On Water Interactions

A new accord between aquaculture lessees, recreational fishers & boaters

On Water Interactions

A new accord between aquaculture lessees, recreational fishers & boaters

Building our Future -


The issue

The oyster industry has for many years reported conflict with recreational boaters and fishers. The 4 main areas of concern are: damage to lease infrastructure from collisions; theft of oysters; boaters discharging effluent overboard and fishing gear discarded on lease areas which presents a risk to aquaculture farmers in their work areas.

Oyster farmers are tired of losing stock and forking out money for expensive repairs to infrastructure. There is widespread acknowledge that the DON’T – DON’T – DON’T message and threat of fines is having little impact. The narrative needs to change.

The solution

A working group has been established to oversee development of a communications plan. The working group consists of oyster industry representatives, recreational fishing representatives, OceanWatch, RMS Maritime and NSW DPI (Aquaculture, Recreational Fishing and Compliance). The intent is to develop & implement a comprehensive, coordinated strategy and campaign to promote responsible boating and fishing in the vicinity of aquaculture leases. A range of resources are flagged for development using a consistent language / tone.

The impact

The communications plan and development of resources is ongoing with the first wave of messaging flagged for release before Christmas '16. This will take the form of a social media campaign driven by NSW DPI (Recreational fishing). Key messaging has been drafted, and is being work-shopped by those in the working group.

There is a lot of support for this initiative within the oyster industry and representative groups.

Key facts

  • Working group is developing a coordinated educational strategy to promote responsible practices around aquaculture leases
  • A range of resources are under development delivering a consistent message
  • Cross sector initiative has the backing of oyster industry representative groups