Marine policy in Australia has had a protracted and chequered history. Developments for the most part have concentrated upon jurisdictional issues and resource regimes . Since fundamental questions of this nature have been finally settled there has emerged a recent, second wave of interestboth governmental and academicin refining marine policy and resource management . Australias Oceans Policy, released in late December 1998, is the culmination of intellectual efforts in relation to oceans resources policy and decision making. Oceans Policy is an ambitious and challenging attempt to establish a policy framework for integrating oceans management decisions across industry sectors and government jurisdictions. As such, the policy framework is the most important development in marine resource management in the past twenty-five years, presaging changes to the management of all ocean resources, of which fisheries are a major element.
Management of Australian fisheries has also undergone substantial parallel changes in the 1990s. These changes are most evident in the introduction of ITQ systems and other output controls in place of the traditional methods of management, such as input controls through limited entry to fisheries, or gear and /or vessel restrictions. A further change has been the shifting emphasis towards improving the sustainability of fisheries, as mandated by the requirement that Commonwealth fisheries must be managed in accordance with principles of ecologically sustainable development. This increased focus on ecosystem approaches to management has emerged as a driver in fisheries policy. Developments in broader government policies, primarily through the implementation of Australias Oceans Policy, reinforce the requirement that fisheries policy and management needs to reorient towards an ecosystem-based approach.
This project has been developed in response to recognised imperatives arising from the release of Australias Oceans Policy, and work on Australian fisheries management by the principal investigator with the Fisheries and Aquaculture Branch (FAB) within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry . As such, the project builds upon existing linkages between the partners and is designed to support high quality postgraduate research that contributes to current policy priorities and management actions for Commonwealth fisheries.
The outcomes will include the development of an implementation strategy for fisheries management within regional marine plans; a framework for resolving conflicts between fisheries management and other sectoral uses, and an assessment of alternative policy instruments for use in fisheries management within a regional marine planning framework.
Authorised by the Interim Head of School, Social Sciences
16 August, 2011