Aquaculture provides major benefits to coastal communities

Image: NSW DPI

A NEW report has outlined all the benefits aquaculture provides for rural and regional communities. 

NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Deputy Director of General Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan, said the Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Aquaculture has been prepared by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).

“The report highlights the close relationship between aquaculture and coastal communities and is only the second known Australian study of its kind into the industry’s contributions to community wellbeing,” Allan said.

“Aquaculture plays a significant role in NSW providing employment and contributing to regional economies, with more than 1,750 full-time jobs in NSW in 2013-14.

“The economic output for aquaculture and the flow-on effect to seafood processing and retail businesses was $226 million in 2013-14.

Allan believes we need to think differently about how we assess the NSW aquaculture industry because it contributes much more to communities than just the “farm gate” value of production.

“Aquaculture contributes to community wellbeing through local employment, environmental stewardship including the protection of water quality, and provision of sustainable seafood,” he said.

The report will be used by government in the assessment of new developments to ensure the principles of ecologically sustainable development are met and that the social aspects of any development are considered. 

It also provides the community with a comprehensive information source of the contribution that aquaculture makes to coastal NSW.

The Social and Economic Evaluation of NSW Coastal Aquaculture report is available on the NSW DPI website.

Image: NSW DPI

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