Blue carbon and the Australian seafood industry: workshop

Project Number:



CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart

Principal Investigator:

Mat Vanderklift

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Environment, Industry

Achieving carbon offsets through blue carbon: a review of needs and opportunities relevant to the Australian seafood industry

Final Report
Author(s):Mat Vanderklift, Andy Steven, Raymundo Marcos-Martinez, Daniel Gorman
Date Published:January 2019
Several stakeholders within the Australian seafood industry have demonstrated strong leadership by developing carbon neutral business practices. In 2017, participants in the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program challenged the industry to become carbon neutral by 2030. In response, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) hosted a workshop that invited key stakeholders and thought leaders from industry, government and nongovernmental organisations to discuss the overall attitudes of the Australian seafood industry to the concept of carbon neutrality, and to gauge aspirations for investment in coastal “blue” carbon offsets as a way of achieving carbon neutrality
Blue carbon offsets are not yet available in Australia, including (but not limited to) Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund, but voluntary market opportunities exist overseas. Several Australian businesses are seeking to promote efforts to accelerate their development in Australia. Developing partnerships between the seafood industry and like-minded businesses, to address key uncertainties and knowledge gaps (such as uncertainty over tenure, lack of reliable demonstration sites, absence of key data such as carbon accumulation rates) is likely to be a fruitful option for maximising the future blue carbon opportunities for the seafood industry


1. Inform and understand aspirations of the Australian seafood industry with respect to carbon neutrality

2. Map the aspirations against current opportunities in Australia and overseas

3. Identify actions that can be taken by the seafood industry and the FRDC that will help move the industry towards meeting aspirations

4. Synthesise 1-3 into a plan that also identifies enablers and constraints that the industry needs to be aware of, and develop recommendations about the best steps