Project number: 2012-208
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $35,000.00
Principal Investigator: John Purser
Organisation: University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2012 - 30 Dec 2013


The Tasmanian Freshwater Eel Industry is based on a small fishery focussed on wild harvests of short- and long-finned eels. Although small from a national, regional and global perspective it is of untapped significant potential within the Tasmanian context. Declines observed in global eel resources have not been experienced in Tasmania. Industry has the opportunity to establish new markets and products whilst increasing traditional markets. Diversification of the product range may occur through by-catch species such as redfin and tench.

A partial but significant consolidation of industry participants via joint venture activities over the past three years has initiated a renewed interest in the potential for the fishery and industry. There are challenges in matching products with markets, value adding (including aquaculture), seasonal supply and logistical issues. It is critical to address these challenges and identify solutions and strategies to support industry development.

The industry has significant potential in Tasmania. A plan to develop and expand the industry is needed to:

1. Establish a common strategic vision and direction
2. Unify fishers, industry and resource managers towards a common goal
3. Identify issues, challenges, and barriers to industry development providing a planned prioritised approach to solutions
4. Provide a measured approach to industry expansion, whilst meeting goals for ecological sustainability
5. Provide guidance on the contemporary research needs for the industry based on an agreed direction.

A development plan will also assist investors, fishers, industry sub-sectors, resource managers, researchers understand the future directions for the fishery, it's challenges and needs.


1. Formulate a development and directions plan for the Tasmanian Freshwater Eel Industry. The goals of the development plan are as follows - (a) Establish a vision and focussed direction for the Tasmanian Freshwater Eel Industry, (b) Assess the approaches and techniques available in aquaculture and wild harvest to achieve a measured expansion of the industry with due consideration for ecological sustainability, (c) Identify strategies to maximise the economic potential of the eel industry whilst maintaining economic sustainability and viability, (d) Maintain current and create additional investment confidence and opportunties, (e) Identify strategies to position industry to take advantage of emerging opportunties in the global market and (f) Guide the research needs of the industry.

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-86295-736-7
Author: Dr John Purser

Related research


Minor use permit for Chloramine-T in marine and freshwater finfish

1. Obtain data to satisfy identified gaps, and collate available data, to satisfy specified requirements of a minor use permit application for the use of Chloramine-T (N-chloro-4-methylbenzenesulfonamide sodium salt) to treat bacterial or parasite infections in marine and freshwater finfish.
University of Adelaide