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Pitfalls and benefits of involving industry in fisheries research: A case study of the live reef fish industry in Queensland, Australia

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Jones, A., Slade, S.J., Williams, A.J., Mapstone, B.D. and Kane, K.J. (2008) Pitfalls and benefits of involving industry in fisheries research: A case study of the live reef fish industry in Queensland, Australia. Ocean and Coastal Management, 50 (5-6). pp. 428-442.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2006.09.002


Including collaboration with industry members as an integral part of research activities is a relatively new approach to fisheries research. Earlier approaches to involving fishers in research usually involved compulsory accommodations of research, such as through compulsory observer programs, in which fishers were seen as subjects of rather than participants in research. This new approach brings with it significant potential benefits but also some unique issues both for the researchers and the participating industry members. In this paper we describe a research project involving the Queensland Coral Reef Finfish Fishery that originated from industry and community concerns about changes in marketing practices in an established commercial line fishery. A key aspect of this project was industry collaboration in all stages of the research, from formulation of objectives to assistance with interpretation of results. We discuss this research as a case study of some of the issues raised by collaboration between industry and research groups in fisheries research and the potential pitfalls and benefits of such collaborations for all parties. A dedicated liaison and extension strategy was a key element in the project to develop and maintain the relationships between fishers and researchers that were fundamental to the success of the collaboration. A major research benefit of the approach was the provision of information not available from other sources: 300 days of direct and unimpeded observation of commercial fishing by researchers; detailed catch and effort records from a further 126 fishing trips; and 53 interviews completed with fishers. Fishers also provided extensive operational information about the fishery as well as ongoing support for subsequent research projects. The time and resources required to complete the research in this consultative framework were greater than for more traditional, researcher-centric fisheries research, but the benefits gained far outweighed the costs.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords:Industry; case study; live reef fish industry; Queensland; Australia.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Live Archive:05 Feb 2009 05:05
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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