Budget expenditure: $100,100.00
Project Status:
Principal Investigator: Nicki Mazur
Organisation: ENVision Environmental Consulting
Project start/end date: 1 Dec 2019 - 14 Dec 2020
Harvest Strategy
Fisheries Management
Animal Health


Recent research shows general public support for Australia’s fishing industry (Sparks 2017; Voyer et al 2016) that depends on people’s assessments of industry’s commitment to implement best practice and demonstration of being effective environmental stewards (Mazur et al 2014). The FRDC has recognised external pressure for the fishing industry to move beyond compliance with environmental and other regulations and improve its performance in key areas, including animal welfare. As noted above, the FRDC has provided support for a range of research and industry initiatives to achieve positive aquatic animal welfare outcomes. The FRDC also recognises that further improvement to the seafood industry’s aquatic animal welfare practices are required.

Recent FRDC project investments has produced valuable knowledge about how when change is called for it is very important to recognise that multiple factors influence – positively and/or negatively - people’s decisions to take up those new, innovative, and/or different practices (i.e. 2017-133, 2017-046, 2017-221). These factors typically include personal values and belief systems, access to different kinds of resources required to make changes, particular features of the recommended practices, as well as a range of macro-levels factors that while they may be outside of people’s direct control still affect their choices. FRDC Project 2017-133 generated important insights about how and to what extent these kinds of factors have been keeping the seafood industry from making more substantive progress towards building greater stakeholder and community trust (Mazur & Brooks 2018).

Further work of this nature is now needed to shed greater light on aquatic animal welfare in the seafood industry (FRDC 2017-221). In particular the research should be focused on identifying the particular features of ‘best care’ for aquatic animals, the range of factors that may be obstructing industry members’ use of those practices, and examples of recent (extension) initiatives used to encourage better aquatic animal welfare.


1. Identifying best practice in (aquatic) animal welfare.
2. Identify the extent to which fishers and aquaculture farms are applying best practice in Australia
3. Identify factors impeding the uptake and adoption of a selection of recommended aquatic animal welfare practices in wild-catch commercial fishing and aquaculture
4. Identify appropriate strategies to mitigate obstacles to improved uptake and adoption of those recommended practices
5. Help build the Australian fishing industry's capacity to design and implement extension programs, especially those targeting increased uptake and adoption of recommended aquatic animal welfare practices
6. Contribute to increased likelihood of more widespread and enduring practice-change in the fishing industry's aquatic animal welfare practices in wild-catch commercial fishing and aquaculture

Related research


SeSAFE – Delivering Industry Safety through Electronic Learning

1. INFORM, via an independent review, the design and application of user-pay funding models in Australian primary industries, the potential for a similar model to be introduced by SeSAFE in the fishing and aquaculture industry, and steps recommended to realise this outcome.
Smart Fishing Consulting