Project number: 1997-349
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $13,015.00
Principal Investigator: Perry Smith
Organisation: Department of Agriculture; Water and the Environment (ABARES)
Project start/end date: 28 Jun 1997 - 1 Dec 1998


This project has arisen because of the Hepatitis A outbreak possibly associated with oysters at Wallis Lakes, 1997. Food safety issues are regarded by sea food industry as a major threat. While the majority of industry can see the benefit of implementing food safety plans others are still to be convinced. The hepatitis outbreak offers a unique opportunity to determine the cost both socially and economically of a major disease outbreak, its impact on consumers, and the economic benefit of effective food safety plans. The need for the project is:

1. to quantify the economic cost to the industry as a result of reduced market acceptance for oysters products;
2. to determine the extent that the outbreak impacted on other seafood products both from Wallis lakes and other sources;
3. the development of this economic analysis will allow the industry to assess the risk associated with addressing food safety issues;
4. to provide the basis for ABARE’s presentation to Outlook 98, which can be further extended to industry as a case study; and,
5. additionally, the project will act as a vehicle as part of FRDC's sponsorship of the fisheries outlook session of the 98 Outlook conference .


1. 1. to quantify the extent of reduction in oyster sales as a result of the hepatitis A outbreak
2. 2. to quantify the costs to other sectors of the seafood sector as a result of the hepatitis A outbreak, this will primarily focus on the Sydney seafood markets
3. 3. to extend the results both as part of Outlook 98 and as a case study for industry.

Related research


Human Dimensions Research Coordination Program 2021-24

1. Identify and coordinate the development of human dimensions R&D priorities through review and consultation with key stakeholders, and assist to develop scopes to address those priorities
University of Tasmania (UTAS)