Joint media release: $350,000 for sustainability in the seafood industry

6 April 2022

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, the Hon David Littleproud MP
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator the Hon Jonno Duniam


  • $350,000 to improve prosperity and sustainability in the Australian seafood industry.
  • Part of the Government’s $136 million Smart Farms program.
  • Smart Farms is part of the larger National Landcare Program, a key part of our long-standing commitment to natural resource management.

A new $350,000 project will help to improve sustainability in the Australian seafood industry.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the grant is part of the Australian Government’s $136 million Smart Farms program.

“This project works to improve the long-term prosperity of commercial fishers and the sustainability and diversity of our national fisheries,” Minister Littleproud said. 

“These are complementary goals that drive better outcomes for the industry and the environment.

“Delivered through not-for-profit organisation OceanWatch, the project will allow professional fishers and oyster farmers to better understand the value of enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality.

“The Smart Farms program is part of the larger $1.1 billion National Landcare Program, a pillar of the Australian Government’s long-standing commitment to natural resource management.”

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the project will help Australian fishers and oyster farmers meet consumer needs for sustainable and quality products.

“This project builds on the government’s commitment to an environmentally responsible and sustainable fishing industry,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“As part of the WetFEET project the funding will assist fishers and oyster farmers to embed best-practice into their operations; improve their marketing and communication strategies; and provide practical assistance such as harvest methods suitable for consumption by coastal communities. 

“This project has identified seafood industry needs and, through training and practical activities, will assist fishers and oyster farmers in understanding the challenges and opportunities for improving social license, market access, and profitability and sustainability for the seafood industry.”

Fast Facts:

  • The project will demonstrate responsible practice in the Victorian Abalone Fishery; develop four communities of practice to improve the ability to nationally share knowledge and expertise; report on Lakes and Coorong Fishery Seal Interactions to minimise harm to the protected species; and consult with the seafood industry and saltwater community to further promote sustainable practices.
  • Grant is delivered through the Building Landcare Community and Capacity element of the Smart Farms program, a flexible funding program that provides ad hoc grants to support the delivery of the government’s National Landcare Program objectives and to underpin the delivery of agriculture focused, strategic capacity building initiatives.
  • The $136 million Smart Farms program runs over six years from 2017–18 delivering sustainable agricultural outcomes as part of the Australian Government’s $1.1 billion investment in the second phase of the National Landcare Program. 
  • OceanWatch Australia Ltd is a national not-for-profit environmental company that works to advance sustainability in the Australian seafood industry and operate community based coastal habitat restoration programs. More information can be found on their website: https://www.oceanwatch.org.au/.