Project Title:

Final Report - 2014-235-DLD - Evaluating the Performance of Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture

Project Number: 2014-235
Published Date: Jun 2017 Year: 2016
ISBN: ISSN:
Description:

 

Principal Investigator: Ewan Colquhoun
 
Summary:
Are Australian fisheries and aquaculture achieving best performance and use?  What is the trend in performance overall, and by sector across wild catch commercial, recreational, Indigenous customary and aquaculture?
 
In 2014 this FRDC project completed its second evaluation of fisheries and aquaculture, following the first study in 2009.  Using a consistent Delphi research methodology across environmental, economic and social issues, in 2014 58 experts assessed 41 separate fisheries and aquaculture.
 
The reality is that issues and priorities driving fisheries and aquaculture resources are complex and dynamic – accordingly assessments of performance and use must also change over time.  The Delphi methodology builds our understanding via a cost-effective and systematic process to interrogate national and local issues across all fisheries and aquaculture.  Experts’ responses focus our qualitative understanding on the main issues and priorities, to then guide both policy development platforms and fisheries management.  In turn, we are better able to draw guarded quantitative conclusions about performance and use of each and every sector. 

This report summarises the Delphi approach, the refinements adopted to improve the scope and scale of assessments to include economic activity from all sectors, the headline outcomes, and the early trends in performance and use over the 5 years since 2009.
 
Overall, the fishery and aquaculture performance ratings by experts in 2014 (5.6), were almost the same as in 2009 (5.8) on a 10-point scale where 10 is Best Use.  Taking in context, experts believe fishery performance has improved marginally overall in line with the community’s greater public awareness and rising expectations of fishery performance over the last 5 years.  Best Use and Performance changes with time, and in five years’ time the expectation will likely nudge higher again.
 
Fishers, farmers, license holders, fishery managers, technical experts, and other stakeholders want to understand, improve and defend Fishery Performance.  This is very evident from the consistently strong and ongoing level of voluntary engagement provided to the project by the many participating experts.  Opportunity exists to leverage this motivation with clear and more detailed analyses that each fishery can then employ to improve its local performance.
 
The top priorities for action to improve fishery performance identified in 2014 are consistent with those identified in 2009.  The top 3 are:
a. Flexible and strategic approach to management,
b. Documented harvest and management strategies,
c. Efficient, transparent allocation of shares and associated property rights for all uses.

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Of interest

Fish Names
The online Searchable Fish Names Database includes all species listed in the Australian Fish Names Standard which is funded by FRDC.