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Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC)

Patterns of interaction between habitat and oceanographic variables affecting the connectivity and productivity of invertebrate fisheries

This study is providing a better understanding of the importance of scale relationships between benthic habitat, oceanography, and biology and their independent and interactive impact on larval dispersal, settlement and productivity in the Victorian blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra), and southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) fisheries. We are exploring these factors using a multidisciplinary approach involving geospatial, oceanographic and biophysical modelling, and genomic technologies providing industry with a framework for guiding future management decisions.


Identifying the drivers of fisheries productivity depends on a better understanding of the factors determining dispersal, settlement, survivorship and growth in early life, in particular the biophysical interactions between benthic habitats, animal behaviour, and oceanography. Our understanding of most of these interactions is largely based on a generic, stereotyped understanding. However, the recruitment and persistence of stocks, and the potential impacts of fishing are often species-specific and dependent on spatial context.


By using recent advances in geospatial, oceanographic and ecological modeling, and habitat and genomic assessment, we will accurately incorporate local variation into models of recruitment and persistence in Victorian abalone and rock lobster fisheries. This will improve measurements of performance at the local level, which, in turn, will allow a better overall assessment of the sustainability of these fisheries. Ensuring that assessments are ecologically appropriate and of high standard is critical in satisfying expectations that commercial use of a publicly owned resource is responsibly managed in a risk-averse manner. 

 

Collaborators- Steve SwearerEric TremlNick Murphy, Mary Young, Adam Miller, Jan StrugnellHarry GorfineCraig ShermanBridget Green.

Funding- Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) and Victorian Abalone associations

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