A picture of a lobster diver.

The Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery is one of more than 30 Australian fishing sectors to be assessed for its environmental impact using the Ecological Risk Assessment method.

Net profits: the challenge of managing the world's fisheries

An Australian method for assessing the environmental impact of marine fisheries has caught the eye of fishery management agencies worldwide. (5:00)

  • 26 October 2009

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Over the past 50 years, advances in fishing technologies have allowed sonar equipped, refrigerated trawlers to take full advantage of the world’s oceans, and enabled fishers to respond to the growing global demand for fish products.

While oceanic fisheries face numerous threats, without proper management, overfishing remains the biggest threat to their survival.

An innovative Australian method for assessing the environmental impact on marine fisheries is now being utilised to manage many commercial fishing operations across the globe.

Called the ‘ecological risk assessment’ or ERA method, it was developed in research led by Dr Alistair Hobday and Dr Tony Smith of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship in association with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

In this podcast, Dr Hobday explains how the ecological risk assessment method is being applied to simple forms of fishing from the hand-selection of rock lobsters on a coral reef, to large commercial deep water trawling operations.

Read more about the World interest in Australian fishery impact test.