Project number: 2019-143
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $111,932.00
Principal Investigator: Julie K. Brimblecombe
Organisation: Monash University Clayton Campus
Project start/end date: 29 Apr 2021 - 30 Oct 2022


Development of Aboriginal fishing businesses in the Northern Territory is aiming to improve the livelihoods of community members by providing access to a nutritious, diverse and culturally significant food supply. At both global and national levels, organisations are advocating for health to be considered in all policy (WHO, 2013). The objectives of the proposed research are to understand from an Indigenous knowledge domain the nutritional health and wellbeing benefits of seafood. This information can therefore support future considerations of nutrition and health benefits in policy and ensure that health and related unintentional impacts of policies are at least considered in the policy making process in fisheries development. There is an ongoing need for Indigenous grounded approaches to be implemented to improve the diet and nutritional programs in Aboriginal communities (e.g. government programs, Aboriginal Health organisations and school nutrition). It is anticipated that this research will be relevant to a wide range of stakeholders involved in addressing the nutritional and health outcomes in communities through promotion of seafood in diets. The western biomedical health benefits of seafood are widely known globally and nationally (FRDC, 2004). However, the relationships between Indigenous health and wellbeing and seafood in an Indigenous knowledge domain is not well understood. The proposed research aims to address this knowledge gap though a multidimensional approach including localised documentation and representation of Indigenous knowledges of the nutritional health and wellbeing benefits values and meanings of seafood and nutritional analysis of fish and seafood species. This approach will bring together two knowledges in a culturally appropriate manner to better promote a holistic understanding of nutritional benefits of seafood.

The outcome of the research will contribute new knowledge to ensure the development of Indigenous fisheries is sensitive to health, nutritional and wellbeing values and meanings of culturally important seafood. This research project is funded by the Fisheries Research Development Corporation (FRDC project 2019-143) on behalf of the Australian Government and is being implemented in partnership with Monash University, Charles Darwin University and Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and Traditional Aboriginal Owners from the Maningrida region in the Northern Territory. Project investigators are Associate Professor Julie Brimblecombe, Associate Professor Natasha Stacey, and PhD candidate Beau Cubillo.


1. To document Indigenous knowledges on the understanding of the nutritional health and wellbeing benefits and the value and meanings of locally caught and consumed seafood
2. To develop outputs (e.g. poster, booklet) based on Aboriginal knowledge and nutrition profiling of identified seafood species for inter-generational knowledge transfer
3. To develop a conceptual framework to bring together and represent the components and values of Indigenous knowledges of the nutritional health and wellbeing benefits of seafood

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