Project number: 2021-034
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $99,000.00
Principal Investigator: Katherine Winchester
Organisation: Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC)
Project start/end date: 24 Feb 2022 - 27 Oct 2022


This project seeks to position the NT seafood industry to have a clear understanding of suitable and cost effective, valued systems and processes for adoption. It is the critical first step required to aid a shift in the behaviour and culture from a government driven data collection process for legislative purposes, to a process that is trusted and valued by industry to deliver data insights beyond regulatory requirements. As a result, it will help position the NT wild harvest and aquaculture sectors with securing access, investment and development opportunities.

Current negotiations for access to Aboriginal-owned tidal waters have reached a critical point. A gap exists in understanding what level of industry adjustment might be required to ensure Indigenous investment in the industry is not unnecessarily impacted. Better understanding the full value of the NT seafood industry to the NT community could assist with all strategic decisions related to Blue Mud Bay negotiations, infrastructure investments – and help support investment in the industry going forward.

Without a plan to enhance the visibility of the wider socio-economic value and benefits of our industry, we will continue to face increasing pressure on our social licence to operate – which has the potential to impact all aspects of the local industry, including access, industry structure and increased fees. It will also limit our ability to identify the best opportunities for future growth and sustainability.

Further, there is limited availability of current financial and economic information for our individual NT wild harvest fisheries and sector specific aquaculture activities. Due to this lack of information there is little scope for economic analysis, hence limiting opportunities for providing advice to policy and decision makers.


1. Consolidate a methodology for ongoing valuation reporting and capacity for impact assessment of the NT's seafood industry via application of the FRDC’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry social and economic contributions study
2. In consultation with the relevant fishery sectors and the NT Government prepare a list of agreed economic indicators for annual reporting
3. Establish a set of protocols with NTG to provide, on an annual basis, the data already collected and held by NTG that will underpin the preparation of annual economic indicators
4. Develop a program/schedule for undertaking an economic survey of concession holders in NT commercial fisheries

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