Local fishers would support 'buy local' campaign
Seafood growers in Broken Bay and Brisbane Water are eager to join a Buy Local Seafood campaign started by a local MP.
Mr Dean Whitten from Whitten's Organic Oysters said he was sure farmers and fishers working out of Brisbane Water and Broken Bay would be interested in being involved in a Buy Local Campaign.
Such a campaign was launched by the NSW Member for The Entrance, Mr David Mehan, in conjunction with local fishermen on Tuggerah Lakes following the findings of a report into commercial fishing conducted by the University of Technology Sydney.
According to the report, 91 per cent of local residents believed it was important to have a regional fishing industry and 93 per cent believed that buying locally sourced fish was better for the community.
The report indicated that the professional fishing industry was a critically important part of the local economy, with the industry adding $18.6 million to the region's Gross Regional Product.
The study did not indicate the proportion of that amount contributed by the Peninsula's commercial fishers.
The combined efforts of the Broken Bay, Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes fishers made the Central Coast second only to the Great Lakes in terms of valued added to the local economy from the industry.
Household income generated from the local fishing industry and the employment it provided were also significant.
Of all regions where commercial fishing provided employment, the Central Coast's industry provided the third highest number of jobs at 209 but fishers on the Central Coast had more household income to spend from the industry at $10.3 million than fishers from any other region.
Despite the industry's contribution to the local economy, the report found that across the state, the Central Coast community had one of the lowest frequencies of purchasing local seafood (local defined in the report as within a 100km radius).
The report determined these preferences were strongly linked to the geographical location of the respondents, with 52 per cent of Central Coast residents more likely to prefer Australian seafood over the 21 per cent who prefer local seafood.
A further 33 per cent of Central Coast residents reported they rarely purchased local seafood, the highest result in the state.
The report found there was a high level of confidence in the sustainability of the industry amongst those directly engaged with it, though this was met by a "moderate level of trust" by the community.
The Central Coast community expressed the second-lowest level of trust in the sustainability of the local fishing industry across NSW communities with local fisheries.
Residents of the Central Coast's fishing villages along the Hawkesbury River expressed high levels of concern over the loss of community identity if fishing were to be further restricted.
Media release, 18 Jan 2017
David Mehan, NSW Member for The Entrance
Report, Sep 2016
Michelle Voyer and others, University of Technology Sydney