The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) regularly call for funding opportunities that address research, development & extension (RD&E) priorities nominated by the FRDC's stakeholders.

The nominated RD&E priorities for investment are outlined below. Applications that address multiple priorities are encouraged where practical. 

Applicants may also submit an application that aligns to the FRDC R&D Plan 2020-25 but does not address a nominated priority. Please note, preference may be given to applications that address nominated priorities. If you do wish to submit an application that does not address a nominated priority, it is recommended that you consult with the relevant stakeholder group(s) and expected end users to ensure that research concepts have the support of beneficiaries. Support can be demonstrated through project cash contributions, in-kind contributions, incorporation of end users into the concept and formal letters of support. 

The nominated RD&E priorities for investment are outlined in the a call for funding opportunities below. and applications MUST be submitted via FishNet.

Please finalise and submit your application only on FishNet so that FRDC receives notification that the application has been submitted. Failure to do so may mean that your application is not submitted and therefore not considered for funding. 

Visit the Applying for funding page for more information on FRDC's application processes. 

If you have any questions or issues with FishNet, please contact the FRDC by phone on (02) 6122 2100 or email at frdc.programs@frdc.com.au. 

To receive alerts about upcoming calls for funding opportunities as they are released, please subscribe to information from FRDC.


 

Current Calls for opportunities

 

 

FRDC's May 2022 Open Call for R&D Investment Opportunities   

Closing date for applications 11.59pm (local time) 11 July 2022 (unless otherwise stipulated) 

Applications must be finalised by 11 July 2022 (unless otherwise stipulated). Applications not submitted by this date may not be accepted unless prior approval for a later submission date is provided by the FRDC. 

Each application must clearly outline: how it will meet the relevant identified priority or a specific opportunity if not addressing an identified priority; achievable project objectives which respond to the priority or need; proposed methods to achieve the objectives; project outputs and outcomes including adoption pathways to impact 

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. Proposed projects should consider past and current research to avoid duplication and build on previous outputs. 

Once submitted, the FRDC will assess each application as well as seeking an external review by end users and/or technical experts. 

 

Priority Title 

Nominator(s) 

Research Advisory Committee Post-graduate student funding 

  • South Australian RAC: The influence of fish provenance and movement on fishery production and stock structure of South Australia's Golden Perch fishery 
  • Tasmanian RAC: Characterising the impacts of warm water and other stressors on the boom-and-bust cycle of the Commercial Scallop 

Various RACs 

Southern Bluefin Tuna Health Risk Assessment: a global review 

ASBTIA IPA 

Reviewing methodologies for valuing small scale commercial fishing licences 

Western Australian RAC 

Valuing WA smaller commercial fisheries across the supply chain: Case study of quantifying value chains and estimating economic contribution of production through the value chain 

Western Australian RAC 

Investigating discard mortality from the use of tumblers in a scallop dredge fishery 

Victorian & Commonwealth RACs 

Investigating the reproductive status and connectivity of King George Whiting near Wilsons Promontory and adjacent waters 

Victoria RAC 

Developing spatial based assessment methodologies and tools for small scale dive fisheries: Case study of the Tasmanian Commercial Dive Fishery 

Tasmanian RAC 

Biological parameters for stock assessments in South Eastern Australia – a information and capacity uplift 

Commonwealth RAC 

Develop resources to enable best practice in the humane dispatch of sharks caught by fishers in the Northern Territory  

Northern Territory RAC 

Identifying strategies to optimising the Mud Cockle fishery through translocation 

South Australian RAC 

Building climate resilience into the seafood industry: communicating climate driven opportunities for fishing and aquaculture 

Various RACs 

Approaches for incorporating Indigenous Rights, practices and catch into resource sharing and harvest strategy frameworks, based on international experiences 

Human Dimensions Research  

Targeting behavioural change in fisheries and aquaculture 

Human Dimensions Research  

Profiling and tracking change in Australia's seafood workforce: establishing a baseline workforce dataset 

Human Dimensions Research  

Understanding the risks associated with climate change on infectious diseases affecting the seafood industry 

Aquatic Animal Health & Biosecurity 

Assess the future needs of Australia's aquatic animal disease diagnostic system 

Aquatic Animal Health & Biosecurity 

Should Southern Rock Lobster management be shifted to lower cost / lower risk in response to persistent low price?

Southern Rock Lobster Limited IPA

 

Current Investment Opportunities 

 Title 

Research Advisory Committee Post-graduate student funding 

Need 

Several State and Territory based Research Advisory Committees (RACs) are offering funding for post-graduate (Honours, Masters, and PhD) student projects. This initiative seeks to attract high performing post-graduate students to address a range of priority fisheries projects.  

Funding is available for the following projects: 

  • South Australian RAC: The influence of fish provenance and movement on fishery production and stock structure of South Australia's Golden Perch fishery 

    This project will use multiple techniques to elucidate the spatial origin (provenance), movement patterns and demographics of Golden Perch in the Lower Lakes to understand processes that drive temporal variation in fishery productivity. This information will assist in identifying appropriate scales (spatial and temporal) and strategies for management. 

  • Tasmanian RAC: Characterising the impacts of warm water and other stressors on the boom-and-bust cycle of the Commercial Scallop 

    This project will inform proactive management of Scallop beds in the face of changing conditions to ensure the fishery's sustainability. This project will determine if: 

    • warm water conditions have coincided with previous Scallop bed die-offs by exploring historical records 
    • warm water exposure affects Scallops and whether there are synergistic effects with other factors such as fishing related handling, food availability, acidification (e.g. under experimental conditions) 
    • particular cohorts (e.g. age, size, condition, reproductive status) are particularly sensitive to any stressors 
    • practical in situ approaches to measuring and monitoring changes in relevant sea conditions on Scallop beds. Solutions should be co-designed with industry 

Deliverables 

The funding available for each student will be $25,000 per year, for up to 3 years, comprised of an annual $10,000 top-up stipend for living expenses and $15,000 for project operating expenses. 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Various – dependent on project   

Jurisdictions 

Various – as named against each project title 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems 

Enabling Strategy IV: Building capacity and capability 

Other 

The student will gain direct applied research and industry experience by being co-supervised by a scientist from a relevant State and Territory based agency, while researching an industry relevant project and be registered at a university to undertake their post-graduate research. 

 

Title 

Southern Bluefin Tuna health risk assessment: a global review 

Need 

  • The Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association have identified that improvement of the health and condition of farmed fish as well as the mitigation of on farm mortalities is a high priority  
  • Disease related mortality are prevented by recognising and managing risks before they become a major issue  
  • The previous risk assessment of factors influencing the health of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) was undertaken over a decade ago and requires revisiting to ensure that the SBT ranching industry can be proactive in safeguarding themselves for potential future challenges  

Deliverables 

  • A desktop review risk assessment of factors that have the potential to influence the health and productivity of SBT 
  • Identification of broader health metrics, which might also include compromised growth performance 
  • Consultation with industry on the identified risks and potential alignment with industry observations / operational issues  
  • It is anticipated that this is a 6-month activity   

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association IPA 

Jurisdictions 

The Port Lincoln SBT ranching sector  

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems 

Other 

This will build on the work undertaken as part of FRDC project: 

  • 2001-253 Aquafin CRC – Southern Bluefin tuna Aquaculture Subprogram: A risk assessment of factors influencing the health of southern bluefin tuna 

 

Title 

Reviewing methodologies for valuing small scale commercial fishing licences 

Need 

  • Government interventions and other marine resource users (e.g. marine parks, port developments, the energy sector) impact the access rights of existing commercial fisheries necessitating the calculation of market value of access rights for the purposes of compensation 
  • Transparent frameworks to inform consistent compensation calculations are required to support resource security and build confidence within the fishing industry sector 
  • There is a need to review existing valuation methodologies that are applied to the sale of fishing licences in small scale commercial fisheries – examples include (but are not limited to):  
    • VIC 1995 Fisheries Act (legislated formula)  
    • PIRSA Marine Scalefish Fishery 
    • NSW Environmental Trust part of govt (Compensation for fishing closures in Marine Parks)  
    • formulas used in the:  
      • Queensland Net buybacks 
      • Commonwealth: Securing our Fishing Future, the GBR one (bad example) and Coral Sea 
      • United States: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, North-western Hawaiian Islands, and Glacier Bay   
  • The review would include the appropriateness of methods of valuation, discount rates or use of proxies to estimate licence values and changes in market value  
  • The review should be augmented by key informant interviews to gain insights on licence market operations, the behaviour of fishers and brokers, and the values ascribed to licences (including the non-monetary values associated with holding a managed fishery licence) 

Deliverables 

  • Understand the relative strengths and weakness of available compensation valuation methods and consider their suitability to inform the process of re-examining the basis for compensation and processes to be applied in Western Australia  
  • Assess whether different compensation valuation methods be applied depending on the scale of the fishery, type of fishery and sophistication of businesses impacted and other factors 
  • Identify potential proxy tools (such as standardised discount rates, rates of return on investment or other benchmark indicators) that assist in facilitating the calculation of market value of access rights for the purposes of compensation 
  • Obtain an understanding from licenced fishing businesses, investors, and brokers as to how they value licences, methods applied and their estimation of risk across illiquid fisheries and any social considerations (i.e. non-monetary values) 
  • Resultant project outputs would be framed in the context of Western Australia's Aquatic Resources Management Act  

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 27 JUNE 2022  

End user 

WAFIC; WA Government (including WA DPIRD WA 

Jurisdictions 

Western Australia; potential national applicability  

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 4: Fair and Secure Access to Aquatic Resources 

Outcome 5: Community Trust Respect and Value 

Other 

 

  

Title 

Valuing WA smaller commercial fisheries across the supply chain: Case study of quantifying value chains and estimating economic contribution of production through the value chain 

Need 

GVP poorly represents the valuation of commercial fisheries. A better economic indicator of value to the local or state economy from the contribution of small commercial fisheries is required that values contribution across the entire domestic value chain. 

 

Finding suitable methods is therefore needed. A pilot, focusing on WA's small-scale fisheries, will consider data requirements and access, and accepted assumptions, as part of a standard methodology for estimation.  It would be developed as an extension to the Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry 2017/18: Economic contributions – Practitioner Guidelines (FRDC 2017-210), and take into account the FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1019 FIIU/C1019(En) Revenue Distribution Through The Seafood Value Chain. It will consider options for addressing gaps in data availability, including the use of appropriate proxy measures. 

Deliverables 

  • Value chain map for WA small-scale fisheries 
  • Estimation of economic contribution of WA small-scale commercial fisheries for the following supply chain stages: production, wholesale, processing, and retail   
  • Discussion of the feasibility of the method, ways to handle uncertainty around assumptions and methods to overcome reluctance to share gross margin and cost data.   
  • Extension of the Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry 2017/18: Economic contributions – Practitioner Guideline (FRDC 2017-210) with a section on how to estimate economic contributions for small-scale fisheries for the entire domestic value chain 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022  

End user 

WAFIC; DPIRD WA; commercial fishing organisations 

Jurisdictions 

Western Australia 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 4: Fair and Secure Access to Aquatic Resources 

Outcome 5: Community Trust Respect and Value 

Other 

This would link to and complement previous FRDC projects – including: 

  • 2017-210 National fisheries and aquaculture industry social and economic contributions study 
  • 2019-157 Economic Mapping of Australia's Wild-catch Prawn Supply Chain 

  

Title 

Investigating discard mortality from the use of tumblers in a scallop dredge fishery 

Need 

Tumblers have become increasingly adopted by vessels across Victoria, Tasmania, and the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop fisheries to improve the efficiency of sorting catch. Concerns have been raised by industry that the adoption of tumblers is damaging discarded undersize scallop as well as having adverse impacts to by-catch species. 

 

This would be a small-scale project to determine if the practice of using tumblers to sort catch is damaging discarded scallops and key by-catch species. Potential technical solutions should be identified in consultation with industry to reduce impacts on animals being sorted (including retained and discarded scallops) and to reduce incidental sound impacts to crew. 

Deliverables 

  • Advice on post survival rates of tumbler sorted scallops and key by-catch species 
  • Potential operational mitigation solutions (including evaluation of the mitigation solution(s) costs) 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery; Victorian Scallop Fishery; Tasmanian Scallop Fishery; Fisheries managers 

Jurisdictions 

Victoria; Commonwealth; Tasmania 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 2: Best Practices and production systems 

Outcome 5: Community trust, respect and value 

Other 

 

  

Title 

Investigating the reproductive status and connectivity of King George Whiting near Wilsons Promontory and adjacent waters 

Need 

  • King George Whiting is an iconic marine commercial and recreational fishery species in Victoria 
  • Victoria's commercial King George Whiting fishery is based primarily on pre-adult fish in bays and inlets, with the Corner Inlet fishery being Victoria's largest bay and inlet commercial fishery as well as a key recreational fishing destination 
  • Understanding the movement of fish from the bays to offshore areas to spawn is a key principle for ensuring sustainable stocks 
  • Hence understanding the connectivity of the bays and inlets (potentially) linked to reproductive status with offshore areas, western Victoria and southeast South Australia and Flinders Island Whiting populations is a required to support appropriate spatial management  

Deliverables 

  • Understanding of the reproductive status and life cycle of King George whiting near Wilsons Promontory 
  • Update the understanding of potential linkages with the Corner Inlet Fishery, western Victoria and southeast South Australia, and Flinders Island whiting populations 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Victorian Fisheries Authority; AFMA; PIRSA; Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania 

Jurisdictions 

Victoria; Commonwealth; South Australia; Tasmania 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 4: Fair and Secure Access to Aquatic Resources 

Outcome 5: Community Trust Respect and Value 

Other 

This would link to and complement previous FRDC projects – including: 

  • 2016-003 King George Whiting spawning dynamics in South Australia's southern Gulfs: to inform improved assessment and management of the resource 
  • 2011-017 Spawning sources, movement patterns, and nursery area replenishment of spawning populations of King George whiting in south-eastern Australia - closing the life history loop 
  • 1995-007 Determination of spawning areas for King George whiting in south-eastern Australia using hydrodynamic modelling 

  

Title 

Developing spatial based assessment methodologies and tools for small scale dive fisheries: Case study of the Tasmanian Commercial Dive Fishery 

Need 

Traditional assessment methods involving time-based Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) as a proxy for stock availability can be misleading due to issues such as hyperstability, where a fishery's catch rate stays stable while the actual fish population declines substantially. This situation can be exacerbated in dive fisheries where fishers can change behaviours such as swimming speed and depth, which can cover real trends in CPUE. 

 

Such issues are thought to be occurring in the Tasmanian Commercial Dive Fishery (TCDF), with fishers reporting catch declines but catch rates remaining stable; fishers are reportedly swimming further and heading deeper.  

 

For the two key native species in the TCDFShortspined Sea Urchin and Wavy Periwinklethere are no harvest strategies nor formal stock assessments, and both species are considered relatively data-limited. TACCs in key zones are being reached and areas of localised depletion are reported, which may suggest that the current spatial management boundaries of the fishery are not appropriate.  

 

The project aims to draw on and extend work on data-limited fisheries stock assessments (as part of FRDC project 2017-102) and the stock assessment toolbox (http://toolbox.frdc.com.au/), integrating the sophisticated suite of tools for categorising, tracking, and assessing the spatial status of abalone divers (FRDC 2011-201, 2017-026). The adaption of these tools to the sparse data in smaller scale fisheries (in both space and time), will create challenges for standardising catch and effort data (both logbook and GPS) that need addressing.  

Deliverables 

  • Exploration (of the suitability) of time and area based CPUE measures as well as methods to facilitate the accurate transitional standardisation of logbook to logger data to allow continuation of the data series  
  • Re-assess the suitability of spatial management units in the TCDF 
  • Assessment of the potential for hyperstability in the TCDF and recommended appropriate management responses 
  • Identification of suitable performance measures to inform empirical harvest strategy development   

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania; Tasmanian Commercial Divers Association; Fisheries managers 

Jurisdictions 

Tasmanian 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems  

Outcome 4: Fair and secure access to aquatic resources 

Other 

 

  

Title 

Biological parameters for stock assessments in South Eastern Australia – a information and capacity uplift 

Need 

The marine waters of South Eastern Australia are one of a series of global ocean hotspots, with many species responding to the changing environment by shifting their demography, distribution, and phenology. Coupled with density dependent changes in species' biology and ecology, many of the 20+ year old terms used to parameterise stock assessment models likely do not accurately represent current population parameters. Sensitivity testing shows that some of these parameters have a large influence when used in stock assessments. 

 

The recently completed FRDC project (2019-010), revealed the need to update the biological aspects of many harvested species in South Eastern Australia to ensure that assessments are incorporating parameters that reflect the contemporary biology of those species. This will in reduce uncertainties in stock assessment and provide greater confidence in management advice. 

 

This initiative seeks to take a coordinated approach to gathering this critical information. The project leads would coordinate support to post-graduate student projects, attracting high-quality candidates to address a range of priority fisheries species for South Eastern Australia. The program would also leverage the sampling opportunities through the upcoming RV Investigator "Southeast Australian Marine Ecosystem Survey" planned in 2023 and 2024 and expose students to the use of biological data into assessments. Australia needs a pathway for graduates into fisheries science, and this project would enhance these opportunities. 

 

Potential priority fisheries species will be identified through consultation with relevant South Eastern Australian stakeholders based on the prioritization output from FRDC project 2019-010 "Revisiting biological parameters and information used in the assessment of Commonwealth fisheries that are used in stock assessments". 

 

The species data would be analysed with new tools, such that post-graduate projects would develop capacity in quantitative analyses and/or novel new technologies (i.e. AI, image analysis). 

Deliverables 

  • Collection and analyses of biological samples from priority species using best practice methodologies to update a range of species-specific parameters 
  • Integration of updated parameters into stock assessments 
  • Assessment of potential shifts in biological parameters (where possible) 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Fisheries scientists, managers, and relevant assessment committees 

Jurisdictions 

Commonwealth (Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery); Victoria; Tasmania; South Australia; New South Wales 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems 

Outcome 4: Fair and secure access to resources 

Outcome 5: Community trust, respect and value 

Enabling Strategy IV: Building capacity and capability 

Other 

 

  

Title 

Develop resources to enable best practice in the humane dispatch of sharks caught by fishers in the Northern Territory 

Need 

  • The Northern Territory Offshore Net and Line Fishery Licensee Committee identified the absence of practical guidance for the commercial industry, charter, or recreational fishing sectors on the best and most humane means to dispatch shark species safely 
  • Detailed information is required for sharks as has been developed for finfish, and ideally, would be relevant to all shark species given the ubiquitous nature of the issue across Australia 

Deliverables 

  • Desktop review to identify existing suitable shark dispatch practices 
  • Comparative trial of best suited shark dispatch practices in consultation with industry 
  • Clear and practical operational guide to humane dispatching of sharks 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Shark fishers – commercial and recreational 

Jurisdictions 

Northern Territory; potential national applicability 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems 

Outcome 5: Community trust, respect and value 

Other 

This would link to and complement projects to develop practical and safety handling guides for sharks, rays, and sawfish to minimise post-release mortality – including: 

  • 2018-042 Improving Outcomes of Fisher Interactions with Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras 
  • 2018-055 Developing a positive cultural attitude towards the capture and release of sharks and rays 
  • 2019-023 Practicing aquatic animal welfare: Identifying and mitigating obstacles to uptake and adoption by the Australian Fishing Industry   

  

Title 

Identifying strategies to optimising the Mud Cockle Fishery through translocation 

Need 

The Mud Cockle Fishery on the West Coast of South Australia is a quota fishery, averaging catches of approximately 60 tons per year. Mud Cockle populations within the bays that are fished are dominated by undersized fish. Anecdotally, variable rates of growth are seen among the different bays, such that undersized fish in one bay take a longer time to grow to a legal size than adjacent areas. 

 

Industry is keen to understand factors influencing growth rates through a small-scale trial and explore the feasibility of translocating Mud Cocklesacross both depth and density gradients within baysto: 

  • Improve the growth and condition of Mud Cockles 
  • Spread fishing effort 
  • Potentially re-establish populations on previously fished areas 

Deliverables 

  • Understand factors that influence Mud Cockle growth – such as density, depth, environment 
  • Identify strategies to optimise Mud Cockle growth through translocation 
  • Assess feasibility of translocation (costs, losses etc) versus benefit (higher growth rates/prices) 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Vongole Fishers Association of SA 

Jurisdictions 

West Coast of South Australia 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems 

Other 

This would link to and complement previous and active FRDC projects – including: 

  • 2020-102 Review of fisheries enhancement techniques 
  • 2014-028 Mud cockle (Katelysia spp.) stock enhancement/ restoration: practical implementation and policy evaluation  
  • 2009-208 Developing clam aquaculture in Australia: a feasibility study on culturing Donax deltoides and Katelysia spp. on intertidal and subtidal leases in South Australia? 

  

Title 

Building climate resilience into the seafood industry: communicating climate driven opportunities for fishing and aquaculture 

Need 

  • Climate change is causing ocean warming and the strengthening of currents off South Eastern Australia with aquatic species responding through shifts in distribution and biological processes  
  • Climatic changes will affect the fisheries and aquaculture industries in South Eastern Australia (e.g. altering the availability of targeted species to fishers), and the implications and scale of changes to the operating environment are not clear 
  • There is a need to meaningfully communicate these climate driven affects to fishers and aquaculturists to enable stakeholders to decide where their activities are vulnerable or resilient to climate change 

Deliverables 

  • Assess changes in availability for key fish stocks under a range of potential climate scenarios 
  • Assess the suitability of current and potential new aquaculture species under a range of potential climate scenarios 
  • Deliver effective communication with stakeholders on the effects and associated opportunities/risk of climate change on the resources 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Commercial & recreational fisheries and aquaculture sectors; fisheries managers and policy makers 

Jurisdictions 

South Australia; NSW; Victoria; Tasmania; southern Queensland 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems  

Outcome 3: A culture that is forward thinking  

Outcome 4: Secure access to aquatic resources  

Outcome 5: Community trust, respect, and value 

Other 

Applications would leverage on existing oceanographic / climatic data sets and research expertise.  

 

This would link to and complement previous FRDC projects – including: 

  • 2016-139 Decadal scale projection of changes in Australian fisheries stocks under climate change 
  • 2011-037 RFIDS: implications of climate change for recreational fishers and the recreational fishing industry  
  • 2011-039 FRDC-DCCEE: preparing fisheries for climate change: identifying adaptation options for four key fisheries in South Eastern Australia 
  • 2011-233 FRDC-DCCEE: growth opportunities & critical elements in the value chain for wild fisheries & aquaculture in a changing climate 
  • 2011-503 FRDC-DCCEE: climate change adaptation - building community and industry knowledge 

  

Title 

Approaches for incorporating Indigenous Rights, practices and catch into resource sharing and harvest strategy frameworks, based on international experiences 

Need 

Across the globe, First Nations and Indigenous Peoples have been and continue to negotiate recognition of their fishing rights and for their knowledge and interests to be directly accounted for in intersectoral allocation and fisheries management. Internationally, examples include recognition of the historical right to sell fish commercially and according priority of First Nations commercial fisheries over recreational and non-Indigenous commercial fishing in Canada (Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (2018)) and ongoing negotiations between governments and the Sami in Finland and Norway over recognition of historical fishing rights. 

 

Recognition of Indigenous fishing rights into current fisheries management, in resource sharing policies and allocation is in various stages of development across Australia's states, territories, and the Commonwealth.   

 

At the same time and at the more operational level, harvest strategies are being developed which include Indigenous and cultural fishing, but greater guidance is required regarding harvest strategy settings which recognise the importance and account for the cultural, social, and economic impacts on local abundance and availability of fish stocks for Traditional Owners and local Indigenous communities. However, there is a gap in knowledge of possible approaches to address this, inclusive of both co-design and in the technical elements of controlling harvest itself (see FRDC 2016-204; 2014-233).  

 

Existing guidance on developing harvest strategy frameworks (2010-061) needs expanding to address this need. Projects are underway in specific cases to develop inclusive harvest strategies (2019-127; 2019-021), however the ability to generalise is still needed. Through a recent FRDC project 2018-016, a set of principles for data governance was developed. The residual need is therefore to understand the range of ways rights and interests can be operationalised in harvest strategy frameworks and settings.  

 

This project will undertake a review of approaches and policies developed internationally and domestically for incorporating Indigenous Rights, knowledge, practices and catch (Cultural-Customary and Cultural-Commercial) into resource sharing and harvest strategy frameworks. It will recognise that Indigenous leaders in Australia have knowledge-sharing relationships with First Nations leaders outside of Australia about fisheries.  It will identify possible approaches available for Australian fisheries management agencies, Traditional Owners, and Indigenous communities, while recognising the different historical, cultural, and legal contexts of different jurisdictions. 

Deliverables 

  • A report detailing the review of approaches being used globally and recommendations for possible fit-for-purpose approaches  
  • A summary flier describing key insights in plain language 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

  • The intended adopter of this R&D would be fisheries management agencies and Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community leaders 
  • Adoption is to be supported in the overall design of the project, through inclusion of Indigenous research expertise (as PI or CI) and through using the principles of co-design, co-production, and co-learning  

Jurisdictions 

National 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 3: A culture that is forward thinking  

Outcome 4: Secure access to aquatic resources  

Other 

This would link to and complement previous FRDC projects – including: 

  • 2021-090 Developing an Indigenous-led governance blueprint for collaboration in sea country processes 
  • 2019-168 Integrating indigenous fishing: extending adoption pathways to policy and management 
  • 2018-016 Improving data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander marine resource use to inform decision-making 

 

The project will respect and reflect the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code) 

 

Work will support the initiatives under the National Fisheries Plan: 

Initiative 4.3: Integrating Indigenous ecological and cultural knowledge and practices into fisheries management approaches and harvest strategies, biosecurity, and habitat restoration projects 

 

 

Title 

Targeting behavioural change in fisheries and aquaculture 

Need 

Previous FRDC research on specific issues (e.g. animal welfare best practice, safety at sea) have identified a range of factors that inhibit and/or enabling cultural and behavioural change and adoption of best practice. These include structural factors (i.e. regulation), economic factors (i.e. costs, incentives) and psychological factors (i.e. how the change is framed).  

 

There is a need to build on this research to identify opportunities where behavioural insights – using psychological factors such as cognitive biases, social norms, and emotions – can be used to "steer" behaviour change towards preferred outcomes. 

Deliverables 

  1. Review of previous fisheries and aquaculture R&D which has identified psychological factors influencing behavioural change. The purpose of the review is to identify opportunities for behavioural interventions to achieve positive outcomes 
  2. Utilising the information in (1), prepare and deliver one (or series) of training webinars accompanied with supporting materials on when, how and which behavioural interventions are effective, the methods which could be used, and the resources required. This will be made available on the FRDC website 
  3. Make recommendations for further focused trials/intervention research which could be undertaken to support and expedite desired outcomes for the fisheries and aquaculture sector as a whole and which has been identified in the current FRDC RD&E plan 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

It is anticipated this activity is undertaken within a 6 month period 

End user 

Fisheries Managers; Industry associations; FRDC Extension Officer Network 

Jurisdictions 

National 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity 

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems  

Outcome 5: Community trust, respect, and value 

Other 

Work will support the initiatives under the National Fisheries Plan:  

  • Initiative 2.5: Promoting the development and deployment of more environmentally friendly and ethical fishing methods and practices to minimise impacts on the aquatic ecosystem, including reducing bycatch and minimising interactions with threatened species and ecological communities.  
  • Initiative 6.1: Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in all sectors, including investing in research and development, and fostering the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and electronic monitoring, to improve efficiency, profitability, data collection, traceability, flexibility, abundance, and habitat condition. 
  • Initiative 7.4: Pursuing a culture promoting safety, diversity, and wellbeing, including initiatives to improve mental health. 

  

Title 

Profiling and tracking change in Australia's seafood workforce: establishing a baseline workforce dataset 

Need 

Australia's seafood industry's prosperity is closely tied to its ability to attract and retain people to work in the industry with fit-for-purpose skills.  And at the same time, the seafood industry's contribution to the prosperity and wellbeing of its workforce needs to be tracked and monitored to support improvement.   

 

FRDC's Capability and Capacity Strategy 2022 proposes an initiative for future workforce planning research. The first step in this initiative is to  

establish a baseline workforce dataset to address the problem of the lack of accessible, accurate workforce data. The seafood workforce is defined as including production, post-harvest, allied services (e.g. management, research), retail sectors. 

 

Currently, available data is not always classified to align with how fishing and aquaculture may operate – e.g. Aquaculture or Fisheries Scientist has only recently been added to the Australian and NZ Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) used in the collection and dissemination to categorise all occupations in both labour markets. 

 

A data linkage project is therefore needed to identify and review all available sources of fisheries and aquaculture workforce data. These include whole-of-population statistical data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics through surveys and the Census, and by the Australian Taxation Office through Industry-linked Pay as you go liabilities taxation statistics. These also include administrative data on fisheries and aquaculture licencing and levels of activity (production and post-harvest) held by management agencies in each jurisdiction. The purpose of the analysis would be to: 

  • benchmark statistical data currently used to estimate Australia's seafood workforce,  
  • identify gaps and further feasible data collection options (e.g. surveys),  
  • develop methods for inferring the disaggregation of workforce data into classifications relevant for workforce planning, and 
  • contribute to a common workforce language (e.g. classifications) that overcomes some of the limitations of current data collection methods/planning (longer term) 

 

The project will actively engage with other R&D activities (e.g. Skills Impact, and activities under the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy) supporting the future workforce planning research, including estimating of future workforce needs. An initial review will consider previous and active R&D addressing workforce data, including 2018-174, 2013-210 and 2017-210. It will encompass R&D in similar sectors, including in the horticultural industry (https://www.awe.gov.au/abares/research-topics/labour) and in business data linkage (e.g. BLADE). 

Deliverables 

  • Baseline workforce dataset 
  • Meta data catalogue and report 
  • Gap analysis and recommendations for comprehensive workforce dataset 
  • Guideline for linking data to measure and monitor Australia's seafood workforce for the purposes of workforce planning  
  • Recommendation and design for a continued data collation and presentation 

These outputs will inform discussion and prioritisation of future workforce needs by generating a baseline of accurate workforce data and by providing a guideline for ongoing access and provision of this data. 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Industry; Management agencies; Training providers; Government; FRDC's Capability & Capacity Steering Committee and Human Dimensions Research Coordination Program 

Jurisdictions 

National 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity 

Outcome 3: Culture inclusive and forward thinking 

Enabling strategy 1: Drive digitisation and advanced analytics  

Other 

 

  

Title 

Understanding the risks associated with climate change on infectious diseases affecting the seafood industry 

Need 

Climate change does not only directly impact marine environments by changing water temperatures, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen concentrations, but also indirectly contributes to the emergence of additional ecosystem stressors and infectious diseases. Indeed, pathogens and hosts are susceptible to changes in their environment. These changes can stress the host, making it more susceptible to pathogens, as well as contributing to changes in the survival, growth rate and transmissibility of infectious agents.  

 

The risks associated with climate change on infectious diseases of commercially important species needs to be better understood. To build resilience and sustain production in a changing climate, the aquaculture and fishing sectors must adapt, which means strengthening disease preparedness by utilising relevant knowledge to develop practical mitigation strategies. 

 

Given the potential complexities of host-pathogen-environment relationships, proposals for risk analyses focussed at an individual sector-level would be favoured. It is essential that any proposal is supported by industry as meeting their needs. 

 

The Commonwealth/jurisdictional governments and the Australian fishing and aquaculture industry have been identified as key stakeholders in this area and will have significant input. 

Deliverables 

  • Risk analysis (as a result of climate change) for infectious disease outbreaks in commercially important invertebrate and finfish aquaculture species 
  • Mitigation strategies for both wild catch and aquaculture sectors that recommend practical and implementable measures that can be applied at the enterprise or sector level 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 JULY 2022 

End user 

Aquatic animal health professionals; fishing and aquaculture industry; government aquatic animal health and biosecurity staff and policy makers 

Jurisdictions 

This work will be applicable to all jurisdictions. 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity  

Outcome 2: Best practice and production systems  

Other 

This priority aligns with the strategic plans of Oysters Australia, Australian Prawn Farmers Association, and Australian Abalone Growers Association 

  

Title 

Assess the future needs of Australia's aquatic animal disease diagnostic system  

Need 

  

Australia's national diagnostic network for aquatic animal diseases has been developed over time to support the many functions of Australia's aquatic animal health management system. These include confirmation or exclusion of exotic diseases, implementing disease management measures, enterprise health accreditation and demonstration of regional or national disease status. The investment in Australia's diagnostic network and diagnostic methods has been substantial and has resulted in significant strength for testing reliability and capacity. 

  

Australia's diagnostic network draws on nodes of expertise throughout national and state government laboratories, research laboratories and private service providers. The high standard of diagnostic service is built upon quality research, validation of methods, diagnostic and laboratory standards, and programs to support quality assurance. However, despite these strong and established elements, Australia's diagnostic network must continue to evolve. 

  

Many factors are driving changing needs and providing opportunities for improved diagnostic systems. There is growing demand for diagnostic services due to increasing requirements of trading partners, emerging diseases, and the growing needs of industry to monitor stock health status. New opportunities are also emerging through technologies such as high throughput sequencing, point of care tests, and autonomous or remote monitoring systems. However, the performance of new technologies needs to be understood so that that they can be applied to appropriate purposes. Information systems are also important for data capture, analysis and for reporting or sharing information. While demand and opportunities are increasing, the number of specialist aquatic diagnosticians are diminishing. Consideration is required to ensure expertise is available to meet the demand for services. These drivers of change will need to be considered and planned for if affordable and reliable diagnostic services are to continue to serve the needs of industries and governments. 

Deliverable 

  

The project will assess the future needs of end-users from Australia's aquatic animal disease diagnostic system such as industry and governments. Stakeholder consultation will inform the future demands on the diagnostic system over the next 5-10 years and how new technologies could contribute to meeting those demands. Based on the views of stakeholders, including anticipated growth and changes within industry, priority areas for investment in the diagnostic system—including research and policy—will be identified. This activity will provide stakeholders with a direction for the future development of Australia's diagnostic system for aquatic animal diseases. 

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 July 2022 

End user 

  

Aquaculture industries; governments; aquatic animal health service industries  

Jurisdictions 

  

National 

FRDC R&D Plan Outcome 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity  

Outcome 2: Best practice and production systems 

Other 

  

Applicants should consider appropriate mechanisms to consult industry and government stakeholders meaningfully and efficiently. Broad consultation across aquaculture sectors will be necessary to understand diagnostic needs and anticipated changes to those needs.    

 

This project aligns with AQUAPLAN activity 4.1. 

 

 

Title 

Should Southern Rock Lobster management be shifted to lower cost / lower risk in response to persistent low price? 

Need 

Southern Rock Lobster management across South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania is data rich and sophisticated relative to most Australian fisheries. This situation has developed because of the high value of these fisheries and the return on investment that comes from managing these fisheries at a fine resolution.

This results in high management costs relative to most fisheries in these regions (e.g. SANZ cost = $1.6 million or ~ 10% GVP; SASZ cost = $3.4 million or ~5% GVP; Tasmania $3.6 or ~8% GVP). These costs for research, management and compliance are necessary to support current sophisticated management and are mainly recovered through licence fees paid by industry. The cost for these government services is fixed, which means that they have a greater impact on the profitability of the industry when price and revenue declines, as has occurred over the last few years.

Industry have questioned whether shifting to a regime of more conservative, less precise and lower cost management could be worthwhile in the current operating environment. It is assumed that lower cost management would result in less precise data and therefore management would need to respond with more conservative harvest strategies (especially lower TACs). So, for jurisdictions where costs for services provided by government are recovered with licence fees, would lower fees, less precise management, and lower TACCs result in higher profits at the margin?

Each jurisdiction undertakes multiple research, management and compliance activities each year, e.g. fishery independent sampling, pre-recruit monitoring, stock assessment reporting, advisory committee meetings, log book data management, etc. Each of these has a cost and a level of impact on management of the fishery.

This project would examine these activities looking for those that have higher cost with a lower ROI. If there is a negative ROI at current beach prices, should these activities be discontinued as marginal cost is greater than marginal benefit?

Deliverable

  • A report that breaks data collection, research, and management into components with separate information on the cost, the degree of flexibility on whether this could be discontinued, and ROI.

  • Workshops will be delivered in each jurisdiction at the end of the report to explain the results to researchers, managers, and industry.

Timing 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 11 July 2022 

End user

Southern Rock Lobster fishing industry; fisheries managers

Jurisdictions 

South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania

FRDC R&D Plan Outcome 

Outcome 1: Growth for enduring prosperity

Outcome 2: Best practices and production systems

Outcome 4: Fair and secure access to aquatic resources

Other

This would link to and complement previous FRDC projects – including:
2012-202 Operationalising the risk cost catch trade-off

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