Baseline Socio-Economic Data for Queensland East Coast Inshore and Rocky Reef Fishery Stakeholders. Part D: Seafood Consumers

Tobin, R.C., Beggs, K., Sutton, S.G., and Penny, A. (2010) Baseline Socio-Economic Data for Queensland East Coast Inshore and Rocky Reef Fishery Stakeholders. Part D: Seafood Consumers. Report. Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Queensland’s East Coast Inshore and Rocky Reef Finfish Fisheries are important for commercial, charter and recreational fisheries, as well as Queensland seafood consumers. With a new Management Plan in development during this project for the East Coast Inshore Finish Fishery (the ‘Inshore Fishery’), and a revision of management for the Rocky Reef Finfish Fishery (the ‘Rocky Reef Fishery’) planned for the future, an opportunity arose to collect baseline socio-economic data for stakeholders of these fisheries prior to management change – ‘stakeholders’ including seafood consumers. This baseline data would provide the opportunity to assess the impacts of management change, and to also initiate a process of long-term socio-economic monitoring. Such monitoring would allow ongoing assessment of local seafood consumers.

This report (Part D) outlines the baseline data for Queensland seafood consumers. Baseline data were collected via fisher surveys in 2008 plus collation of existing data from other sources, prior to implementation of the new Inshore Fishery Management Plan. The baseline data also provide a test of many of the socio-economic indicators listed by fishery stakeholders in a workshop prior to the surveys. A brief summary of the most pertinent findings are provided here.

A very high proportion (91%) of the Queensland coastal population consumes fresh seafood, from a range of age groups and household types. Consumers are slightly dominated by those over 40 years of age, households with no dependents, and higher income households in the south-east of the State. The consumers surveyed prefer Queensland, wild-caught species, mostly accessed via purchase through seafood stores and supermarkets, but also through their own, or their family’s, recreational fishing. Of the small proportion of consumers who did not purchase seafood at all in the previous 12 months, most stated it was because they had enough due to their own or their family or friends’ catches, or they did not trust the freshness of bought seafood.

Queensland consumers clearly prefer Queensland wild-caught seafood and are willing to pay more to buy it. Most consumers are satisfied with the quality and price of seafood and the availability of their preferred species, although they don’t consume their preferred species as often as their general seafood consumption. Results suggest it is likely that price has an influence on purchasing behaviour. Consumers also stated they take environmental concerns into consideration when choosing what type of seafood to buy, but more investigation is needed into what environmental issues consumers consider and how this influences their purchasing behaviour.

Consumers are interested in fisheries issues, although few hear about them often, and very few are involved in public consultation or are likely to get involved in the future. The level of knowledge consumers have about regulations and revision of management is very low. Consumers appear divided or unsure about whether they receive fair treatment in management decisions.

Results reveal the importance of Queensland fisheries, including the Inshore and Rocky Reef Fisheries, to Queensland coastal seafood consumers. Any change in commercial fisheries will have significant consequences for Queensland seafood consumers, and any changes in consumer preferences will likely also have consequences for commercial fisheries. Consumers are currently not specifically included as a stakeholder in fisheries management, but results presented suggest this should be considered.

Item ID: 11770
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 9780980688191
Keywords: Inshore Fishery; Rocky Reef Fishery; seafood consumers; Queensland east coast; socio-economics; demographics; indicators; fisheries management; consultation
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Additional Information:

Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre Technical Report No 8.

FRDC Project No. 2007/048.

Funders: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Projects and Grants: FRDC 2007/048 Towards Evaluating the Socio-economic Impacts of Changes to Queensland’s Inshore Fishery Management
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2010 04:08
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830201 Fisheries Recreational @ 20%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 80%
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