Public Talks


The museum hosts a regular series of FREE public lunchtime talks. The talks are held on the FIRST Tuesday of each month EXCEPT January from 12.00 midday until 1.00pm in the Royal Society Rooms at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our next talk, on Tuesday 7 March, is entitled Fish and Ships - Australian Fisheries Management and will be presented by Ian Cartwright, Commissioner, Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

Managing fisheries is a challenging task, especially as it is more about managing people than the fish. Accurately determining the status of largely unseen fish stocks and forecasting how those stocks will change over time is far more difficult than assessing terrestrial resources. Researchers must allow for the effects of professional and recreational fishing, the marine environment and other human activity including land-based pollution. Armed with this information, managers attempt to regulate the users of the resource to provide sustainable benefits to the community.

So how well is this process working? Much has been written about overfishing, the decimation of fish stocks, the inadequacy of fisheries management and, at times, a rapacious industry. Mainstream and social media have provided the community with a good deal of misinformation and ill-founded statements. The super-trawler debate is a classic example of this. The reality is somewhat different. Certainly, the global record for fisheries management is a chequered one and there remains significant challenges in a number of countries and on the high seas. In Australia, we have done rather better and the most recent report on the status of Australian fish stocks notes that nearly 90% of Australia’s fisheries are being fished sustainably, as assessed by peer-reviewed science. That is not to say challenges remain. Notable among these are the impacts of climate change, both on inshore and offshore waters, means of sharing the catch between recreational, commercial and indigenous users and, as always, the propensity for politicians to avoid making hard decisions.

Ian Cartwright has worked in fisheries and fisheries management since 1975. He specialises in the development of fisheries policy and fisheries management plans and the provision of advice to governments, aid agencies and fisheries organisations in Australia and overseas. This work involves working at the interface between industry, recreational fishers, fisheries managers, researchers and NGOs and the brokering of mutually acceptable solutions. A former director at the Australian Maritime College, Ian is chair of a number of fisheries management committees in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.  In Tasmania Ian chairs the Fisheries Advisory Committees for abalone, rock lobster and scallops, and the Fisheries Research Advisory Committee. He is a keen recreational fisher.


Time: 12.00 – 1.00pm Tuesday 7 March 2017
Place: ROYAL SOCIETY ROOMS, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (Davey Street entrance).
Phone the Maritime Museum on 6234 1427 for more details