About the project


The overall strategic purpose of WAMSI Node 4 was to develop methods and generate the information needed to assist with the management of the marine ecosystems of Western Australia, consistent with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD).

Implementing these ESD principles in a practical manner for fisheries has involved the development of a management approach that was new to Western Australia, which is termed Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM).

The implementation of the approach required supporting research that was, in many cases, very different in nature to traditional fisheries research programs.

The research within this Node was designed to cover all requirements to enable the implementation of EBFM for the State’s fisheries resources, while at the same time filling some knowledge gaps concerning priority risks along with the identification of hitherto unidentified risks.

A critical aspect of this Node was how to undertake regional-level assessment and planning while avoiding the generation of an impossibly complex set of issues, systems, models and uncertainties. Specifically, the Node needed to address how to reduce complexity to a level that could be used by management. The capacity to manage fishery resources on an ecosystem basis for an entire bioregion was also assessed.

Research Articles

Berry, O., England, P., Fairclough, D., Jackson, G. and Greenwood, J. (2012) Microsatellite DNA analysis and hydrodynamic modelling reveal the extent of larval transport and gene flow between management zones in

an exploited marine fish (Glaucosoma hebraicum). Fisheries Oceanography,

21 (4). pp. 243-254.

Burridge CP, England PR (2009) Tri‐ and tetranucleotide microsatellites in dhufish Glaucosoma hebracium (Perciformes). Molecular Ecology Resources

Dambacher, J.M., Gaughan, D.J.,Rochet, M-J., Rossignol, P.A. and Trenkel, V.M.(2009) Qualitative Modelling and Indicators of Exploited Ecosystems. Fish and Fisheries 10(3): 305-322.

Dambacher J, Gaughan D, Rochet MJ, Rossignol P, Trenkel V (2009) Qualitative modelling and indicators of exploited ecosystems. Fish and Fisheries

Evans, R. and Molony, B. W. 2010. Ranked Risk Assessment for Bycatch in Multiple Fisheries: a Bioregional Risk Assessment Method. Fisheries Research Report No. 212. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 88pp.

Evans, R. and Molony, B. W. 2011. Pilot evaluation of the efficacy of electronic monitoring on a demersal gillnet vessel as an alternative to human observers. Fisheries Research Report No. 221. Department of

Fisheries, Western Australia. 16 pp.

Fairclough, D. V., Lenanton, R. C. J and Jackson, G. 2011. Rapid and cost-effective assessment of connectivity

among assemblages of baldchin groper Choerodon rubescens(Labridae), using laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of sagittal otoliths. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 403:46– 53.

Fairclough, D.V., Edmonds, J.S., Jackson, G., Lenanton, R.C.J., Kemp, J., Molony, B.W., Keay, I.S.,

Crisafulli, B.M. and Wakefield, C.B. (2013) A comparison of the stock structures of two exploited

demersal teleosts, employing complementary methods of otolith element analysis. Journal of Experimental

Marine Biology and Ecology, 439 . pp. 181-195.

Fletcher W.J., Shaw J, Metcalf S.J. Gaughan D.J. (2010) An Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management framework: the efficient, regional-level planning tool for management agencies. Marine Policy

Fletcher, W.J., Gaughan, D.J., Metcalf, S.J. and Shaw, J. (in press). Using a regional level, risk based

framework to cost effectively implement Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM). In: 26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium Ecosystems 2010: Global Progress on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management. DOI: 10.4027/gpebfm.2012.07

Fletcher, W.J., Shaw, J., Gaughan, D.J. and Metcalf, S.J. (2011) Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management case study report – West Coast Bioregion. Fisheries Research Report No. 225. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 116pp.

Gardner, M.J., Chaplin, J.A. & Shaw, K.M. Development and characterisation of novel microsatellite loci for the baldchin groper (Choerodon rubescens) and cross-amplification in seven other labrid species. Conservation Genet Resour 3, 461–466 (2011).

Hall, N.G. and Wise, B.S. (2011). Development of an ecosystem approach to the monitoring and management of Western Australian fisheries. FRDC Report – Project 2005/063. Fisheries Research Report No. 215. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 112pp.

Little, L.R., Berry, O, Molony, B, A management simulation model for dhufish in the westcoast demersal scalefish fishery : a report for project 4.4.3-3 Western Australian Marine Science Institution. (2012).

Metcalf, S.J., Gaughan, D.J. and Shaw, J. 2009. Conceptual models for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) in Western Australia. Fisheries Research Report No. 194. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia. 42p

Metcalf, S. J., Pember, M. B., and Bellchambers, L. M. (2011) Identifying indicators of the effects of fishing

using alternative models, uncertainty, and aggregation error. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr050.

Metcalf, S.J., Moyle, K. and Gaughan, D.J. (2010) Qualitative analysis of recreational fisher response and the ecosystem impacts of management strategies in a data-limited situation. Fisheries Research,

106 (3). pp. 289-297.

Metcalf, S.J. (2010) Qualitative models to complement quantitative ecosystem

models for the analysis of data-limited marine ecosystems and fisheries. Reviews in Fisheries

Science, 18 (3). pp. 248-265.

Metcalf, S. J., Pember, M. B. and Bellchambers, L. M. 2011. Identifying indicators of the effects of fishing using alternative models, uncertainty, and aggregation error. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68: 1417–1425.

Metcalf, S.J., Dambacher, J.M., Rogers, P., Hall, N., Loneragan, N. and Gaughan, D.J. Identifying key dynamics and ideal governance structures for successful ecological management. Environmental Science & Policy (2014)

Smale DA, Kendrick GA, Wernberg T (2010)  Assemblage turnover and taxonomic sufficiency of subtidal macroalgae at multiple spatial scales. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

Smale DA, Kendrick GA, Waddington KI, Van Niel KP, Meeuwig JJ, Harvey ES (2010) Benthic assemblage composition on subtidal reefs along a latitudinal gradient in Western Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

Viera, S., Schirmer, J. and Loxton, E. (2009). Social and economic evaluation methods for fisheries: a review of the literature. Fisheries Research Contract Report 21, Department of Fisheries Government of Western Australia, pp. 90.

Wise, B.S. and Fletcher, W.J. Determination of cost effective techniques to monitor recreational catch and effort in Western Australian demersal finfish fisheries. Final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation for Project – 2005/034. Fisheries Research Report No. 245, 2013


Node 4 Symposium/workshop June 2010 (Sustainable fisheries)


Program: WAMSI 2006-2011

Completed: June 2011

Location: Western Australia

Project Leader: Dan Gaughan



Final Report