Project number: 2009-041
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $313,917.35
Principal Investigator: Kate J. Brooks
Organisation: KAL Analysis
Project start/end date: 15 Jan 2009 - 27 Feb 2012


The need for this coordination program arises from the limited understanding that we have of the social aspect of fishing at the individual, business/group or sectoral levels, and the ways in which this activity interacts with the broader community. It has become increasingly clear that the management of fisheries (commercial, recreational or traditional) has profound social implications for fishers, their families and the communities they support. Equally, the co-management of the fisheries resource is unlikely to be comprehensively achieved without awareness of the different drivers for decision making by both fishers and management agencies. These decisions, while related to economics are not necessarily solely driven by economics, but also by the social dimension. The current lack of information in this area inhibits effective engagement on issues affecting fishers and fishing, and the facilitation and development of leadership, communication and adaptation capacity within and across the different sectors.

Through a range of different techniques, social science research can address these issues and complement biological and economic research, to support practice and community perception change. While previous investment into the social aspects of fisheries has (due to circumstance) been opportunitistic and uncoordinated, this coordination program will provide a strategic approach to the social aspects of sector issues and operations. Specifically, the program will seek to leverage research from past projects, and build synergies between current projects in both the social and other discipline research areas, across all sectors. In this way, it is envisaged that funds invested by FRDC will be more efficiently used, with project outcomes that have a greater reach than if they were implemented in isolation.


1. Establish a social research coordination program to facilitate the leverage of effort between projects
assess the synergy of project proposals, and optimise beneficial resource allocation and opportunities for all fishery activities.
2. Identify social research and development priorities affecting the wild harvest, aquaculture, post harvest,recreational and indigenous fishing sectors.
3. Address research needs arising from FRDC's existing programs and ensure the quality and relevance of proposed social research projects.
4. Coordinate and undertake the communication of key social research priorities to the research community, and research outcomes to fishers.
5. Provide program management for social projects including, evaluation, commisioning of projects, review and provision of advice on projects.

Final report

ISBN: 978‐0‐646‐57437‐0
Author: Kate Brooks

Related research


Assessment of the interactive effects of climate change, floods and discard stress on the commercially important Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) and Blue Swimmer Crab (Portunus armatus) - postgraduate

1. Provide the opportunity for a post-graduate research student to work with industry and managers, gain exposure to stakeholder’s perspectives on the issue and undertake high-quality research that results in the production of scientific outputs.
Southern Cross University (SCU) National Marine Science Centre