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Jonas Woolford

Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholarship winner


Jonas Woolford, from Streaky Bay (near Port Lincoln) in South Australia, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and Nuffield South Australia.  He will investigate cohesion between primary industry, community and government for the effective co-management of natural resources in the inherently complex seafood industry.

Jonas’ family company harvests wild abalone in the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia.  They own two (36 tonne) licenses out of 22 (405 tonne) in the western zone abalone fishery. Their abalone gets processed and then exported to South East Asia, mainly Hong Kong.

Jonas’ research will be particularly significant for the potential of South Australia’s seafood industry to grow, and provide protein, in an environmentally sustainable way for all Australians and internationally.

He plans to learn how different countries and cultures, particularly where seafood has historically been a staple and driver of the economy, deal with complex social licence issues and achieve effective co-management.

“The seafood industry is inherently complex as the resource (the fish) is owned by the crown and those with a commercial licence receive an allocation, which is only issued for a specific period of time,” Jonas says.

“This resource is also shared with recreational groups and importantly, Aboriginal traditional owners.

“Spatial access to fishing grounds is also affected by other factors such as aquaculture, shipping, mining, oil and gas exploration, defence and biodiversity conservation (marine parks).  This means that effectively co-management really is key to ensure that our precious natural resources are cared for and utilised in the best way for all concerned.”

Jonas balances the time that it takes for his family to harvest their abalone quota with undertaking a variety of voluntary seafood industry representative roles.

He will travel to Japan, Scandinavia, Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.


Location: Streaky Bay, South Australia
Mobile: 0419 280 577
Scholarship report:
Returning Scholar presentation:

Jonas Woolford is sponsored by:

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