IMAS surveys of invasive Long-spined Sea Urchins on reefs along Tasmania’s East Coast have measured the size of increases in the urchin population and the barren areas they create by overgrazing kelp beds.
Led by Principal Investigator Dr Scott Ling, researchers conducted SCUBA and towed-underwater-video surveys spanning 156 sites across 13 East Coast locations between Eddystone Point and Recherche Bay, repeating a baseline survey carried out in 2001/02.
A report on the latest survey released today found that since 1978, when a single Long spined Sea Urchin was found in St. Helens, the Tasmanian population has grown to an estimated 20 million.
For eastern Tasmania, over the last 15-years the urchin population has grown from an estimated 11 million to more than 18 million, with an average increase in urchins of 170 tonnes per annum.Update on Urchins
Along the open coastline from Eddystone Point to Tasman Island, urchin barrens now cover an estimated 15 per cent of reefs at depths of 4-40 metres, up from 3 per cent in 2001/02.Watch more
Commercial Southern Rock Lobster fisheries contribute around $250 million in landed seafood value to the Australian economy each year. Professional Rock Lobster Fishers across South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria operate licenses, vessels, pots and harvest infrastructure with an estimated capital value of $2.3 billion, landing over 3,000 tonnes of premium Southern Rock Lobster annually.Learn More
SRL's members are the South Australian Rock Lobster Advisory Council Inc (SARLAC), the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishermen's Association (TRLFA), the Victorian Rock Lobster Association (VRLA) and the Australian Southern Rock Lobster Exporters Association (ARLEA).View Structure
SRL’s primary function is to facilitate a process to guide expenditure of Research and Development (R&D) levy funds independently collected from industry by State Government agencies and leveraged via the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). Accordingly, the FRDC is a key SRL partner with strategically aligned R&D priorities and objectives. Further information in relation to the FRDC can be found here with additional information regarding the Industry Partnership Agreement (IPA) in place between SRL and the FRDC available here.
SRL also works to attract and secure other R&D funding sources outside of the FRDC process.
SRL guides all industry R&D expenditure for this valuable fishery sector and, over the next five-year planning horizon, is working to deliver against the five strategic goals identified in the ‘SRL Strategy 2022’.