Assessing options for enhanced utilisation of Australia’s EEZ.

Project Outline and objectives:

The world’s requirements for food, energy, recreation and transport are changing as our population rapidly increased to an expected 11 billion by 2050. The marine domain will be expected to play an increasing role to meet the needs of society. Already we are seeing discussion about offshore energy and food production systems in the Northern Hemisphere:
www.troposplatform.eu/tropos-european-collaborative-project/What-is-Tropos-for
www.mermaidproject.eu
www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/01/09/california-approves-states-first-offshore-aquaculture-farm
www.news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090818-giant-robotic-fish-farms_2.html

Australia has the third largest EEZ globally and thus there are opportunities to develop our offshore regions although this may require changes in policy and legislation.

The project addresses an identified need to develop transparent and equitable frameworks for the management of Australia’s marine domain.

Current discussion on ocean management arises against a background of changing and expanding pressures on marine ecosystems – population growth, demand for seafood, impacts on marine systems, and changes in global biophysical and economic systems. A crucial challenge is the ability of governance arrangements to simultaneously achieve acceptable resource use across a range of resource futures and maintain the sustainability and resilience of communities.

This PhD project will initially provide a synthesis of current global activity in the (proposed) development of the offshore marine domain. This will also include the policy and legislation being developed and implemented by countries pursuing offshore development. A small number cases eg Australia, USA, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands are potential countries that can be examined as part of the the focus of the study

Norway and the Netherlands are chosen as non federal systems to provide a counterfactual to the effects of federalism, recognising that while Australia, USA, Canada are federal polities they have different ways of responsibility sharing within their political systems. The cross country comparison will provide a framework of analysis to be utilised during work in the second component of the study.

The second component of the project will be to evaluate the options for Australia including what legal, jurisdictional and governance issues may have to be altered to enable future development. This component will develop from and complement the works done in the first component.

Phase 1: Identify the requirements for a resilient and sustainable resource management regime by: an initial specification of requirements through literature study, document analysis and qualitative work with key informants.

Phase 2: Assessment of current arrangement against these requirements and identification of areas where reform or improvement is needed.

Phase 3: Assessment of potential regime reforms against the requirements for effective resource allocation will be undertaken

(i) Using participative scenario planning, which will again involve stakeholder input. Scenario planning is a tool that is used to develop three to four plausible futures in which to examine alternative resource allocation regimes and tools. Working with multiple scenarios allows consequences and appropriate responses to be examined under different circumstances. A variety of qualitative and quantitative data – social, institutional, economic and environmental – will be incorporated into the scenarios.

(ii) Application of Bayesian Belief Networks to allow modelling of the drivers, constraints and key variables identified in the workshops.

Phase 4 The results from the analysis will include recommendations for resilient and sustainable allocation regimes, tailored for the various Australian jurisdictional, resource and environmental contexts .

Supervisors:
Stewart Frusher (stewart.frusher@utas.edu.au)
Marcus Haward, UTas
Joanna Vince, UTas
David Smith, CSIRO
Tony Smith, CSIRO

Skills required:
Excellent communication skills
Basic understanding of governance issues

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