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Commercial Crayfish

Posted on: June 21, 2013

Rock lobster crate

Rock lobster batten pot

As prices for some grades of Western rock lobster tip over the $60 per kilo mark, we are proud to a release a brand new lesson plan investigating the management of this iconic commercial fishery in Western Australia.

The Western Rock Lobster Managed Fishery is historically Australia’s largest single species fishery and is the only fishery in the world that has been accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable three times running – learn more here. Despite demonstrating world best practice, the fishery has experienced a tumultuous period of record low recruitment of young lobsters since 2007 while the management of the fishery has also been transformed from gear-based to a quota-based.

The Commercial Crayfish lesson plan has been designed for year 11–12 students and focuses on the current quota management regime and the research program undertaken that helps predict future lobster catches. The lesson plans comes with an added bonus of a Western rock lobster life cycle poster that students can use to gain a better understanding of lobster biology in Activity 1, along with our existing fact sheet.

In Activity 2, students assume the role of a Managed Fishery Licence holder and complete a Catch Disposal Record just like a real fishing operation! In Activity 3, students will the learn about the research program used to predict future catches and work with a data set obtained from our sampling station at Seven-Mile Beach near Dongara.

Like a plated dish of half-shell crayfish mornay… Bon appetite! (Click here)

Australian Curriculum Outcomes: ACSIS145, ACSHE136, ACSIS234, ACSSU176, ACSHE157, ACSHE160, ACSIS169, ACSHE194, ACSIS199, ACSIS203.

What a Pest!

Posted on: November 19, 2012

Asian paddle crab.

Recently, an Asian paddle crab was captured in the Swan River by a recreational fisherman.  This species is not native to Western Australia however has the potential to establish itself here and become a pest.  It has the potential to spread disease and out-compete native species like the iconic blue swimmer crab.  To find out more about this species, click here.

Did you know… in Western Australian waters, there are 60 known non-native marine species that have become established.  However not all marine species introduced to a new area become pests.  Some are unable to survive the conditions of their new environment, whilst others are unable to reproduce and establish a viable population.

Check out the Marine WATERs Lesson Plan: Pest Control to learn more about marine pests found in Western Australia.  In Activity 1, students will learn the difference between native and introduced species and will investigate the problems associated with introduced species in the marine environment.  You may wish to use the Fisheries Fact Sheet: Introduced Marine Species to learn more about introduced species in the marine environment.

In Activity 4, students will use their knowledge of a specific introduced species to design a wanted poster to inform the community to look out for and report any sightings of the species.  You may wish to discuss the Asian paddle crab example used by the Department of Fisheries with your students to assists them in their design.  If you would like to investigate introduced marine species in more detail with your students, you may request a copy of the Department of Fisheries publication, Introduced Marine Species in Western Australia here.

Once your students are well versed on marine pests, challenge them to complete our Pest Line-Up game.  In each frame, students will be presented with three possible suspects, of which, one is a marine pest.  Using the information provided, students will need to determine which suspect is the pest to move on.         

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