Australian fisheries resources

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Book Chapter

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McPhee, D.P. (2016) Australian fisheries resources. In T. Hundloe, S. Blagrove, & H. Ditton. ( Eds.), Australia’s role in feeding the world (pp. 117- 122).Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

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© Professor Tor Hundloe, Sarah Blagrove and Hannah Ditton 2016


9781486305896 (paperback) 9781486305902 (epdf) 9781486305919 (epub)




All Australian states and the Northern Territory produce seafood from both the wild fishery and aquaculture. Aquaculture is divided into on-land seafood production (such as prawn farms cut into low land near the sea) and off-shore fish-farming in cages. In Australia the latter is dominated by the farming of salmon in Tasmania and the grow-out of tuna at Port Lincoln in South Australia. Fish farming off-shore is called mariculture. For brevity and in keeping with convention, we will use ‘aquaculture’ to refer to all forms of non-wild catch fisheries. Wild-capture fishing is the closest we get to hunting and gathering in the modern era. This makes people involved in fisheries unique in the 21st century. Aquaculture is comparable to feedlot farming of cattle, although in the case of oysters and mussels food does not have to be provided by humans. As the wild-capture fisheries, both in Australia and globally, are being fished to their maximum sustainable level (with a very small number possibly under this limit and some overseas ones beyond the limit), the increasing demand for seafood driven by population growth and change in diets will have to be met by fish-farming.

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