Title:

Social and economic evaluation of NSW coastal commercial wild-catch fisheries

Project Number:

2014-301

Organisation:

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Principal Investigator:

Kate Barclay

Project Status:

Completed

FRDC Expenditure:

$424,228.76

Program(s):

Communities

Need

The contributions of commercial fisheries to coastal communities in NSW is not well understood. Current methods for estimating the economic contribution of fisheries calculate only the landed value of the catch and numbers of people directly employed in commercial fishing. This gives inadequate information about commercial fisheries’ position in economic networks within coastal communities – they require a range of goods and services provided from the local community and from larger centres in NSW, all with associated employment. A small percentage of the population is directly engaged in commercial fishing, however, existing evidence indicates that when commercial fishing declines the negative impacts may spread throughout the supply chain, as well as on the ‘glue’ holding towns together through social contributions of fishing families. In the prevailing policy environment the importance of ecological protection and the contributions of recreational fishers are well recognized, while commercial fishers are often seen as ‘the bad guys’ and bear the brunt of the trade-offs made in resource management decisions. The project generates knowledge that can be used both to demonstrate the value of commercial industries to improve their position as stakeholders in resource management decisions, and to improve public attitudes about commercial fisheries. Sound evidence about the contributions of commercial fisheries will enable triple bottom line policies for sustainability in coastal NSW, by adding social and economic knowledge to the ecological knowledge already developed. For example, it will help identify the costs of adjustment and the resilience of communities with economically challenged fisheries, and indicate how restructuring may be made less difficult. It will also remedy the lack of understanding about contributions from particular sections of commercial fishing, such as the special contributions Indigenous commercial fishers make to their local communities - both Indigenous and non-Indigenous - related to cultural obligations.

Objectives

1. Evaluate the economic contribution of commercial wild-catch fisheries for 8 regions covering the whole NSW coast, including the regional economic impacts such as multiplier effects and employment and contributions to related sectors within regions, building on previous similar studies.

2. Evaluate the social contributions of commercial fisheries for the same regions, including the participation of fishing families in community organizations, heritage values of fishing for regions, and the social aspects of economic contributions, building on previous studies.

3. Establish a methodology to be used for ongoing social and economic evaluations as part of government reporting and industry engagement, building on recent and ongoing work in this field.

4. Write a report integrating the social and economic evaluations for each town identifying the role of commercial fisheries in that community, and highlighting threats to sustainability and viability, in a form suitable for engaging with local and state government agencies.

5. Create flyers for a general audience, including photographs and personal stories, to raise awareness of the role of commercial fisheries in coastal communities.

Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Valuing Coastal Fisheries

Final Report
ISBN:978-0-9953662-0-6
ISSN:
Author(s):Dr Michelle Voyer, A/Prof Kate Barclay, Prof Alistair Mcllgorm, Dr Nicole Mazur
Date Published:September 2016
The professional wild-catch fishing industry contributes to the viability of rural and regional areas in coastal NSW. This Project addresses two key information gaps about the role of professional fishing in coastal communities. First, the wild-catch industry in NSW feels that their role has not been correctly valued, and this has made them vulnerable in resource allocation decisions. Second, although NSW Government agencies are under legislative obligation to adhere to the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development, policy prioritises biodiversity conservation and economic sustainability and lacks the processes and tools to include social aspects, such as the wellbeing of communities in regional areas where fishing is an important industry. These gaps in valuation are of concern not just in NSW, but also around the country. Keywords:   Community wellbeing, social contributions, economic contributions, social licence

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Recreational and professional fishing: friend or foe?

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
Recreational and professional fishers are often thought to be in conflict with each other. Resource management debates, especially in estuarine areas, often involve an assumption that removing professional fishing from an area will resolve this conflict. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in NSW coastal communities through interviews, an economic survey and a random phone survey of the general public, 35% of whom were recreational fishers. This investigation found that the two sectors are highly interdependent and in fact both offer complementary economic and social benefits, across six out of seven key ‘dimensions of community wellbeing’.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Central Coast - Hawkesbury area

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The Central Coast-Hawkesbury is a diverse fishing area which includes estuarine meshing and trapping in the Tuggerah Lakes and Hawkesbury River, as well as offshore trap and line fisheries. It also contains one of only three estuary prawn trawl fisheries in the state. The Hawkesbury, Hunter and Clarence Rivers are the only rivers suitable for supporting this form of fishing operation. The size and quality of the Hawkesbury School Prawn make them a highly valued species. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in the Central Coast-Hawkesbury communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Clarence

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The Clarence, although only a small geographic region, is the most productive fishing region within NSW. The river supports an estuary general and estuary prawn trawl industry, based mainly out of Maclean, while the townships of Iluka and Yamba are the home ports of the state’s largest fleet of prawn trawlers. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in Clarence communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Far-North Coast of NSW

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The far north coast study area includes the main fishing ports of Tweed, Brunswick Heads, Ballina and Evans Head. The area includes a number of significant fisheries, especially ocean prawn trawl, Spanner crab and Mud crab as well as a range of inshore and estuarine fisheries. The area has supported a number of active Fisherman’s Co-operatives since the 1940s, including at Brunswick Heads, Ballina and Evans Head. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in Far North Coast communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Great Lakes - Hunter Region

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The Great Lakes - Hunter study area includes the main fishing ports of Taree, Wallis Lake (Forster/Great Lakes), Port Stephens/Tea Gardens and Newcastle. The area supports a diverse range of fisheries targeting a variety of species including ocean fish trawl, ocean trap and line, lobster, ocean haul, a seasonal longline tuna fishery and an active estuary general fishery. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing on Great Lakes-Hunter communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Indigenous professional fishing

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
Coastal Indigenous people have a long association with professional fishing in NSW. They began trading seafood with white settlers not long after colonisation and are credited with keeping the colony alive in the early years of settlement. Later, as colonial control over Indigenous people increased it was not uncommon for the Aboriginal Protection Board to provide boats and fishing gear to Indigenous communities to encourage both active participation in the NSW economy and the use of seafood as an alternative or supplementary food source to government-issued rations. A number of reserves established around the turn of the 20th century were used as a base from which fishing operations could be conducted.  NSW Indigenous communities have built up a strong cultural connection to the tradition of professional fishing and many Indigenous families and communities owe their survival to active engagement in the industry. Despite this, Indigenous involvement in professional fishing has been in decline since the 1960s. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in Indigenous communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Mid North Coast

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The Mid North Coast study area includes the main fishing ports of Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie (Hastings) and Laurieton. The area supports a diverse range of fisheries targeting a variety of species including ocean prawn trawl, ocean trap and line, lobster, ocean haul, a seasonal longline tuna fishery and an active estuary general fishery. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing on Mid North Coast communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Illawarra-Shoalhaven

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The main fishing ports in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven area include Wollongong, Lake Illawarra, Kiama, the Shoalhaven
(Nowra/Jervis Bay/Greenwall Point) and Ulladulla. The area supports a diverse range of fisheries targeting a variety of species including ocean trap and line, lobster, ocean haul, a seasonal longline tuna fishery and an active estuary general fishery. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in Illawarra-Shoalhaven communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing. 

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - South Coast

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
The main fishing ports in the South Coast study area include Batemans Bay, Narooma, Bermagui and Eden. The area supports a diverse range of fisheries targeting a variety of species including ocean trap and line, lobster, ocean haul, a seasonal longline tuna fishery and an active estuary general fishery. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in South Coast communities according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries - Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Professional Wild-Catch Fisheries - Sydney

Report
ISBN:
ISSN:
Author(s):University of Technology Sydney
Date Published:November 2016
Sydney is the birthplace of the professional fishing industry in Australia, with fish being harvested for sale in the colony not long after the settlement was established. Today a small but diverse industry continues to operate within the metropolitan area, particularly in offshore trap and line and trawl fisheries. Much of Sydney Harbour is closed to professional fishing due to heavy metals in the waterways. The Valuing Coastal Fisheries project investigated the role of professional fishing in the Sydney community according to seven dimensions of community wellbeing.