R&D Plan Outcome 4: Fair and secure access to aquatic resources

Integrated management of Australia’s aquatic resources, providing certainty and confidence

IconAccess to aquatic resources, guided by good management, is fundamental for the continued delivery of economic and social benefits such as food, income, employment, recreation and cultural identity for all Australians. however, resource sharing among users can be contentious. as the ‘blue economy’ takes shape and seafood species move in response to a changing climate, Australia’s seascapes are likely to become busier and more contested.

Optimising benefits for the Australian community means sharing resources fairly using open and evidence-based processes within the limits of sustainability.

Decision making on the management of aquatic resources sometimes occurs without a multi-sector view and the associated context necessary to ensure that the Australian community receives the best value from any decisions made. this has led — at times — to trade-offs, environmental impacts, unnecessary complexity, ineffectiveness, inefficiency and increased costs.

To assist, the FRDC will explore opportunities to invest in R&D to:

  • support increasingly integrated and effective management of Australia’s aquatic resources,
  • promote development and adoption of management measures that are well suited for resilience to change, including:
    • harvest strategies that are flexible to take account for the dynamic nature of resource use,
    • flexible spatial arrangements, decision-making tools better able to transparently deal with biological variability, climate change, harvest uncertainty, management of revenue volatility and risks,
    • management approaches that aim for fairness,
    • participative management across Australia’s fisheries to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
An image of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals this Outcome is aligned with: 8, 9, 10, 14 & 16.

THE FUTURE: A busy aquatic landscape
Australia’s aquatic environment is governed by a complex series of rules, zones and reserves that apply to its many diverse users. Research and development that moves efforts towards an integrated, system-wide approach for managing these vast water resources would help ensure that the objectives, programs and measures are consistent across different users.

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