Before proceeding to implementation of the R&D plan, FRDC has now identified the logical next step in addressing the strategic needs of the eel aquaculture industry sector. Indeed the FRDC has determined that the R&D Plan in itself is insufficient to determine an appropriate level of R&D investment in eel aquaculture in the absence of key business and economic information. Such a nexus is consistent with the vagaries of many new and developing aquaculture species. Furthermore, there are few examples/templates of such information databases to support R&D investment decisions for such new commercial entrants.
Specifically, the need to describe an appropriate industry development strategy, together with an analysis of the investment potential for eel aquaculture in Australia, is now needed. This strategy is intended to complement the R&D strategy and effectively provide the commercial rationale for further investment in eel R&D and associated industry development in Australia.
Although intended to focus on the new and developing eel aquaculture sector in Australia, the proposed analysis is expected to also address attendant issues relevant to the wild glass eel and elver fishery, recognising the need for wild seedstock to support eel aquaculture at the present time. Furthermore, the analysis will consider both existing commercially significant eel species in Australia, viz., shortfinned and longfinned eels.