The Northern Territory wild-catch barramundi Lates calcarifer fishery
: a comparative investigation of the social, cultural, economic and environmental values of key stakeholders

  • Brian James Cluney

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    This paper describes the issues of importance surrounding the management of a valuable natural resource, the Northern Territory's wild catch Barramundi fishery. The perspectives of commercial fishers, recreational anglers, and Indigenous resource users have been examined in a comparative investigation of the social, cultural, economic and environmental values of the fishery. The project partially addresses a lack of information and integration of the issues surrounding this valuable fishery by describing the key issues in a single concise study. Some of the concerns, conflicts and cooperation in the management of specific international fisheries with similar situations and constraints have been included as useful comparisons. As well as describing past and present management regimes, resource allocation, economic values, environmental and sustainability concerns and socio-cultural values, the study makes a number of conclusions. Monitoring of the fishery indicates that overall the Barramundi fishery is presently well managed compared to other wild catch fisheries internationally and within Australian waters. Fish stocks are in good health and are considered biologically secure from overexploitation; stakeholders have reasonable access to the resource; there is little evidence that cultural and social values of the fishery are being compromised through favouring one stakeholder group above another; and cooperation and consultation among stakeholders in managing the resource is becoming an increasingly adopted paradigm. Having noted this, there appear to be examples of conflict within the fishery, resolution of which would lead to better resource management, social cohesion and improved environmental outcomes. As a response to stakeholder conflict in recent years, progressive Northern Tenitory governments have been shifting the direction of fisheries management from a purely economic model to a mixed management regime. Ultimately the question remains as to how fisheries managers will value the resource differently in the future as successful altemati ves to wild capture (such as aquaculture) are developed, and the economic, social, cultural and environmental values associated with the noncommercial exploitation of wild Barramundi are realised.
    Date of Award2004
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPascal Tremblay (Supervisor) & Penny Wurm (Supervisor)

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