Sustainable Fishing Families

An industry is only as healthy and sustainable as its members. In recent years, concern for the health, safety and wellbeing of the professional wild-catch fishing industry has been growing in Australia. In response, FRDC Project 2016/400 – Sustainable Fishing Families – Developing Industry Human Capital through Health, Wellbeing, Safety and Resilience conducted the first national survey of the health, safety and wellbeing of the Australian professional fishing industry in 2017.

The results of the survey provide a baseline for the state of the wild-catch industry members across a range of indicators, including reported physical and mental health, factors affecting health and safety, factors affecting levels of stress, health and safety behaviours, and access to health services and information.

The project also conducted and evaluated an intensive pilot program on health, safety and wellbeing tailored specifically for fishing families. The program was modelled on an existing and highly successful program with farming families, Sustainable Farm FamiliesTM developed and delivered by the National Centre for Farmer Health, at the Western District Health Service, Victoria.

The materials and presentations were reviewed and modified to reflect the specific strengths and challenges of the fishing industry. For the first time, this award-winning program is now available for use by fishing communities across the country.

The Sustainable Fishing Families project was a collaboration of academic and practical expertise including Deakin University, the National Centre of Farmer Health (NCFH), University of Tasmania, and University of Exeter.


The Sustainable Fishing Families Resources can be found below.

Sustainable Fishing Families Managing Stress for Fishing Businesses Handbook

Sustainable Fishing Families – Key Survey Findings Final

Sustainable Fishing Families Flyer


The full FRDC Report the Project 2016/400 can be found here: