People feel good about using the products, services and experiences provided by fishing and aquaculture
Community support is essential if Australia’s fisheries are to grow and prosper. aquaculture activities also need the approval and trust of local residents, given the sector’s aspirations for growth into new coastal waters. achieving and retaining this support means that fishing and aquaculture need to show that using publicly owned resources can co-exist with community values and also deliver benefits to them.
FRDC research (Alexander et al., 2020) determined the main reasons for society’s support of fishing and aquaculture. they included that:
- Government is seen to have a strong oversight of the sector and there are fair decision-making processes in place,
- operations are acting in alignment with social norms, have a level of visibility and there is evidence of sustainable and responsible practices,
- sectors are building relationships, connecting with the community and communicating effectively,
- fishing and aquaculture work together, using alliances and partnerships to resolve issues,
- there is a shared vision, with benefits being generated and distributed to the Australian community.
The FRDC will explore opportunities to invest in, manage and promote adoption of R&D to:
- motivate action across sectors to achieve a shared vision,
- nurture relationships and communications between stakeholders and with the community,
- encourage the use of transparent decision-making tools and best practice in the management of fisheries and aquaculture to ensure a fair distribution of economic and societal benefits,
- improve seafood traceability and integrity from capture through to end user.
THE FUTURE: Restorative aquatic farming
FRDC research has identified that communities look for sustainable practices and operations which are in alignment with social norms. Ocean-based mixed farming systems that grow multiple ‘crops’ in the same area are a win/win, allowing nutrients from growing fish to be used by seaweeds and shellfish that improve water quality and provide additional products for a growing market. They also have an added benefit of providing habitat for the wild fish that share these aquatic spaces.