Commercial fishing in New South Wales is a diverse and valuable industry that draws on a natural resource to generate livelihoods, food and purpose for those involved directly and indirectly. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is seeking to better understand these economic and social values of the industry and has established a monitoring program to track how they change over time.
NSW DPI has engaged BDO EconSearch to produce an annual time series of economic and social indicators for NSW commercial fisheries. A report will be produced for each fishery for the financial years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.
BDO EconSearch is an independent group of researchers with experience monitoring economic and social indicators for fisheries in Australia. Economic and social indicators provide valuable information for the fishing industry, fisheries managers and other stakeholders.
Economic indicators can help to understand the profitability of the industry and how the state’s resources are being used to deliver economic benefits to our regional communities and our state as a whole.
For a quick overview of the benefits economic research can provide for commercial fisheries you are encouraged to watch the short video below.
The reports for the 2019/20 financial year for each fishery and the state as a whole are now available.
In the coming weeks BDO EconSearch will be contacting commercial fishers seeking participation in a short business survey that will inform the development of economic and social indicators for the 2020/21 financial year.
Increased participation in the business survey will assist to build a time series of economic and social indicators to enable monitoring of change through time.
DPI has engaged BDO EconSearch to produce an annual time series of economic and social indicators for NSW commercial fisheries for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years.
Economic and social indicators provide valuable information for the fishing industry, fisheries managers and other stakeholders.
Estuary General, Estuary Prawn Trawl, Ocean Trap and Line, Ocean Trawl, Ocean Hauling, Lobster, Sea Urchin and Turban Shell and Abalone fisheries.
The Economic and Social Indicators reports will provide commercial fishers and the community with valuable data on the economic and social values of the NSW commercial fishing industry which will help inform discussions and decisions about fisheries management in NSW.
By establishing a monitoring program, DPI will be able to track and better understand how the economic and social values of the NSW commercial fishing industry change over time
Yes, the report was produced for DPI by economic research and consulting firm BDO EconSearch.
A report will be produced for each fishery for three financial years - 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22
The reports for the 2019/20 financial year for each commercial fishery and the state as a whole are now available on the NSW DPI website.
The results of the reports revealed that the NSW commercial fisheries contributed an estimated $172.5m in Gross State Product and 1,625 full-time equivalent jobs to the NSW economy, despite significant challenges in 2019-20 due to the impact of bushfires, floods and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key social indicators highlighted in the reports show that overall, fishing activities are making a significant, positive contribution to the satisfaction and personal wellbeing of NSW commercial fishers.
The Gross value of production for the total catch across all NSW fisheries in 2019/20 was $91.9m at beach price. Ocean Trawl and Estuary General were the biggest contributors with $26.2 million and $23 million respectively. Ocean Trawl also had the highest export value with $4.4 million.
Net economic return is the long-run profit from a fishery after all costs have been met, including fuel, paid and unpaid labour, repairs, maintenance, fishery management charges, depreciation and the opportunity cost of capital. Most of these costs are outside the influence of DPI.
The report estimated net economic return to be in the range of -$2.7m to -$16.6m for the state as a whole. There was a range of levels of net economic return across the fisheries ranging from $1.8m (Lobster) to -$7.4m (Ocean Trawl).
The impact on net economic return is not unexpected following an industry-wide reform, particularly during a period with significant disruptions to trade from COVID impacts, bushfires and floods.
Building a time series of economic indicators and increasing participation in the business survey will provide a better understanding of changes in NSW commercial fisheries net economic return into the future.
This is due to some fisheries not being reported upon by BDO (e.g., Southern Fish Trawl and Inland), past industry GVP estimates being calculated solely on average Sydney Fish Market prices and BDO using price data from fishing business surveys, data that is not available to DPI.
BDO EconSearch relied upon the voluntary cooperation of NSW commercial fishers in providing data to inform the development of the economic and social indicators in the reports. This is the first time this data has been collected and is likely to improve over time.
DPI Fisheries is making a significant effort to engage NSW commercial fishers in consultation processes and demonstrate transparency in the fisheries management decision-making process, including: