Cost recovery has been a fundamental feature of the management of Australia's Commonwealth fisheries since the mid-1980s. The general philosophy of the current Commonwealth cost recovery model, introduced in 1994, is that the beneficiaries of government services should meet the costs of those services in accordance with the concept of user pays. As a result, the commercial industry pays for costs directly related to fishing activity while the government pays for activities that may benefit the broader community as well as the industry. The purpose in this paper is to review the Australian experience with cost recovery. The total cost of managing Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries averaged 7.2 per cent of the gross value of production between 1992-93 and 1998-99. Total costs have increased in recent years due to increased Commonwealth government expenditure on surveillance of Australia’s Fishing Zone and higher administration costs of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. The industry contribution to the costs of fisheries management has averaged 34 per cent between 1992-93 and 1998-99. The degree of cost recovery varies significantly between individual fisheries as a result of differences in the attribution of the costs of management functions between industry and government.
Cox, A. Cost Recovery in Fisheries Management: The Australian Experience. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.