The development of statistics on Australian fisheries production and gross value of production (GVP) is required to meet a wide range of demands.
First: The data are extensively used by the fishing industry and by providers of services to the fishing industry in making investment decisions and in longer term planning of marketing strategies. The importance of the information provided by this project was highlighted at the 1997 FRDC Australian Fisheries Economics Statistics Workshop and the Seafood Directions Conference in 1999. Also the information is used extensively in FRDC's publication "From Antarctica to the tropics: a snapshot of the Australian fishing industry".
Second: The existence of these data in a readily accessible form provides the basis for a range of other activities, including the setting of research priorities by fisheries managers, industry and research organisations and the selection of a research portfolio by funding agencies. The Commonwealth government through ABARE, contributes to a number of international databases including databases managed by FAO and OECD. Information at the international level can be important in relation to international negotiations on issues such as transboundary fisheries, in analysing trade opportunities and threats and is essential for participating in fora such as APEC and WTO.
Third: The gross value of production for specific fisheries are used for determining research and development levies for Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and for determining industry contributions to research. Because the estimates form the basis for research levies for each fishery, it is important for the system to be independent from those involved in the management and marketing processes to ensure the neutrality and integrity of the estimates.
Fourth: There are significant economies in centralising the collection, collation and dissemination of the gross value of production data. In the absence of this project the workload of a range of organsations involved with fisheries management would be substantially increased.