The International Conference & Workshop on Lobster (and Crab) Biology and Management 2023

22 - 27 October 2023, The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, Western Australia

Conference Hashtag: #icwl2023

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The 12th ICWL Organising Committee acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the Boodjar (Country) on which we work and live. We recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters, and communities, and pay our respect to them, their culture, and the Elders, past, present and emerging.

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Key Dates

Abstracts open: Now Open
Registrations open: Now Open
Abstracts close: Closed
Early Bird Registration deadline: 22 June 2023
Conference: 22 – 27 October 2023


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12th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster (and Crab) Biology and Management (ICWL)

The Western Rock Lobster Council (WRL), Australia’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are pleased to be hosting the 12th ICWL workshop on 22 – 27 October 2023 at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.

ICWL returns to where it all began in Western Australia (WA) over 40 years ago, when a group of 37 lobster biologists from 6 countries met in Perth, Australia to discuss and compare their work on lobster ecology, physiology, and management protocols, and to find common themes amongst the different species that were commercially fished.  Since its humble beginnings the ICLW has grown in popularity and prestige, and in recent years has attracted 150-200 participants from around 20 different countries.

Fremantle is a major port for the western rock lobster fleet just 20 km from Perth, the capital city of WA. The western rock lobster fishery is the largest single species fishery in Australia with a value of over AUD$450 million annually, and a long history of internationally recognised research, management, and compliance. In 2000, this fishery was the first in the world to receive the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation.

The theme of the 12th ICWL is ‘ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM)’. EBFM is a holistic approach to fisheries management that recognises all the interactions within an ecosystem rather than considering a single species or issue in isolation.  We consider this represents best practice for fisheries management and reflects that fisheries research and management focus is now broader than just sustainability. Therefore, in addition to presentations that focus on lobster (and crab) biology and stock assessment, we will also welcome presentations that examine other aspects of EBFM, such as ecosystem effects of fishing, economic assessments, social issues, governance, and compliance with management regulations.  

We are also very excited to extend the scope of the conference to include submissions relating to other decapod species, specifically crabs, welcoming abstracts on all aspects of crab research, biology and management.

Given the interest in lobster aquaculture worldwide, particularly the Asian region, we are also hoping to attract strong support for the planned aquaculture session. As always an industry day is planned to be an important component of the program, and we are looking forward to welcoming commercial and recreational lobster industry participants.

WRL, FRDC and DPIRD are looking forward to hosting scientists, managers and industry participants in Western Australia in 2023. We welcome any ideas that you may have for the lobster workshop such as particular sessions and special workshops that could be held as part of the 12th ICWL.


Nick Caputi                                                                                     Nic Sofoulis

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