Sustainable development: Social outcomes of structural adjustments in a South Australian fishery
The assessment of sustainable development is a relatively recent advent in policy and the evaluation of industry structural adjustments. Although the elements of economic and environmental assessment have been relatively well developed and accepted, the effective inclusion of 'social' aspects in assessments of sustainable development are still being grappled with. This paper, which discusses a project that investigated the sustainable development of the Marine Scalefish Fishery in South Australia, was focused on providing a combined assessment of the interrelationships between the environmental, economic and social aspects of the industry and the effect of its restructure in 2005. The findings highlight the complexities of developing effective policies to address all three aspects of sustainable development, rather than trading off one outcome against another. In the case of the fishery at hand, while the environmental and economic objectives of the adjustment appear to have achieved, the social objectives may well have not. In this circumstance, the findings raise the possibility that the social impacts of the restructure may in fact, alone, compromise the long term future of the industry, despite the economic success of the restructure. This paper addresses the results of the research and presents some salient social issues that policy makers and industry should be aware of, when considering industry structure and futures in a changing economic and climatic environment.
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