Incorporating recreational and indigenous considerations into commercial fisheries management

QUT Business School student topic

Study level



QUT Business School

School of Economics and Finance

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Louisa Coglan
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
QUT Business School
Adjunct Professor Sean Pascoe
Adjunct Professor
Division / Faculty
QUT Business School


Recent changes to Commonwealth legislation require fisheries management decisions to explicitly take into consideration recreational and indigenous users of the resource. Similar requirements are also in place in most State fisheries. This is primarily a social and economic issue, and is primarily to involve allocation of the resource between the different sectors, either as a share of a total allowable catch or a spatial allocation of where different groups may operate (net free zones, customary fishing only areas for example.).

Meeting this requirement has several challenges. Firstly, relatively few attempts have been made to determine how economic and social outcomes change in commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries as a result of allocation decisions. The use of non-monetary values in determining optimal fisheries harvest have also been undertaken to a limited extent in Australian fisheries (Pascoe et al. 2018). Estimates of the current values of these activities is also largely lacking. While some attention has been focused on the estimation of non-market values of recreational fishing (e.g. Prayaga et al. 2010; Pascoe et al. 2014), only limited attempts to-date have been made to use these values in supporting management decision making (e.g. Lindner et al. 2006). In most cases, these recreational values have been linked to current activity levels, with little consideration as to how changes may affect these values. Recent research by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) (2018) have also extend this focus to develop a robust articulation of indigenous customary fishing values to enable their inclusion when developing fisheries management policies. These latter values, however, are not expressed in monetary terms, and there are potential difficulties in deriving appropriate monetary estimates of these values.

A second major challenge is that an appropriate framework to capture these values in the decision making framework currently does not exist. With appropriate economic values and a bioeconomic model, then the values can be explicitly included in identifying optimal outcomes (e.g. Lindner et al. 2006; Pascoe et al. 2018). In most cases, however, appropriate values will not exist, so some alternative approach will need to be used. Multi-criteria approaches have been used for some Australian fisheries to help determine optimal outcomes with limited information (e.g. Dichmont et al. 2013)

What you'll do

As the PhD student, you'll:

  • review the availability of different types of values associated with recreational and indigenous fishing (both quantitative and qualitative).
  • review the different methods for incorporating these into a management decision framework
    • qualitative approaches
    • quantitative approaches
    • Australian and international experiences (e.g. first nation considerations in Canada)
    • apply these approaches to a case study fishery (either in Qld or the commonwealth – to be decided later on).


Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) (2018). Aboriginal fishing values of the South Coast of NSW: Community report for the livelihood values of indigenous cultural fishing project, FRDC Project Number: 2015/205. FRDC, Canberra.

Dichmont, C.M., Pascoe, S., Jebreen, E., Pears, R., Brooks, K. and Perez, P. (2013). Choosing a fishery’s governance structure using data poor methods, Marine Policy 37, 123-131.

Lindner, R., McLeod, P. and Nicholls, J. (2006). Dynamic Modelling of the Socially Optimal Allocation of Fish Resources Between Commercial and Recreational Use. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, ACT.

Pascoe, S., Doshi, A., Dell, Q., Tonks, M. and Kenyon, R. (2014). Economic value of recreational fishing in Moreton Bay and the potential impact of the marine park rezoning, Tourism Management 41, 53-63.

Pascoe, S., Hutton, T. and Hoshino, E. (2018). Offsetting Externalities in Estimating MEY in Multispecies Fisheries, Ecological Economics 146, 304-311.

Prayaga, P., Rolfe, J. and Stoeckl, N. (2010). The value of recreational fishing in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: A pooled revealed preference and contingent behaviour model, Marine Policy 34, 244-251.


Contact the supervisor for more information.