Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Associate Professor James Cross


The western rock lobster fishery is one of the most significant and valuable single species fisheries in Australia and in the world. It generates a gross commercial value of $200-300 million dollars per year for the economy of Western Australia. The impact of environmental factors on the daily catch rate of the western rock lobster is of particular interest to the W.A. Marine Research Laboratories, at the Ministry of Fisheries, Western Australia. Considerable time and effort has been invested into building and developing suitable models to measure such impact on this fishery. While past research has focussed on monthly or seasonal data, this study investigated appropriate time series analyses to model the effect of major environmental factors such as lunar cycle, swell, and sea water temperature on the daily catch rate data of the western rock lobster at different depths. The variation in western rock lobster daily catch rate data for two periods ("whites" and "reds") and four categories (undersize, legal size, spawner, and setose ), was examined for three management zones, A, B, and C. Regression and transfer function models for relationships between catch rates and environmental data were considered and compared. Results show that the lunar cycle especially the presence of the full moon and the swell has a significant impact on the daily catch rates of the Western rock lobster. The results of this research assist in the development of improved models to support the management of this very valuable resource.

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Agriculture Commons