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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1996

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0

Case Study - Information

Information systems and fisheries research

Fisheries management in Australia is underpinned by extensive information systems and research programs. Ongoing research is vital to the setting of sustainable harvesting levels and understanding how fishing interacts with the wider aquatic environment. Research programs focus on all aspects of fishing including harvesting, processing, value adding and marketing. Comprehensive data on catch and effort is collected from fishing vessels. Consistent time series data is essential to understanding fish population dynamics and stock assessments but is yet to be assembled in some fisheries. Research efforts on deep water issues are limited by the availability of appropriate technology.

Around $A50 million is spent annually on fisheries research in Australia. In the States and Territories all management agencies are supported by research organisations which provide ongoing services geared to helping fisheries agencies implement sustainable management plans. In the Commonwealth sphere, there are two major fisheries research bodies; the Division of Fisheries belonging to the CSIRO and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). Both these fisheries research bodies have annual budgets of around $A12 to 13 million.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has fisheries research laboratories located in several States and a dedicated ocean going fisheries research vessel, the FRV Southern Surveyor. The CSIRO operates research programs covering mariculture, the marine environment, pelagic fisheries, temperate and deep water fisheries and tropical fisheries. The role of the FRDC is to provide funding for priority fisheries research based on the assessment of competitive applications for grants. Applications are assessed under three major programs; resource sustainability, ecosystem protection and industry development.

While most of the research moneys allocated by the FRDC come from government appropriations, the commercial fishing industry, as the primary beneficiary of research, makes major contributions. During the financial year 1994-95 the industry paid almost $A2.5 million to support the FRDC's research programs. State based industry consultative mechanisms have been established to help advise the FRDC on implementation of its programs and the adoption of research results.

In combination, the range of initiative outlined above will make a valuable contribution to improving the data needed for sustainable management of marine and coastal environments as well as the availability of this data to managers and users of marine and coastal resources.