Human Dimensions Research Subprogram management

Project Number:



Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Taroona

Principal Investigator:

Emily Ogier

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Adoption, Communities, Environment, Industry, People


A Human Dimensions Research Subprogram presents the FRDC and stakeholders with the opportunity to maximise investment in and effectiveness of human dimensions RD&E for Australian fisheries and aquaculture. This is achieved by: - Providing the Subprogram with capacity to lever greater overall investment in human dimensions RD&E through co-investment arrangements: Capacity to co-invest or directly commission will enable the Subprogram to ensure that a higher number of human dimensions RD&E needs, as identified by RACs, IPAs and other Subprograms, are addressed through successful applications. This capacity to collaborate and co-invest with RACs, IPAs and/or other Subprograms not only acts as an incentive for further investment in human dimensions RD&E, it increases the likelihood that high quality and effective research is undertaken which will meet stakeholders' needs. It will achieve this through a number of mechanisms including: providing funding for appropriate expertise to be included in teams of research applicants; and, creating incentives for more integrated RD&E in which human dimensions research can be embedded in more traditional fisheries and aquaculture research projects. - Providing leadership and coordination where required to draw on a range of expertise to tackle complex problems: Capacity to directly commission or call for RD&E will enable the Subprogram to meet needs for targeted, strategic RD&E to address some of the issues which are preventing improved outcomes for fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders. These include issues such as the previously uncoordinated investment in measurement of the economic and social contributions made by different sectors, in response to which the Subprogram will draw on recognised expertise to develop a common position on metrics, methods of measurement and interpretation. This will in turn increase credibility of contribution studies and the return on investment in such studies.


1. Identify human dimensions RD&E priorities annually, through review and consultation with key fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders (RACs, IPAs, Subprograms, AFMF) and develop projects to address those priorities

2. Promote coordination and co-investment in human dimensions RD&E across RACs, IPAs and Subprograms

3. Ensure quality and relevance of humans dimensions RD&E through review of applications and project reports

4. Support the FRDC in the management of a portfolio of projects with significant human dimensions research components

5. Facilitate extension and adoption of human dimensions R&D outputs

6. Build and support capability in human dimensions research to meet the needs of fisheries and aquaculture

Mental Health in Fisheries and Aquaculture: Making a positive difference

Author(s):Emily Ogier and Maree Fudge
Date Published:May 2019

A National RD&E Workshop was held on 21 September 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia, in which representatives of industry, research, management, and service providers addressed how to make a positive difference to the mental health of people in fisheries and aquaculture.

The impetus for the workshop came from the FRDC Board and the FRDC’s Seafood Safety and Welfare Initiative. Both the Board and the Initiative are responding to the range of tactical industry-led activities commencing or proposed to address falling levels of mental health among members; the need for a gap analysis of available RD&E; and, to better acknowledge the link between mental health and workplace health and safety.

Participants established the level of leadership and commitment, reviewed the current state of knowledge of mental health levels and contributing factors, and compared what strategies supporting mental health are currently available within fisheries and aquaculture with evidence-based strategies from the mental health support sector.


The outcome sought from the workshop was a strategic approach to guide industry leadership actions and investment in and coordination of RD&E which improves mental health of people in fisheries and aquaculture and has broad stakeholder support. Key findings and recommendations are presented in this workshop summary.