Project number: 2008-793.10
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $210,380.10
Principal Investigator: Janet Howieson
Organisation: Curtin University
Project start/end date: 19 Nov 2010 - 31 Aug 2012


Given the general decline in GVP for the Australian wild capture prawn industry (from $364 million to $232 million in the last 15 years), and particularly the loss of traditional export markets, the industry needs to focus on optimising value in the domestic market. However it has become apparent that the current and established business models being pursued by many wild harvest prawn companies are not set up to optimize the domestic market opportunities. The change from an export focused to a domestic focused business requires companies to have a better understanding of the competitive landscape and of the customer and distribution channel requirements (for both quality and service) in domestic markets in order to identify and exploit new market opportunities. However, it appears this knowledge is currently not available or, in the case of a number of completed CRC consumer surveys, not being well extended to the Australian prawn industry to faciliate changing business models to increase profitability.

This project aims to work with committed prawn industry leaders to extend current results from previous CRC and other consumer/market studies, identify gaps and if necessary commission further research to identify new domestic market opportunities. Subsequently industry leaders will be empowered to work with all chain participants resulting in identification of supply chain innovations (in service and quality) and promotionional strategies required to meet the identified opportunity. Subsequently all chain participants will agree collectively to co-invest to implement the required strategies. The participatory action nature of the research, with identification, commitment and active involvement of industry champions and all chain participants being mandatory to the process, represents an innovation in CRC research and should ensure commercial outcomes.


1. CRC Research focused on a better understanding of Australian prawn consumers is utilised by industry to identify and quantify the potential value of at least one new market opportunity for each target fishery.
2. In each target fishery, collective agreement by chain partners to co-invest in one positioning and promotional strategy and aligned supply chain innovations to meet a viable market opportunity.
3. Demonstrated increase in profitability in at least one fishery (quantified as increased price, reduced cost or increased volume into new markets) a a result of pursuing a repositioning and supply chain innovation strategy.
4. In each target fishery, to identify and support industry leaders that will empower other chain participants to exploit emerging market opportunities.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9925568-4-6
Authors: Dr Janet Howieson Professor Meredith Lawley Craig Johns Nathan Kimber
Final Report • 2015-01-01


The aim of this project was to undertake a value chain analysis (VCA) on four Australian prawn fisheries: SGWCPFA, SBPTOA, CRFC, and MBSIA. Following the VCA to define some improvement strategies/projects, work would then be carried out with the individual fisheries to select, implement and evaluate one of the recommended improvement strategies.

The project design and methodology comprised a generic framework with the following stages undertaken for each fishery: Selection of participant chain and gain commitment to participate (Engaging the chain); Understanding the value chain; Secondary participatory consultation and development of agreed strategies; Implementation of agreed strategy; Evaluation of agreed strategy; and Extension and reporting.

In the case of the SGWCPFA, the VCA had already been undertaken during a previous CRC project CRC 2009/786: Commercial Value Chain Analysis of the Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fisheries – Domestic Retail and Restaurants and therefore this study focussed only on selection, implementation and evaluation of the improvement strategy for this fishery.

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