Who are the Primary Stakeholders?

Net work diagram in the life of a net from manufacture of the webbing in South Korea to reuse by Australian artists. Diagram courtesy of Dr James Butler.

Indentifying Primary Stakeholders

The project team, including CSIRO, examined the drivers, stakeholders, economic, environmental and social costs and benefits in the life of a trawl net to find the best intervention points for finding solutions.

For this research Value Chain Analysis, commonly applied to understand value-adding for a commodity, was combined with elements of Life Cycle Assessment and social network analysis. In the manuscript published 2013 we used the Arafura Sea as a case study, because it is shared by Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, and was, at that time, the focus of a trans-boundary diagnostic assessment (TDA) by the Arafura-Timor Seas Ecosystem Action program (ATSEA).

We followed a trawl net through four sub-systems: manufacture of webbing in South Korea, fishing and loss by an Indonesian vessel, retrieval as ghost net on the northern Australian coastline by Indigenous rangers, and disposal or re-cycling as ‘GhostNet Art’ by Indigenous artists. This case study highlights social as well as the geographic transboundary nature of a net during its life.

Results of this study are that all primary stakeholders along the value chain incur economic and social benefits, and economic and environmental costs. We also found that the first ‘nexus of influence’ where reductions in net losses and environmental costs can be achieved is through interactions between GhostNets Australia, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Australian Government, which can influence Indonesian fishery management institutions and fishing crews. GhostNets Australia was found to be a key bridging organisation in the network, linking stakeholders across scales and sub-systems probably because it is already doing this. Other major result from the study was the importance of GhostNets Australia and ATSEA in the evolving adaptive co-management and trans-boundary governance of fisheries.