The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) conducts various calls for applications to address nominated research priorities.

The Torres Strait Regional Authority’s (TSRA) Fisheries Program aims to enhance the region’s wealth by creating and managing an economically and environmentally sustainable fishing industry and increasing employment opportunities for the people of the Torres Strait equivalent to the wider Australian community. The Fisheries Program outcomes are:

  • Improved wealth of Indigenous people in the region
  • A sustainable fishing industry owned and operated by Indigenous people
  • Sustainable management of natural resources.

More information on the Fisheries Program can be found at http://www.tsra.gov.au/the-tsra/torres-strait-development-plan/section-four-fisheries-program

As part of this program, The TSRA is calling for applications through the FRDC to address the priority areas identified below.

To address these priorities, an EOI is to be completed on Fishnet (www.fishnet.gov.au). If you are wishing to address more than one priority an application is to be completed for each priority.

Once you have completed your EOI you must finalise it on Fishnet by the due date identified below so that FRDC receives notification that the application is submitted. Failure to do so may mean that your application is not submitted and therefore not considered.

Applications must be finalised by 18 July 2016. Applications not submitted by this date may not be accepted unless prior approval for a later submission date is provided by the FRDC.

If you have any questions regarding the priorities or problems with Fishnet, please contact Jo-Anne Ruscoe on (02) 6285 0400 or email jo-anne.ruscoe@frdc.com.au.

Each EOI must clearly outline how it will meet the relevant identified need(s). Provide a succinct description of the proposed methodology to achieve the stated objectives, and deliver the outputs and outcomes. A realistic budget that reflects the activity to be undertaken is to be provided along with justification for the budget request. Where appropriate, applicants should demonstrate collaboration with other relevant research providers and end users and also consider past and current research to avoid duplication and build on previous outputs.
 
After 18 July 2016, the FRDC, in consultation with the TSRA, will review each EOI and will provide advice directly to applicants on whether their application has been supported or not supported in the round.
 
The priority areas for RD&E investment are:

​Priority Gudamalugal (Top Western) Fisheries Scoping Study​
​Need ​To investigate whether viable commercial fishing for crab, jewfish and/or barramundi can be developed in the top western Torres Strait; primarily around Dauan, Saibai and Boigu Islands.

The scoping study is to review relevant literature on distribution and abundance of potential target species and conduct relevant consultation with communities and specialists to investigate whether commercial fisheries could be established; this may include stock surveys. The study should also review current infrastructure and assess required infrastructure for the identified industry.
Planned Outcome

​Determining the viability (economic and environmental) of commercial fishing for these species from those communities 

If viable, the long term benefits would be an increase in participation from community members from the western Torres Strait in the fishing industry for Crab, Jewfish and/or Barramundi and increase wealth for Torres Strait Island Communities through income generated by commercial fishing.

  
​Priority Direct Export from the Torres Strait​
​Need ​The TSRA, working with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers and communities, seeks to identify viable options for direct export of fisheries-derived products from the Torres Strait. A key barrier to development of fisheries in the region is competitive access to viable markets, including export markets. Currently, export of fisheries-derived products is primarily through Cairns, the costs of which erode the competitiveness of Torres Strait product.

The TSRA wishes to identify the legislative, administrative and infrastructure requirements for direct export from the Torres Strait, key export market opportunities that could be met by Torres Strait-derived products, and whether direct export is feasible compared to the status quo.

The scope of the project will include:
• Identifying and summarising the legislative and administrative framework for export of seafood product from Australia
• Assessment of the current infrastructure vs infrastructure required for direct export from the region
• Market research into possible new markets for Torres Strait fisheries produce
• Cost/benefit analysis of direct export from the Torres Strait.
Planned Outcome

​Investigate and report on the feasibility of the direct export of seafood from the Torres Strait.

 

​Priority Assessing Marketing and Branding Opportunities for Torres Strait Fisheries-Derived Products
​Need

​One of the business challenges for fishers in the Torres Strait is the additional cost of reaching markets and the cost of doing business in a remote location. Better marketing and eventually product differentiation through branding offers potential to improve profitability of Torres Strait finfish products. Increasing the value of a product through market differentiation may assist improving the benefits derived from fisheries to Traditional Inhabitants and communities.

A brand reflecting the unique cultural and environmental qualities of Torres Strait seafood may have potential to increase prices and/or improve market access.

Planned Outcome

Develop options for marketing and branding Torres Strait fisheries derived products.