Commercial fisheries, in particular prawn fisheries, conjour negative perceptions of environmental impact by the general community. This stems as much from the negative imagery of capture of species of intrinsic public e.g. dolphins, as it does from notions that commercial fisheries irreversibly deplete stocks.
*Adverse consumer response
Public perceptions have been shown to translate into adverse consumer response. In addition, domestic perception and political pressure threatens the actual conduct of fisheries rather than the market for the product. There is a clear need to better inform the Australian public on the environmental performance of commercial fisheries by identifying environmental impacts and promoting responsible work practices.
*Improved promotion of commercial fishing
The proposal addresses a major need for more effective promotion of commercial fisheries linked to domestic perceptions and market opportunities.
*The ecosytem effects of fishing need to be understood.
Most of Australia's major fisheries are undertaken in nearshore habitats yet relatively little is known of the effects of fishing on coastal ecosystems. This project seeks to address this question for a major coastal fishery. The objectives of the project are consistent with the aims of modern fisheries management and have been identified as an information need by FRDC.