Duncan Leadbitter

Duncan Leadbitter

Duncan is a director of the Australian-based fishery and natural resource consulting company, Fish Matter, which was established in March 2009. The role of Fish Matter is to provide practical advice to industry, government and NGOs regarding the sustainable use of fish and other aquatic natural resources. Over the past 20 years, Duncan has gained extensive experience in fisheries in Europe, Asia, North America and the Pacific.

A major client is Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships (SFP), an NGO that works with seafood businesses to assist their moves towards sustainable sourcing and management. As an in-house consultant, Duncan acts as SFP’s Technical Director and advises on a wide range of issues, from aquaculture feed to tuna and deep water species.

Before creating Fish Matter, Duncan was International Fisheries Director for the Marine Stewardship Council, which he joined in 2000. In 2002, he became responsible for developing and managing the MSC’s Asia Pacific region and in that role he encouraged fisheries, the post harvest sector and consumers to become involved in the programme.

Prior to joining the MSC, Duncan was the Executive Director of Ocean Watch Australia, a non-profit organisation that aims to protect and improve fish habitats and reduce the impacts of fishing. He also worked for the fisheries agency in New South Wales, Australia as a habitat/conservation manager, and in the private sector, as an environmental consultant. Duncan was the Deputy Director of the Australian Seafood Industry Council and held a number of positions on federal and state based natural resource and biodiversity advisory councils. Until recently he chaired the national Squid Management Advisory Committee for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

With a background in the management of aquatic habitat and fishing impacts, Duncan has worked on marine protected areas, aquaculture assessments, habitat rehabilitation, pollution assessments, environmental education and bycatch management. He has also worked collaboratively with a variety of fishery stakeholders including industry, environment groups and government.

He has written a number of published works on fisheries, coastal zone and habitat matters. He holds a Science Honours degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters degree in Environmental Planning from Macquarie University, Sydney. Duncan is a keen scuba diver and photographer and a volunteer aerial patrol observer with the Beach Shark Patrol programme.