Back to FISH Vol 29 1
PUBLISHED 1 Mar 2021

Evaluating community engagement


Recognising the importance of strategic community engagement to ensure the fishing and aquaculture industry’s social licence to operate is sustained, this project designed and piloted a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework and toolkit for fisheries and aquaculture to assess the outcomes of their community engagement activities. The M&E framework will support a more systematic approach to community engagement activities by the industry. The toolkit will provide industry organisations with practical resources for planning, conducting and learning from the evaluation of community engagement processes.

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Victoria Pilbeam,

Toxic algae management



The accumulation of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) of microalgal origin in Abalone tissues causes a trade and human health risk that requires active management. Toxic algal blooms of the genus Alexandrium have recently caused several Abalone harvest closures on the east coast of Australia. Risk management is hampered by a scarcity of knowledge. A collaborative effort by researchers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS) and Cawthron Institute saw field studies conducted on the east coast of Tasmania during toxic blooms in 2018 and 2019, and experimental studies in South Australia in 2018 to investigate uptake and depuration of PST.

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Alison Turnbull,

Indigenous fisheries research


This project synthesised key messages from a number of studies produced through the FRDC’s Indigenous Reference Group to produce materials for use in developing policy and stimulating community engagement. Topics include Indigenous cultural fishing and fisheries governance, the development of Indigenous scientific capability, building the capacity and performance of Indigenous fisheries, improving access to and involvement in Australia’s fisheries resources for Indigenous Australians, understanding the values inherent in Indigenous customary fisheries, and the characteristics and barriers for successful Australian Indigenous fishing and aquaculture enterprises.

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Leila Alkassab,

Best practice for Southern Rock Lobster fisheries


This report provides the most in-depth analysis of bycatch across the entire Southern Rock Lobster Fishery (SRLF) to date, involving researchers, stakeholders and managers across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. It uses information from independent scientific observer programs and scientific research cruises collected over a period of greater than 15 years to explore the important bycatch species in each state and management zone; conduct a critical appraisal of the current monitoring programs by comparing them to international best practice; help inform a risk assessment for all bycatch species through workshops held in each state involving key stakeholders including researchers, fishers, fisheries managers, scientific observers involved in the monitoring programs, scientific experts and ecologists; and explore quantities and trends in bycatch for species deemed to be at moderate risk from fishing activities.

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Rafael Leon,

Social and economic contributions study


This project has produced estimates of the contribution to the Australian economy of total commercial fisheries and aquaculture activities, using standard measures of economic contribution. It also estimates that contribution within each separate Australian state and territory individually and has developed a robust and nationally consistent framework to support data collection and estimation of contributions in the future.

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Emily Ogier,

Non-market impact valuation for fisheries


In order to assess the impact of its research, development and extension investments in the future, the FRDC commissioned a compilation of non-market impact valuation studies, along with a gap analysis of available non-market information related to the environmental and social impacts of fisheries research, development and extension. This study produced a database of existing non-market valuation studies as a resource for future impact assessments/evaluations of fisheries and aquaculture RD&E investments.

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Talia Hardaker,

Carp virus modelling


As the modelling work has progressed as part of the National Carp Control Plan, the need to understand transmission as a critical factor to be included in the model has emerged. This was investigated through two discrete projects to understand, first, the relative amounts of virus in the skin and mucus of infected fish versus the amount of virus shed in the water and, second, the relative importance of direct versus indirect transmission of CyHV-3 between fish.

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Nick Moody,

Fisheries and aquaculture statistics


Statistics on Australian fisheries production and trade seek to meet the needs of the fishing and aquaculture industry, fisheries managers, policymakers and researchers. Statistics can assist in policy decisions, industry marketing strategies and the allocation of research funding or priorities. The gross value of production for specific fisheries is used for determining the research and development levies collected by government. The neutrality and integrity of gross value of production (GVP) estimates are therefore important due to their forming the basis for research levies for each fishery. At the international level, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, through the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), contributes to several
of international databases.

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Robert Curtotti,

SRL ownership workshop


Southern Rocklobster Limited (SRL) recognises there is diversity in the composition of the Southern Rock Lobster industry’s structure and the receipt of benefits from the fishery varies between user types. The organisation held a workshop to assess other similar examples and if there were appropriate management options to address them. The purpose of the workshop was to gain insight and provide information to inform strategies, policies and options around areas the industry could improve towards its desired direction.

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Tom Cosentino,

Markets for Torres Strait fisheries


Commercial fishing is an economically important activity in the Torres Strait, providing financial opportunities for the traditional inhabitants of the region. A key barrier to development of this fishery has been identified as the additional cost of reaching markets and the cost of doing business from a remote location. This project set out to develop a viable marketing and brand strategy as well as an implementation strategy that may improve the profitability of Torres Strait fisheries’ products. It also took the stakeholders of the Torres Strait on a marketing and branding learning journey and assessed the feasibility of exporting fisheries products directly from the Torres Strait.

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Emily Mantilla,