The Western Rock Lobster Council (WRL) in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have developed a new standardised survey that will provide an index of undersize lobsters throughout the fishery.
Specifically, this survey will help investigate nearshore areas of low catch that have been reported within historically good shallow fishing grounds. The survey’s design has been developed by Industry members (F. Camada, N. Paratore, C. Moss and B. Cockman) in association with DPIRD staff (de Lestang, How and Young) and will repeat areas surveyed since 2019. Exact fishing locations have been developed with input from over 30 fishers coast-wide over the past three years and represent average fishing areas for each location. We are seeking fishers to undertake this year’s (2023) surveys as outlined below.
Each survey will require a fisher to set 100 standard pots with closed gaps on a series of predetermined marks at a location on day one and then move the 100 pots to a second set of predetermined marks at another nearby location on day two (e.g. Cervantes on day one and Jurien on day two). An indicative running sheet is provided below (based on a 06:00 sunrise). All surveys will be conducted on the same start time and day throughout the fishery, with dates occurring between the 18th to 26th of March 2023. This window provides an opportunity to select the best (low swell) weather conditions for sampling coast-wide.
Between 06:00 – 14:00 Set 100 pots on marks at location 1
06:00 Begin pulling pots at location 1. DPRID staff to measure catch
~10:00 Pulling of pots at location 1 complete
12:00 Start to set 100 pots on marks at location 2
06:00 Begin pulling pots at location 2. DPRID staff to measure catch
10:00 Pulling of pots at location 2 complete
Fisher can re-set pots at discretion (for their own subsequent fishing trip)
Steam to port (end of trip)
Bait used will be salmon cutlets at 100 kg/day (1kg/pot).
Persons interested in undertaking the survey will be required to:
- Provide 100 standard pots including ropes and floats with closed escape gaps (SLEDs required if survey in SLED zone)
- Experience fishing in the shallows in area tendered for
- Capable of carrying 100 pots on boat
- Vessel survey for two DPIRD staff in addition to normal crewing level
Tenders are expected to be around $6000 for the two days of fishing. Where multiple fishers express an interest for the same region preference will be given to fishers based on a combination of factors including tender value and history of assisting with industry research. Interested fishers should complete the attached form and provide it to Carey-Ann Harper at the WRL Council before the 15th of February 2023.
All surveys will be conducted between the 18th to 26th of March 2023. This window provides an opportunity to select the best (low swell) weather conditions for sampling coast-wide.
Applications close at 11:59 pm on 14 February 2023.
Successful tenders will be informed by 21 February 2023.