Project number: 2017-186
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $426,973.59
Principal Investigator: Carli Telfer
Organisation: Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc (WAFIC)
Project start/end date: 30 Apr 2018 - 29 Jun 2021


The commercial fishing industry is under intense pressure from the O&G sector (exploration, seismic surveys, deployment of gear and now decommissioning of gear), jeopardising commercial fishing access rights, commercial fishing sustainability and potential commercial fishing resource impacts (such as Bass Strait scallop mortality) and overarching impacts on the broader marine environment (such as plankton mortality) for many fisheries.

The O&G industry also seeks relevant science to use within their environment plan submissions to offer the best ALARP practices regarding their interactions with the commercial fishing sector and the commercial fishing resource.

There is an urgent need for a national role coordinating O&G / commercial fishing specific R&D needs, seeking and updating available material and identifying gaps in the science with all materials to be available via a publicly accessible portal. Benefits for commercial fishers, O&G, eNGOs, students and the broader community.

Primary focus seismic activities plus other relevant science.

Current O&G / commercial fishing industry engagement is done in isolation with an inconsistent use of research (relevant or otherwise), inconsistent process, lack of uniformity of overarching messaging, lack of access to current and appropriate research and the duplication of work across all states.


1. Deliver a publicly accessible portal - a "one stop shop" for seismic research bibliographies, case studies and other relevant commercial fishing O&G information etc.
2. Deliver ongoing identification and qualification of relevant research papers and reference cases including annotated summaries to ensure relevance for ready and easy access by the commercial fishing sector, O&G and the broader community.
3. Deliver a set number of supported research applications relevant to the effects of oil and gas activities on commercial fishing / commercial fishing stocks etc, i.e. gap analysis and prioritisation.
4. Deliver a "best practice" document for commercial fishing representative bodies to use as a strong base for environment plan submissions.
5. Deliver a "best practice" document for commercial fishing representative bodies to use as a strong base and consistent process for fee-for-service environment plan consultation.

Related research


SeSAFE – Delivering Industry Safety through Electronic Learning

1. INFORM, via an independent review, the design and application of user-pay funding models in Australian primary industries, the potential for a similar model to be introduced by SeSAFE in the fishing and aquaculture industry, and steps recommended to realise this outcome.
Smart Fishing Consulting