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A Bayesian model of factors influencing indigenous participation in the Torres Strait tropical rocklobster fishery


  • van Putten, Ingrid
  • Lalancette, Annie
  • Bayliss, Peter
  • Dennis, Darren
  • Hutton, Trevor
  • Norman-López, Ana
  • Pascoe, Sean
  • Plagányi, Eva
  • Skewes, Tim


The tropical rocklobster fishery in the Torres Strait, based on the species Panulirus ornatus, is currently managed by input controls. The Australian Commonwealth government’s aim is to transition to a quota management system (QMS) for this fishery. The fishery is complex in terms of international boundaries, multiple jurisdictions and management objectives regulating a mix of commercial and traditional indigenous fishers and a commercial non-indigenous sector. One key objective is to promote indigenous fisher participation to meet their aspirations of achieving a greater control of the region’s fisheries resources. A Bayesian Network analysis has been applied that considers the variability in participation of indigenous fishers under key economic and socio-cultural drivers, such as the availability of a government employment program, lobster prices, social capital and capacity, and infrastructure availability. The model identifies three distinct indigenous fisher groups: full-time, active part-time, and casual lobster fishers. Scenario analyses suggest that changes in the government employment program will have a substantial impact on the relative proportion of fishers in these groups. Similarly, changes in the provision of logistics, infrastructure, and building social capital and capacity are expected to have a significant impact on the occurrence of full-time fishing. As the Commonwealth has an obligation under the Torres Strait Treaty to protect the traditional way of life and livelihood of Islanders as well as promoting employment opportunities for Traditional Inhabitants, it is important that management authorities consider both the effect of management changes for the fishery as a whole and for each indigenous fisher group separately.

Suggested Citation

  • van Putten, Ingrid & Lalancette, Annie & Bayliss, Peter & Dennis, Darren & Hutton, Trevor & Norman-López, Ana & Pascoe, Sean & Plagányi, Eva & Skewes, Tim, 2013. "A Bayesian model of factors influencing indigenous participation in the Torres Strait tropical rocklobster fishery," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 96-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:96-105
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.04.001

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    Cited by:

    1. Mulazzani, Luca & Manrique, Rosa & Malorgio, Giulio, 2017. "The Role of Strategic Behaviour in Ecosystem Service Modelling: Integrating Bayesian Networks With Game Theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 234-244.
    2. Weijerman, Mariska & Grace-McCaskey, Cynthia & Grafeld, Shanna L. & Kotowicz, Dawn M. & Oleson, Kirsten L.L. & van Putten, Ingrid E., 2016. "Towards an ecosystem-based approach of Guam's coral reefs: The human dimension," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 8-17.
    3. Partelow, Stefan, 2015. "Key steps for operationalizing social–ecological system framework research in small-scale fisheries: A heuristic conceptual approach," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 507-511.
    4. Dennis, Darren & Plagányi, Éva & Van Putten, Ingrid & Hutton, Trevor & Pascoe, Sean, 2015. "Cost benefit of fishery-independent surveys: Are they worth the money?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 108-115.
    5. Johanna E. Johnson & David J. Welch, 2016. "Climate change implications for Torres Strait fisheries: assessing vulnerability to inform adaptation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 611-624, April.


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