On 12 August, the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian MacFarlane MP, launched the National Marine Science Plan 2015-2025 (the plan), a 10 year marine science plan to support the development of Australia’s blue economy. A blue economy balances economic benefits of the oceans with the need to safeguard their long term health.
By 2025, Australia’s marine industries are forecast to contribute about $100 billion each year to Australia’s economy, with Australia’s ocean and coasts providing an additional $25 billion worth of ecosystem services. The plan identifies food security as one of seven grand challenges, along with biodiversity conservation and environmental health.
Commercial, recreational and indigenous fishing will play important roles in supporting Australia’s blue economy, as will aquaculture. The plan identifies national research goals to support sustainable expansion in fisheries and aquaculture.
Over 500 people were involved in the development of the National Marine Science Plan 2015-2025: Driving the development of our blue economy, including marine scientists, the commercial fishing industry, other stakeholders and government agencies. AFMA was a member of the working group that helped develop the plan.
The National Marine Science Plan is available on the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s website.