Shape up or ship out : can we enhance productivity in coastal aquaculture to compete with other uses?

Schrobback, Peggy, Pascoe, Sean, & Coglan, Louisa (2014) Shape up or ship out : can we enhance productivity in coastal aquaculture to compete with other uses? PLoS ONE, 9(12), e115912.

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Coastal resources are coming under increasing pressure from competition between recreational, commercial and conservation uses. This is particularly so in coastal areas adjacent to major population centres. Given high recreational and conservation values in such areas, economic activities need to be highly efficient in order to persist. Management of these industries must therefore also encourage efficient production and full utilisation of the areas available. In order to achieve this, managers must first understand the level and drivers of productivity, and how these can be influenced. In this study, by way of illustration, the focus was on the Sydney rock oyster industry within Queensland's Moreton Bay, a multiple use marine park with high recreational and conservation value adjacent to Australia's third largest city. Productivity of the oyster industry in Moreton Bay is currently low compared to historic levels, and management has an objective of reversing this trend. It is unclear whether this difference is due to oyster farmers' business choices and personal characteristics or whether varying environmental conditions in the Moreton Bay limit the capacity of the oyster industry. These require different management responses in order to enhance productivity. The study examined different productivity measures of the oyster industry using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to determine where productivity gains can be made and by how much. The findings suggest that the industry is operating at a high level of capacity utilisation, but a low level of efficiency. The results also suggest that both demographic and environmental conditions affect technical efficiency in the Bay, with water characteristics improvements and appropriate training potentially providing the greatest benefits to the industry. Methods used in this study are transferable to other industries and provide a means by which coastal aquaculture may be managed to ensure it remains competitive with other uses of coastal resources.

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ID Code: 81592
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115912
ISSN: 1932-6203
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Schrobback et al
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2015 22:45
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2015 21:56

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