Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Humanity has been extracting marine and aquatic food resources for tens of thousands of years by means of fishing, and these days fishing is the single biggest human impact factor on marine animal populations and marine ecosystems globally, followed by climate change and plastic pollution. The impacts of fishing, be it commercial, recreational or for subsistence, can be felt and seen everywhere in the marine environment, from our coastal systems to the global high seas. Fisheries and their impacts are also a major driving force in the global economy, with seafood now being the most widely traded food commodity in the world. Fisheries also have substantial social implications, ranging from increasing poverty and human migrations in West Africa to the emergence of modern piracy in Somalia and elsewhere. This unit will provide students with a solid grounding in the foundations of fisheries science, and identify features, methods and principles of fisheries science used to inform policy and management of both large and small-scale fisheries around the world. In addition to the scientific foundations and principles around fisheries science, this unit will also provide and discuss a range of applied examples from both global and local West Australian fisheries. Core elements will include the foundation principles of fisheries science, the core data needs in fisheries science, introduction to methods used in assessing fish populations, and their application to fisheries data sets at different scales. Finally, clear links will be made to the growing need to align fisheries science with conservation science and strategies and policies, in order to ensure sustainability of fisheries resources for future generations.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Marine Science; Marine Biology major sequences

Students are able to (1) describe the current state of knowledge, core principles, methods and fundamental methods and data needs of fisheries science, population dynamics, stock assessments and fisheries economics in a global context; (2) critically analyse Australia's place and role in global fisheries and fisheries science; (3) describe small-scale versus large-scale fisheries around the world, assess their challenges for sustainability, food security and food supply, and critically analyse potential solutions; (4) assess novel data sources, methods and approaches to fisheries science in today's cyber age; and (5) assess the role of no-take areas in global fisheries.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) regular quizzes; (2) lab report; and (3) final exam. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Dirk Zeller
Unit rules
Successful completion of 48 points and
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
SCIE2204 Marine Systems
or BIOL2204 Marine Biology
Contact hours
5 hours per week - 3 x 1hr lectures and 1 x 2hr lab/practical
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.