Project number: 2017-152
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $5,213.75
Principal Investigator: Tanya King
Organisation: Deakin University Geelong Waterfront Campus
Project start/end date: 4 Feb 2018 - 30 Mar 2018


Given the growing importance of social science research in the seafood industry – or recognition of its relevance – there’s a need to consolidate what we have done in the past, and to look to the future. The workshop will do both. In the past, there has been a tendency for social science to be reactive – to ‘autopsy’ – a crisis in the industry after it has happened (or to be invited to autopsy the crisis by the industry). One of the key gaps in the design of social science research is the capacity to anticipate issues and design responses that can enhance the adaptability of the industry, both socially and economically. In order to do so the discipline needs to be communicating effectively with each other in regards to best-practice methodologies for working effectively with industry. We also need to situate our research within a global context that anticipates and speaks to international imperatives, challenges and frameworks (e.g. FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. In the Australian context the potential issues to be engaged with at the workshop may include; sharing the fish (resource sharing, property rights, global food security); adaptability (fishing as livelihood, practice, culture, in a climate of rapid change and need for adaptation and innovation); research practice, data and decision support (how can social dimensions be monitored and incorporated more formally into decision making?; what innovations in social science practise are needed?).


1. To workshop and build upon the thematically documented FRDC audit of Social Science research (FRDC2009/317)
2. To workshop and thematically document current and ongoing research activities and drivers of participants. They key to this objective is the identification of research-setting processes, and the ways in which social scientists perceive gaps in knowledge and how this might be better aligned with the voices of industry
3. Updated themes, key gaps and emerging issues (from 2009/317) that can be drawn upon by RACs in the immediate future
4. Sharing of knowledge regarding emerging methodologies to maximise contributions of the social scientists to the investigations of identified challenges and research pathways
5. Improved connections between social scientists and a fostering of a coherent voice for social science research in Australia which can be drawn upon to respond collectively to the industry's needs to address emerging issues

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-98508-4
Author: Tanya J King & Kate J. Brooks
Final Report • 2019-06-06 • 3.43 MB


The project brought together Australian seafood industry social scientists for the first time ever in a specific and dedicated meeting, to discuss our identity, our role in governance, our past and our future. The Social Matters workshop ran over two days and involved 20 scholars, researchers and practitioners from around the country. The workshop also included one prominent international network actor and scholar who provided expert global perspective and strategic network-building advice.

Related research