precisely assess the level of risk of the fishery to deep water communities. In early 2013, data from this project was used to reassess the risk of potential ecosystem effects of fishing on deep water communities at the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) for the fishery. The increased knowledge gained though this project reduced the risk level from moderate to low for deep water communities and the continued accreditation of the Western Rock Lobster Managed Fishery (WRLMF) by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Number of Pages



Lobster fisheries; Western rock lobster; Panulirus cygnus; Ecosystem disturbance; Environmental impact; Environmental monitoring; Benthos; Benthic environment; Ecological balance; Western Australia

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