New regional Aboriginal fishing businesses helping to Close the Gap

Three Aboriginal community-owned businesses have been selected to participate in the Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program, led by the NSW Government, which will support selected participants to build their new businesses in the commercial fisheries sector.

Selected participants and businesses include:

  • a commercial fishing enterprise to be developed with the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on the North Coast,
  • a Walbunja Aboriginal Fishing Cooperative to be developed with Joonga Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation on the South Coast, and
  • a recirculated aquaculture and aquaponics enterprise to be developed with the Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation in the Upper Hunter region.

A state-wide Expression of Interest process saw 16 Aboriginal-community owned fisheries business proposals from across NSW apply for participation in the Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program.

The program is run by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Department of Regional NSW, together with key program partners including the Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

It aims to support the development of new, economically viable commercial fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing or tourism related businesses that are owned and managed by Aboriginal community organisations/entities or Aboriginal community owned and run businesses in NSW.

The three successful applicants will now join the program partners and be mentored and supported to progress through the program to build their feasibility assessments, business proposal and business case.

This collaborative program will also be used to develop case studies that could easily be replicated across the State and other jurisdictions to develop other successful Aboriginal community owned and operated fisheries businesses in other areas.

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