Tanya King is a maritime anthropologist working with small-scale fishers in Australia. She was introduced to the industry through the offshore southern shark fishery (which supplies the “flake” for Australian “fish and chips”), as they underwent the introduction of ITQs. She has worked with bay and inlet fishers more recently, and is passionate about promoting fisher health and wellbeing, as well as evidence-based fisheries management.
1. What are you currently working on within the context of SSF?
TK: Currently, I’m leading a project to assess, and improve, the health and wellbeing of Australian fishers, particularly in response to evidence of very poor mental health in the industry. Drivers such as management uncertainty and political pressure from recreational fishing lobby groups, are having an increasingly evident impact on fishing families. While the health and wellbeing of Australian farmers is publicly championed, Australian fishers do not enjoy the same level of public or political support. My project seeks to address both the causes and the symptoms of poor health among small-scale fishers. Part of the project involves a national survey on health and wellbeing. Another part of the project involves the modification of the highly awarded Australian (and now international) program, Sustainable Farming FamiliesTM, for use in the fishing industry.
2. If you could single out or two most significant factors for securing sustainability of SSF, what would these factors be?
TK: Social license and evidence-based management.