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Funding Success – Laura Bedford

Funding Success – Laura Bedford

Laura Bedford from SHSS/ADI has secured funding from the Victorian Fisheries Authority for a project titled “Preventing non-compliance in recreational abalone fishing in Victoria.


Victoria is home to one of the last sustainable wild-catch abalone fisheries in the world. In recent years participants in the abalone fishery have responded to a range of environmental, social and market opportunities and challenges. One of these challenges is the growth in the recreational fishing community and changes to fishing preferences for abalone. Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) continues to address these challenges including poaching and theft. In Victoria, abalone theft occurs as both large scale (organised) operations and through systematic and sustained low-level theft by recreational fishers. It is the latter that is of interest in this study. In this regard, VFA have found that high levels of compliance are best achieved through a combination of maximising voluntary compliance and creating an effective deterrence. VFA aims to drive voluntary compliance primarily by education, including through the Abalone Theft Prevention Program (ATPP). Here the focus is on crime prevention rather than enforcement and prosecution. The ATPP survey aims to provide an end-user perspective of the ATPP to capture self-reported opinions, experiences and behaviours of abalone fishers who have participated in the ATPP. It aims to improve the implementation of ATPP and build evidence that supports a crime prevention approach to low level (recreational) abalone theft in line with the strategic priority outlined in the Victorian Fisheries Authority 2019-2024 Strategic Plan: ‘Decision making is transparent, proactive, reflects policy and leverages research, monitoring and evaluation.’ A report will be prepared for VFA to describe recreational fishers’ opinions, experiences and behaviours of abalone fishing and the ATPP.


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