Aquatic Strategic Action Group (ASAG)
This new forum has been established by the VFA, in partnership with the seafood industry. The ASAG will meet quarterly and advise the VFA on:
- avenues to provide fresh local seafood to Victorian consumers;
- new marketing and value adding opportunities for Victorian seafood;
- shared strategic priorities for Victoria’s seafood industry;
- an agreed industry action plan for the Victorian seafood industry;
- opportunity for the exchange of information and specialized input to shape the strategic direction for commercial fishing and aquaculture in Victoria;
- information and knowledge gaps, and identify research needs relevant to commercial fishing and aquaculture; and
- opportunities to further build effective relationships between the VFA and stakeholders.
Key outcomes from the ASAG’s fourth quarterly meeting, held in October 2019, are:
- The meeting noted that ASAG was providing a valuable forum to have strategic level discussions on matters that apply across the whole seafood sector.
- ASAG agreed that sponsorship of seafood festivals across Victoria is having an impact and the focus needs to be directed at securing events for the long term.
- ASAG discussed the need to be thinking ahead (to 2030) on fisheries management in a manner that is strategic and includes all fishing interests and responsible sectors ie commercial, recreational and Indigenous.
- ASAG identified priority areas for further discussion including biotoxin management response, climate change, and support for mental health issues in the commercial fishing industry.
- ASAG identified future opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous communities and with regional development agencies. Partnering on new mechanisms to grow social capital was seen to be critical for establishing enduring success for the Victorian seafood sector.
- ASAG learnt of opportunities to work collaboratively with proponents of offshore wind farms.
- ASAG noted that the public consultation period for the Fisheries Regulations 2019 closes on 5 November 2019.
- Seafood Directions is looking to be a highlight of 2019. The conference planners have worked hard to secure a great line up of speakers and extra activities. A Gala Dinner, which will close the event, is open to the public and conference delegates alike.
- ASAG will meet again in early December.