Global, Regional and National Perspectives
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Nigel Bankes, Irene Dahl and David L.DahlVanderZwaag VanderZwaag
Chapter 7: Australian aquaculture
Aquaculture landings are an increasingly significant element of Australia’s fisheries production. In ‘2012–13 the wild-catch sector was valued at [AUD]1.4 billion, representing 57 per cent of Australian total fisheries production, and the aquaculture sector contributed [AUD]1 billion (43 per cent) to total fisheries production’. Fisheries and aquaculture are ‘Australia’s fifth most valuable food industry after meat, grains and oilseeds, fruit and vegetables, and milk’. While the value and production of this sector has grown markedly over the past two decades, the regulatory and policy framework governing this activity remains fragmented. At the same time this framework must address and assess a number of emerging issues including the impacts of climate variability and change, ocean acidification, siting and operations, and environmental impacts of activities, and provide a means to balance between aquaculture needs and other legitimate uses of coastal and marine areas. This latter issue centers on the concept of ‘social licence’, emphasizing that notwithstanding the importance of the legal framework, the policy settings and associated ‘politics’ within the broad framework are complex.
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