Project number: 2010-205
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $125,097.00
Principal Investigator: Ann Fleming
Organisation: Charles Darwin University (CDU)
Project start/end date: 31 Jul 2010 - 30 Jan 2014


This proposal aims to identify social, cultural and economic factors that might be developed and reconstructed to facilitate Indigenous engagement in sea cucumber aquaculture. Foster (1997), Carter (2001), Nikolakis (2008) and other researchers have identified social and economic factors that affect Indigenous enterprise development, but these are generic in their nature, and these factors have not been tested and validated at the community level (mostly relying on expert interviews and documentary analyses) nor during a specific application such as the establishment of a sea cucumber ranching enterprise. As such this proposal will draw on previous research to develop key themes, test these themes, and propose more workable models to Indigenous engagement in sea cucumber aquaculture.

The aquaculture sector is highly relevant to the continuing investment and need for sustainable enterprise models for indigenous sea owners. This project is strongly related and interlinked to the proposal by the Fisheries Unit of the NT government which seeks to conduct a scoping study of options for an Indigenous “centre of excellence” to facilitate promotion and engagement by Indigenous people in fisheries co-management enterprises.


1. • conduct an analysis of key factors driving successes and creating barriers in past aquaculture ventures on Indigenous communities.
2. • identify key factors for success in implementing a socially and economically viable trepang ranching industry across NT Indigenous communities.
3. • develop a framework and associated models to inform agencies and Indigenous people where effort should be placed to develop capacity of Indigenous people and communities to engage in and benefit from aquaculture enterprises.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9943311-0-6
Author: Ann Fleming

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