Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

Abstract

The western rock lobster is the most valuable single-species fishery in Australia returning a commercial value of around $250 million annually. This fishery is considered fully exploited and requires careful management to ensure a viable and sustainable fishery. Scientists at Marine Research Laboratory, Western Australia have already built detailed computer models of the lobster fishery and further research is required to continuously update and refine these models to provide an accurate picture of the fishery. One area of interest that could improve this model is the impact of the moon phase, if any, on the daily catch rates of the western rock lobster. The data sets used in this project aggregates of the daily catch separated into three major regions located off the western coast of Western Australia taken over several consecutive years. A number of time series methods such as classical decomposition and exponential smoothing were used to identity trend and cyclic components of the series. Indices for the lunar phase were calculated and compared for the detrended time series data corresponding to different depths and lobster phases at the three major regions. Comparisons were made between the various techniques, the years, zones and depths. Results showed a strong relationship between the full moon phase for some of the combinations of zones and depths while no conclusions could be drawn for the other moon phases. It is hoped that these results will further refine the catch rate models, which are important for management decisions to ensure the sustainability of the fishery.

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