Final updated 2019 assessments and projections of west coast rock lobster for different poaching scenarios



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The 2018 assessments and projections for the five super-areas for the west coast rock lobster resource are updated to 2019, using basically the same approach as in 2018. The update takes account of a further year’s catch and resource monitoring data, uses improved recruitment and projection methodologies, and incorporates major revisions of estimates of past poaching levels following extensive further examination of the associated data. There is clear evidence that quantity of lobsters poached has dropped from the 2017/18 to the 2018/19 season. Projections are developed on an identical basis to that used in 2018, with the results for three options shown for two different assumptions about the historical poaching trend. These are that future legal catches are set to zero, that they are set so that the abundance of the whole resource is equal (in median terms) to that in the 2006 benchmark year by the time the 2025 target year is reached, and hallway between these two options (in 2018 the WCRL SWG’s TAC recommendations were based on the third of these three options), The key projection results are listed in Table 1, with graphical representations provided in Figure 1. These reflect an improvement compared to the situation a year previously, with very little difference for the two historical poaching scenarios considered