OLRAC was founded in 1989 by Dr Amos Barkai and Dr Mike Bergh specifically to provide support for the international fishing industry.
At a time that international fisheries management is becoming increasingly dominated by complex numerical arguments and a very conservative tendency, OLRAC provides the fishing industry with the opportunity to communicate with management agencies on an equal technical footing, ensuring that decisions embody the principles of sustainability, scientific objectivity, political impartiality and economic pragmatism.
Although OLRAC’s business is based on state-of-the-art quantitative science, the economic and practical realities of fishing are also integrated into management recommendations. OLRAC is continuously involved in critical management issues across a broad spectrum of fish resources and other marine topics. These include demersal, pelagic and lobster fisheries, small-scale subsistence fisheries, research into near-shore shark dynamics, environmental impact assessments, fisheries policy issues and the development of new fisheries.
Business ApproachWhen required, OLRAC has the ability to assume full responsibility for industry input into scientific deliberations including field work, quantitative analyses, scientific deliberations, the representation of industry views at all levels and fisheries policy developments. Whenever necessary, OLRAC has the ability to provide fishing companies with immediate support by analysing complex computerised datasets regardless of distance.
Although OLRAC provides support and tools for the economic exploitation of marine resources and often promotes a more aggressive approach to resource management, it will under no circumstances condone a management approach which it considers to be irresponsible and which might lead to long term adverse impacts on the resource. Since OLRAC's work is often the centre of intense scientific debate, we make our work and data available for any level of national or international scientific scrutiny.
Areas of Specialisation
OLRAC specialises in the implementation of sophisticated quantitative tools in fisheries science and management in an unorthodox and critical manner. In addition, OLRAC has rich experience in conducting logistically complex field operations involving large numbers of divers and vessels. OLRAC adheres to strict timetables and deadlines in accordance with the needs and realities of the fishing industry.
OLRAC routinely deals with following:
- All modern quantitative stock assessment tools (Bayesian assessment and decision making procedures, surplus production modeling, VPA’s, size based mathematical models, age structured production models and mark-recapture based assessment procedures).
- Exploration of the quantitative implications of management decisions using a set of highly evolved mathematical modeling techniques including development tools for Operational Management Procedures.
- Multivariate statistical analyses (General Linear Modeling) and a range of spatial modeling techniques.
- Development of new mathematical and statistical methods and computer software when existing techniques are insufficient or non-existent.
- Fishing gear studies and the design, supervision and execution of experimental field studies and stock surveys.
- Environmental impact assessment of competing users of the marine environment.
- Bio-economic appraisals of fisheries in the context of the scientific paradigms underlying their management.
- The development of fisheries databases, which combine commercial and scientific information.
- The West Coast Rock Lobster Sea Management Association (South Africa)
- The South Coast Rock Lobster Association (South Africa)
- The Deep Sea Trawling Industry Association (South Africa)
- The Abalone Rights Holders Association (South Africa)
- The Consortium of Horse Mackerel Quota Holders (South Africa)
- Selected Private Horse Mackerel Quota Holders (South Africa)
- The Namibian Hake Association (Namibia)
- The Natal Sharks Board (South Africa)
- The Association of Pelagic Quota Holders of Namibia
- The Marine Diamond Mining Association (South Africa)
- The Association of Pelagic Quota Holders of South Africa (South Africa)
- The Land and Agricultural Policy Centre (South Africa)
- The GTZ program and the Namibian Government (Namibia)