Project number: 2022-171
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $225,975.00
Principal Investigator: Belinda Yaxley
Organisation: Nautilus Collaboration Pty Ltd
Project start/end date: 30 Aug 2023 - 30 May 2024


The Australian aquaculture industry is faced with a number of environmental, social and governance (ESG) expectations and challenges now and into the future as we see a growing expectation from major retailers and an investor and increasingly government focus on offsetting carbon, nutrients and land. Specific challenges include measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, disease and antibiotic use, use of forage fish in feeds, habitat destruction, fish welfare and husbandry, and effluent discharge. While larger corporate businesses and some sectors have made some progress in these areas, the small-medium business enterprises will require support given they often have little to no resources to measure, report and allocate new funding and action to address ESG challenges. This is particularly important in areas where some of the challenges will become expectation e.g. market access and carbon emissions reporting.
There is a substantial disparity on how key ESG indicators are reported and assured across different sectors of the seafood industry, which is dependent on many different factors. These can include (but are not limited to):

- the size of the enterprise;
- local, State or Federal legislation;
- third-party certification requirements;
- global best practices;
- investor expectations
- export market requirements
- company policies

Consistency of reporting across the industry is vital to improve ESG policy and practices, ensure accountability of organisations, and increase consumer confidence of the seafood sector. A review of ESG challenges, and existing reporting frameworks/incentive programs both nationally and internationally will be key to developing a centralised reporting framework that both satisfies compliance and regulation and leads to tangible improvement outcomes for SME in the ESG space.


1. Desktop Review – ESG Challenges in Australian Aquaculture SME’s.
2. Global Review on incentive schemes
3. Provide recommendations on actionable steps

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