Beyond GVP: The value of inshore commercial fisheries to fishers and consumers in regional communities on Queensland’s east coast
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart
There are multiple threats to ongoing access/operation of commercial inshore fisheries (finfish and crab) along Queensland’s east coast. These include port developments and expansions, coastal development, public perception (which influences management) and competition between fishing sectors (which also influences management). These threats to access could adversely affect not only commercial fishers themselves, but also secondary industries as well as the availability of seafood to local communities. It is now well documented that consumers prefer local seafood products, and are willing to pay more for seafood labelled ‘local’ (Tobin et al. 2010; Calogeras et al. 2011). It could be assumed that reducing these threats and ensuring ongoing operation of commercial fisheries and local seafood supply is desirable, for many social and economic reasons. Yet there is little information about the value inshore commercial fisheries and fishing businesses provide to communities (aside from the much used GVP, which has long been recognised as a nonsensical measure of value (e.g. Edwards 1991, McPhee & Hundloe 2004)), or the relative value of local seafood compared to non-local seafood for consumers. Without knowing the real economic value of commercial fisheries and local seafood for regional communities, decisions regarding management of, and access to, resources are likely to be ill informed. Real value information can be used to ensure appropriate access of fishers and consumers to fisheries resources, better assess the economic impacts of other coastal activities that negatively affect fishing, or better inform reallocation processes where necessary.
1. Determine the economic value of inshore commercial finfish and crab fisheries within Qld east-coast regional communities
2. Model the flow-on economic and employment value of inshore commercial fisheries
3. Determine the relative value of local seafood compared to non-local Australian or imported products
4. Develop a transferable methodology template to measure the value of commercial fisheries to regional communities for a broader range of fisheries
Principal Investigator: Dr Sean Pascoe
Key Words: Regional economic benefits, Consumer benefits, Queensland fisheries
Summary: This report examines the potential economic benefits to regional communities from the Queensland inshore fisheries (pot, net and line fisheries). In doing so, the project has developed a series of questionnaires and analysis tools that could be potentially applied in other regions with fairly minimal modification. The report outlines the theory underpinning these methods, as well as their application. The results of the analysis indicate that the inshore fisheries produce substantial local benefits well in excess of their own gross value product (GVP).