Back to FISH Vol 30 1
PUBLISHED 4 Mar 2022

Final reports

Oysters Australia Strategic Plan


This project provided funding for Oysters Australia (OA) to develop a strategic plan to coordinate oyster industry research, development and extension (RD&E) across Australia as part of its Industry Partnership Agreement (IPA) with the FRDC. OA is a national body that was formed in 2011 by Australia's community of oyster growers. It is a not-for-profit, unlisted public company, with the members being the official oyster industry bodies in New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. The strategic plan outlined the following vision: 'A vibrant Australian oyster industry, celebrated by the community, which adopts world-class research to achieve sustainability and prosperity, with a GVP of $175m by 2025.' The plan outlines five RD&E programs and a list of priority projects for which research proposals will be called. The strategic plan is an integral part of the IPA between OA and the FRDC, and OA will continue to work closely with the FRDC to manage the portfolio of projects.

More information: Andy Myers

National Aquaculture Council stakeholder consultation


This project reviewed the future of the National Aquaculture Council (NAC), the peak body representing Australian aquaculture sectors. The NAC board initiated the project to gain an understanding from its members and stakeholders of their future needs and expectations in terms of industry representation. More than 30 interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders from across the aquaculture sector. The project found that there is a high level of support for a powerful and influential peak body to advance the aquaculture sector. It was apparent from
the initial engagement that, in its present form, the NAC was falling short of expectations. NAC found itself at a crossroads where it had three options: gear up to a full-service peak industry representative body with a professional executive officer that has accountability for delivering a return to members; scale down to an informal industry forum or annual think tank without a board or governance structure; or create a secretariat for aquaculture within Seafood Industry Australia or a shared services model. The project recommended that this report be circulated to the NAC board for further discussion. The NAC board then used the outputs from the research to decide on the organisation's future.

More information: Kim Hooper

Note: The NAC board decided to disband the council. Its functions have been taken up by Seafood Industry Australia.

National Snapper Workshop


This workshop was funded in response to the concerning status of some of Australia's key Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) stocks. Snapper is an iconic Australian fish species distributed from Southern Queensland to Western Australia and supports important commercial, recreational (including charter boat) and Indigenous fisheries. The broad geographic distribution of this species, together with its economic, social and cultural importance makes it one of Australia's most significant fishery resources. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a national, consolidated approach to support the sustainability and responsible use of Australia's Snapper resources. The well-attended workshop involved fisheries managers, scientists and key stakeholders from across Australia and New Zealand. It was held in Adelaide from 12–14 November 2019 at the South Australian Research and Development Institute's Aquatic Sciences facility at West Beach. The workshop developed a best-practice approach ('toolkit') to managing Snapper across Australia, based on seven key initiatives (or tools) distilled from presentations and breakout sessions. The workshop also proposed a range of recommendations to continue to work together and share data and build better knowledge systems to inform modelling and harvest management strategies across Australia.

More information: Jonathan McPhail

Recreational fishing objectives in NSW


This interim report provides an update on workshops with recreational fishers, scientists and managers to investigate recreational fishing objectives for three stocks of recreational importance in NSW: Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus), Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola lalandi) and Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus). The study forms part of a broader research project investigating the integration of recreational fishing into harvest strategies for multi-sector fisheries.

More information:Ashley Fowler

Biosecurity risks from shellfish reef restoration


Although attempts to restore lost shellfish reefs in Australian estuaries are gaining momentum, there remains resistance around the potential biosecurity risks associated with using recycled mollusc shell waste (oysters, mussels, scallops). The project identified existing risk mitigation methods being used in Australia and examined known potential biosecurity hazards that could be translocated through recycling of mollusc shells. The project was also able to identify appropriate sanitising methods required to reduce the risk of translocation of pests and diseases when using recycled mollusc shell waste.

More information: Ben Diggles

Developing POMS-resistant oysters for NSW


This report details a collaborative project investigating the reinvigoration of the triploid Pacific Oyster (Magallana gigas) farming sector in NSW estuaries affected by Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS). This project was a proof of concept to investigate if new instant-induction techniques were able to produce triploid Pacific Oyster spat with commercially viable levels of POMS resistance. Data and performance of the stock was monitored prior to the summer POMS occurrence window. Mortality data collected during and after POMS events (summer 2019–2020) showed that 50 to 70 per cent survival was observed after the first event and very low levels of mortality were observed in a second POMS event. Unfortunately, the Hawkesbury growing region was subsequently affected by a large flood event that saw very low salinities and subsequent mortality in the triploid Pacific Oysters, which significantly compromised this project.

More information: Matt Cunningham

The value of man-made marine structures


This report outlines the social and economic values and benefits associated with man-made marine structures (MMSs) in Western Australia. During 2019 and 2020, researchers created seven online surveys that focused on understanding the social and economic benefits and values that recreational and commercial fishers, divers and other users gained from using MMSs in WA. This was complemented with 11 focus groups that included representatives from the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, as well as the oil and gas sector, regulators (state and federal), conservation non-government organisations, scientific researchers and the general community. The information generated by this project provides a strong foundation to facilitate understanding of the values of MMSs across diverse user groups. The work also made recommendations to increase the social acceptability of the structures. Finally, a database of MMSs in WA was compiled and is accessible online. A guidebook was produced outlining the different methods of identifying social and economic values, along with the types of data required, and the approaches to collecting this data. The guidebook also outlines the advantages, disadvantages and resource needs for
each method.

More information:Euan S. Harvey



SafeFish provides services on four major platforms: governance; input into food safety standards; research into technical food safety issues; and building food safety capability in the seafood sector, seafood regulators and researchers. Although the SafeFish project cannot necessarily mitigate all issues related to food safety, the services it provides go a long way in assisting the seafood sector to respond to issues in a fast, effective and unified manner to decrease the potential ramifications. The sector and regulators have demonstrated that they value and rely on the work undertaken by SafeFish and appreciate the role that it plays as a conduit.

More information:Natalie R. Dowsett

Blood flukes in Southern Bluefin Tuna


Cardicola forsteri was the dominant blood fluke species detected in farmed Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) in 2018. Our results have shown that traditional microscopy methods used to detect blood flukes (heart flush and gill microscopy) were limited to only detecting adults or eggs. Comparisons between different diagnostic methods showed that molecular methods (for example, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)) were more effective at detecting blood flukes. Findings show that sensitivity between molecular testing and microscopy is similar, but microscopy is more labour-intensive and time-consuming and qPCR is more effective at detecting subtle changes in blood fluke infections. This study also demonstrated that a lack of praziquantel treatment (anthelmintic used to treat blood fluke infection) has a significant effect on blood fluke prevalence and intensity, but infection levels observed in this study did not decrease Southern Bluefin Tuna condition or increase mortalities. Further investigation is required to identify whether praziquantel dosage rate influences the presence of another species of blood fluke, C. orientalis, in farmed Southern Bluefin Tuna.

More information:Nathan Bott

Future Oysters CRC-P Communication and Adoption


The Future Oysters CRC-P Communication and Adoption project facilitated communication of the CRC-P findings to growers and the wider community and attendance of industry members at annual oyster sector conferences in each state. It also invited feedback from growers. CRC-Ps are smaller versions of full Cooperative Research Centre programs. CRC-Ps run for up to three years with a budget of up to $3 million and they have a focus on collaborative sector-led research programs. The Future Oysters CRC-P project was developed to undertake the research and development needed to build and evolve the Australian oyster aquaculture sector, due to the severe impacts of disease on oyster production in Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales at the time of its initiation. The trigger for the project was the sudden spread of the viral disease Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) from NSW to Tasmania in February 2016.

More information: Matt Cunningham

Future Oysters Management and Extension


The project was conducted as part of the Future Oysters CRC-P to support the establishment of its governance structures as well as manage its budget and establish communication, extension, education and training plans. Aims of this project also included the monitoring
and evaluation of progress for the CRC's research work, maintaining its strategic direction and coordinating and delivering reporting on its Department of Industry, Innovation and Science milestones.

More information:Matt Cunningham

Irradiation dose for prawn virus treatment


Prawns infected with White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) that are harvested as bait receive a gamma irradiation treatment at a dose of 50 kilogray (kGy). The wholesale sector, however, indicated that a reduction in treatment dose to 25 kGy or lower would be required to provide meaningful cost benefits.

This project tested if lower gamma irradiation doses were still effective at inactivating the virus, but results were uncertain and the recommendation remains that prawns harvested within the WSSV movement restriction area for packaging and sale as fresh/frozen fishing bait should continue to be treated at a dose of 50 kGy.

More information: Stephen J. Wesche

Freshwater-fish-attracting structures


This project investigated the effectiveness of different groups of fish attractors at attracting Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata) and Golden Perch (Macquaria ambigua) in an impoundment to improve recreational angling. The results demonstrated that both species used the fish attractors as habitat and their abundance at fish attractor sites generally increased. The results were combined with past international studies to develop a best-practice guideline for the use of fish attractors in Australian impoundments.

More information:Andrew Norris

Prawn RD&E management and communication


This project enabled the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries to coordinate, commission and extend its RD&E investments under the Industry Partnership Agreement (IPA) 2016–2020 with the FRDC. The report documents the process and plans behind each of the IPA's programs, including Community Engagement, People Development and Industry Communications.

More information: Rachel King

Managing our Human Dimensions Research


The Human Dimensions Research (HDR) Subprogram focused on social science and economic research and improving the effectiveness of human dimensions RD&E for Australian fisheries and aquaculture.

This project was established to manage and ensure delivery of the Subprogram from 2017 to 2020.

The outcomes of investment in RD&E by the HDR Subprogram have been positive for Australian fisheries and aquaculture. These outcomes include:

  • stronger levels of community trust and acceptance, and a more positive impact within reach through more effective engagement;
  • the ability to harness behavioural insights to support compliance, innovation and adoption of best practice;
  • evidence of the contribution of Australian fishing and aquaculture to economic and social wellbeing at the national and state level;
  • incorporation of improvements in price and productivity into fisheries management; and
  • strengthening of resilience against future uncertainty and global shocks through learnings from impacts and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption.

More information: Emily Ogier

Interested in an FRDC final report?

For a copy of an FRDC project final report go to, contact the FRDC on 02 6122 2100, or email