Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee

Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee

The Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee (COMRAC) formerly the Commonwealth Fisheries Research Advisory Body (FRAB), is an Australian Government statutory authority that was established by the FRDC in March 2016 under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act).

The Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee (COMRAC) is an expertise-based committee is comprised of a membership group with expertise in wild catch (commercial and recreational), aquaculture, resource management, processing/post-harvest, indigenous, RD&E management or people development. The committee is responsible for facilitating the identification and delivery of efficient and effective research for stakeholders in Commonwealth

Research Priorities

Research, Development and Extension Plan

COMRAC has developed a 5-year Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan that provides a framework to identify and invest in key strategic research needs of Commonwealth stakeholders, with the intent to ensure a healthy marine ecosystem and efficient, productive and profitable fisheries (including commercial, Indigenous and recreational).

The FRDC invests through a flexible approach. Part of this approach allows the Research Advisory Committees (RACs), Industry Partnership Agreements (IPAs) and Subprograms to call for applications based on their priorities, drawn from the RDE Plan, up to three times per year in November, April and August – See whether this RAC has put forward any priorities in the current call for applications. 

FRDC Management Contacts:

Carolyn Stewardson – FRDC Portfolio Manager (M 0418 867 944; E

Alison Connelly – Secretariat (M 0437 694 485; E

Meeting dates:  


Associated Industry Partnership Agreements:

IPAs are an agreement between the FRDC and a sector body to manage a suite of sectoral projects over a specified time period against an agreed industry strategic plan. Some sectors in a jurisdiction may have their RD&E need represented by the IPA as opposed to the RAC – Find more information on IPAs.

Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries IPA 

Southern Ocean IPA 

Related projects are listed below:

Project Number
Industry travel bursary to attend the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13)
Potential transition of shark gillnet boats to longline fishing in Bass Strait - ecological, cross-sectoral, and economic implications
Strategic Planning Workshop for Yellowtail Kingfish Stock Assessment in South-Eastern Australia
Multiple - Before After Control Impact (M-BACI) analysis of the effect of a 3D marine seismic survey on Danish Seine catch rates
Implementation of dynamic reference points and harvest strategies to account for environmentally-driven changes in productivity in Australian fisheries
An updated understanding of Eastern School Whiting stock structure and improved stock assessment for cross-jurisdictional management
Improving and promoting fish-trawl selectivity in the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (CTS) and Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector (GABTS) of the Southern and Eastern Shark and Scalefish Fishery (SESSF)
Can DNA from routine plankton surveys be used to measure fish spawning areas and monitor changes in pelagic ecosystems?
Revisiting biological parameters and information used in the assessment of Commonwealth fisheries: a reality check and work plan for future proofing
Spawning biomass of Jack Mackerel (Trachurus declivis) in the East sub-area of the Small Pelagic Fishery during summer 2019