Enduring and balanced ecological, social and economic growth for the community benefit
As the world’s population grows, so must the range of benefits that come from Australia’s aquatic resources. If managed sustainably, fishing and aquaculture can contribute to growth and diversification, helping Australia achieve its target of growing agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.
Confidence from economic security promotes innovation and new perspectives that will deliver benefits for the wider community. an awareness that prosperity and sustainability are mutually supporting concepts is central to this R&D Plan. unfortunately, Australia’s aquatic ecosystems are under pressure from a variety of activities and influences. Fishing and aquaculture can affect natural systems, yet improved and better-informed management has seen fewer unwanted incidents.
Meanwhile, other threats to ecosystems are now better understood. examples are increased water use, exploration and extraction of minerals and petroleum, climate change, runoff, habitat removal and degradation from urban and agricultural areas, larger amounts of plastics and their impact as well as greater levels of vessel traffic and associated port infrastructure. these pressures can compromise the productivity of Australia’s aquatic systems and fisheries.
The FRDC will explore opportunities to invest in, manage and promote adoption of R&D to:
- support a sustainable, efficient and effective increase in production, value and price,
- guide a coordinated and evidence-based strategy for growth,
- develop more effective and cost-efficient solutions for understanding and responding to biosecurity risks from a changing climate and increased global movement of goods,
- promote a circular economy to remove waste from the processing system, keep products and materials in use and promote the repair of natural systems,
- improve understanding of, and increase community benefits from, fishing and aquaculture,
- better connect Indigenous communities with fishing and aquaculture initiatives to build opportunities for economic security in regional and remote areas where desired,
- improve understanding of the cause and extent of impacts to aquatic systems and what is needed to improve them,
- build skills and networks, including the traditional knowledge, innovation and practices of Indigenous australians to understand, restore and create healthy aquatic ecosystems,
- build partnerships to develop system-wide understanding, and identify ways to maintain and get the most benefits from aquatic systems.
THE FUTURE: Expanding aquaculture
Aquaculture is Australia’s fastest growing form of primary production and will be critical in meeting food security needs, economic targets and nutritional requirements. Yet, expansion of aquaculture is currently limited by various constraints. Increased production further offshore and within closed land-based systems presents challenges, but also opportunities for improving prospects for controlling disease and pathogens.