Project number: 2006-303
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $20,000.00
Principal Investigator: Barry Evans
Organisation: Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Association (SGWCPA)
Project start/end date: 29 Jun 2006 - 1 Jul 2008


International markets are being overwhelmed by the production of prawns from aquaculture and there is no credible marketing approach from the wild-caught prawn fisheries to this threat. In addition, markets are increasing their demands for accreditation of fishing practices from supplier countries and fisheries. There is a need to develop a national coordinated approach to this issue and for fisheries have the chance to have real input on how these threats will be addressed.

A prawn workshop will provide an opportunity for fishers around the country to get together and discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their prawn products. The key theme of the workshop will be marketing and promotion. This will stimulate thinking bout the gaps in marketing at activities both at the national, state and local levels and will encourage fishers to exchange ideas about how to overcome the marketing and promotion gaps. An identification of what is needed over the next 2 to 5 years in terms of who, what, where and why for marketing will provide a clear mandate to the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries.

This forum will also strengthen the prawn fisheries network across Australia through networking and the sharing of information. The development of an action plan will provide a tangible outcome from the forum.


1. To deliver a national prawn fisheries workshop building on the first National Prawn Fisheries Conference
2. To support the establishment of the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries to advance the prawn industry at a national level
3. To strengthen networks between Australia's prawn fisheries
4. To provide an opportunity for industry members to work together in problem solving the national issues relevant to marketing and promotion of prawn product and to commence implementation of an industry action plan

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-47375-8
Author: Samara Miller
Final Report • 2007-05-24 • 607.09 KB


Australia comprises fifteen different prawn fisheries across Australia with a combined value at close to $1billion in gross revenue.  A look at several other Australian fisheries showed that those that had been successful at addressing issues at a national level had national representative organisations that complemented State-based associations.  It was clear that fishery-specific conferences had provided an incentive for stakeholders to come together to investigate the issues and develop appropriate, coordinated responses.  Development of national representative bodies became a logical next step.  

In 2004, it was clear that the prawn industry did not have a national forum through which national issues could be discussed and national responses developed.  In the absence of such forums, responses were ad hoc at best and in many cases no effective responses were being developed or delivered by the industry.  The National Prawn Fisheries Conference held in Cairns in November 2004 connected people across the industry.

Following the 2004 conference, four wild-catch prawn industry organisations provided funding to develop a draft strategic plan for the next 10 years and further funding was leveraged by the Federal Government to invest in assessing the challenges and opportunities for the industry. The Taking Stock and Setting Directions report became the basis of developing a draft strategic plan for the industry.  The report clearly identified that a sustainable and profitable pathway for the industry was achievable. A draft strategic plan was developed by the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries. The conference became the forum to obtain industry’s comments on the strategies in the strategic plan. 

The Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association agreed to host the Second National Prawn Fisheries Conference to strengthen the networks between people in the various prawn fisheries and to support the new national body.

The conference was specifically designed to give direction to the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries on the priority projects to be pursued under the draft strategic plan.  An event manager was contracted to manage the logistics and a professional facilitator contracted to ensure that specific outcomes were obtained and that all delegates were provided opportunity to have input.  Information was provided on each theme by invited guest speakers and these sessions were followed by facilitated, interactive discussion among all delegates.

Keywords: Prawns, Conference, Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association, Prawn fisheries, Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries.

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