“What we are finding in Australia today is that a lot of the funding model has now moved and evolved towards getting a contribution from the industry, from government and from universities,” he said.
Industry players typically raise important questions or priorities that they need to address, then collaborate with governments and universities to try and find solutions, said Prof Huveneers.
AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL STRATEGY
Apart from collaboration, research is also at the heart of Australia’s aquaculture sector, currently estimated at US$2.5 billion.
Scientists at Flinders University helped formulate Australia’s national strategy for the sustainable use of ocean resources, something that Singapore’s budding aquaculture industry is looking to learn from.
Whether it is relying on sea grass to gauge water health or studying how fish food affects water quality, Singapore authorities are urging local fish farms to similarly explore science-based solutions to manage challenges.
For example, researchers at universities and fish farms across Australia are studying how sea grass provides food and shelter to marine life, to use as a barometer of water quality.
Mr Robert Gratton, CEO of Clean Seas Sustainable Seafood, told CNA: “The health of the seagrass in the places that we farm is the most important metric in terms of understanding the impact of our farming. And so we conduct a sort of ongoing and regular monitoring of the environment.”