Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hooked On Fish - Part 3

Joining the Dots - or Towards The End of Dotocracy. 

     Australian Aquaculture can best be described as an exciting industry, with a great deal of effort being applied to a wide variety of enterprises and potential enterprises, but without a central strategy to guide its development.  It is like a child's dot drawing - a large number of dots, perhaps a vague impression of what it might look like, but no real effort to join the dots.  Perhaps, because of the large involvement of state and commonwealth governments preparing their own concepts and "protect-our-patch" strategies, it might be called a "Dotocracy".       

     Let's look at just some of the dots forming our Dotocracy:

  • the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF) has developed their "Best practice framework of regulatory arrangements for aquaculture in Australia". The introduction to this "framework" commences with the following statement "The Aquaculture Industry Action Agenda (AIAA) is a strategic framework between industry and the Australian Government to assist the Australian aquaculture industry achieve its vision of $2.5 billion in sales by 2010. The AIAA contains a set of ten strategic initiatives to work towards this goal. Strategic Initiative 2 is the promotion of a regulatory and business environment that supports aquaculture. This is supported by a National Aquaculture Policy Statement which was developed and agreed to by all States, Territories and the Commonwealth Government in 2003.  Around the same time that implementation of the AIAA commenced, the Productivity Commission initiated a research paper titled 'Assessing Environmental Regulatory Arrangements for Aquaculture'. The purpose of the Commission Research Paper was to assess the planning and environmental regulatory arrangements covering marine and land-based aquaculture production in Australia.".......and so on.  You, perhaps, start to get the idea (wonder how the $2.5 billion/2010 thing is going).  But wait, there's more!

  • and, of course, don't forget the National Aquaculture Council and its Strategy, mentioned in Part 1.

     So, there we have it, folks.  The above is just a small sample of what is out there in aquaculture land.  Over the last decade, or so, there has been a large amount of work done, lots of fine words and good intentions, some progress, but not nearly enough!  Most of that progress has been the result of the hard work and risk taken by private entrepreneurs, notwithstanding the growing Dotocracy surrounding them.  Companies large and small, such as Cell AquacultureClean Seas TunaHuon Aquaculture and Taylor Made Fish Farms, (whom I must thank for the photographs) to name just a few, have carried the torch.  

     Why is all this important?  Feeding ourselves and others, reducing imports and protecting marine natural resources are just part of it.  There is much more!  But none of it will happen if we don't first join the dots.


Next.......Part 4.....and finis..


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