Harvesting a Southern Blue-fin Tuna
Australia's National Aquaculture Council (NAC) has welcomed the release of several key reports completed as part of the Aquaculture Industry Action Agenda. Senator Ian Macdonald, Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, launched the on-line reports during the sixth meeting of the Aquaculture Industry Action Agenda Implementation Committee at Parliament House in Canberra.
The reports were commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under direction of several of the ten specific initiatives that comprise the Aquaculture Industry Action Agenda. The Action Agenda is a joint Australian Government / industry initiative with the goal of tripling the value of Australian aquaculture product to $2.5 Billion by the end of this decade.
The reports have come under close scrutiny of the Implementation Committee, of which Senator Ian Macdonald is chair. The Committee has also sought the views of others within the aquaculture industry to help identify the key issues.
The much anticipated Bureau of Rural Science final report on the Community Perceptions of Aquaculture was also released. The report indicates a clear difference in the levels of acceptance in two communities in which aquaculture plays a pivotal role. This clearly emphasises the need for aquaculture operations to better engage with the community that they operate in.
One of the recommendations put forward in the reports is the development of best practice guidelines on ecological sustainable development for each of the major aquaculture sectors. These would provide the tools for industry to demonstrate their high level of commitment regarding economic, social and environmental responsibility.
An Action Plan is now being developed by the Implementation Committee through the NAC. The Action Plan takes the key recommendations from the reports. The Committee is working on prioritizing the recommendations contained (but not limited to) the reports, identifying who is responsible and the resources required to make the plan a reality.
The following reports are now available to download from www.australian-aquacultureportal.com:
• Ecological Sustainable Development Report: “Growing Aquaculture within an Ecological Sustainable Framework”, by Maunsell [PDF]
• Research and Innovation Report: “Tackling the Research and Innovation Challenges”, by Ridge Partners [PDF]
• Education and Training Report: “Making the Most of Education, Training and Workplace Opportunities”, by AMC Search [PDF]
• Community Perceptions of Aquaculture [PDF]
The NAC encourages anyone with an interest in the future of the aquaculture industry to comment on the reports. Feedback can be provided directly to the NAC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph Courtesy of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority [Source:National Aquaculture Council]