We propose a multi-stage project that will cumulate in a feasibility study that directly addresses the identified research priority, namely of understanding how spat seeding could enhance NSW’s pipi stocks. Our proposal will provide detailed information towards FRDC’s strategic outcome 1 (Growth for enduring prosperity) and strategic outcome 2 (Best practices and production systems). This project would benefit all states with existing and emerging pipi fisheries.
Developing cost-effective techniques that can enhance wild capture fisheries offers industry greater surety of catch and even fishery growth potential as inter-annual variation and longer-term catch trends can be managed. In turn, stock enhancement can lead to greater economic security to industry. Indeed, feedback from pipi fishers in NSW and VIC has emphasised how the current high variability in catch coming from a low catch base greatly impacts their capacity to supply customers and make positive longer-term business decisions. Fishery enhancement can also play a vital role in helping to manage the ecological impacts of wild harvest as stock depletion is less likely to occur. Our proposal explicitly includes an assessment of regulatory frameworks and biosecurity regulations to help facilitate the sustainable implementation of any proposed large-scale pipi seeding.