The primary role of our Research Division is to provide timely and quality scientific findings and objective advice which are vital to support the management, conservation and sustainable use of Western Australia’s aquatic resources.
Fisheries management requires sound world-class scientific information and advice to make informed risk-based decisions about the future of WA’s aquatic environment.
Our ongoing research, monitoring and assessment programs are focused on understanding more about the State’s major fish stocks and the marine ecosystems that underpin these resources.
Fish stocks are assessed for their sustainability within each of WA’s six ‘bioregions’ using an Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) approach. EBFM is a holistic approach taking into account all ecological resources, from fish to dolphins and coral reefs, as well as economic and social factors, in deciding how to manage fisheries.
The scientists carrying out the research aim to improve biological and technical knowledge about aquatic species and their habitats. This information is made available to State Government, industry, fishing groups, the public and other fisheries scientists around Australia.
The Research Division has four expertise-based branches – Invertebrate Fisheries, Finfish Fisheries, Biodiversity and Biosecurity, and Stock Assessment and Data Analysis. Projects are generally undertaken by teams, often in collaboration with external partners. There are 130-plus staff members, of which the majority are scientists. The remainder are support staff, including administrative personnel.
We have a range of research vessels, including a flagship vessel the RV Naturaliste. Commercial fishing vessels are also chartered from the fishing industry for research expeditions.