Human Dimensions Research Subprogram (HDR Subprogram)


On occasion, a planned research and development outcome could be more successful if a number of related projects were managed by employing higher levels of coordination, integration and communication. The FRDC either on its own initiative or at the request of a stakeholder group, can establish a managed subprogram.

The Subprogram is responsible for coordinating FRDC-funded research and development aimed at addressing priorities within the field of human dimensions research, with a focus on social, economic and cultural factors and the people, markets, institutions and behaviours these affect. 


Subprogram management

The HDR Subprogram is managed by an expertise-based steering and scientific committee, appointed by the FRDC. In addition to its leadership and strategic roles, the committee advises the FRDC on allocation of subprogram funds to projects consistent with stakeholder priorities and relevant R&D plans; actively oversees progress of projects under its direct management; and provides technical advice to the FRDC on issues, applications and projects beyond those under its management.


Research Priorities

Research, Development and Extension Plan

Human Dimensions Research Subprogram has developed a Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan that provides a framework to identify and invest in key strategic research needs of stakeholders.


Call for Applications

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 up to three times per year in November, April and August – see whether this Subprogram has put forward any priorities in the current call for applications.



  • Dr Nicki Mazur (ENVision Environmental Consulting)
  • Dr Sean Pascoe (CSIRO/QUT)
  • Dr Nyree Stenekes (ABARES)
  • Bryan McDonald (Dept Primary Industries and Resources, NT)
  • Alex Ogg (WAFIC)
  • Dr Julian Morison (BDO Econsearch)


Human Dimensions Research Contact


FRDC Management Contacts

Chris Izzo – FRDC Portfolio Manager (M 0419852723; E


Meeting dates

See – Events


Additional information

Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Economic and Social Contributions 2017/18

Estimates of the economic contribution of the Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture industry to the Australian economy for 2017/18 are presented here.

A summary of these economic contributions, as well as the broader contributions to the wellbeing of communities in regional Australia shown in other studies, is presented here.

These reports form part of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Contributions Study (FRDC project 2017-210). This study is an exciting step forward that lays the groundwork for the Australian seafood industry to celebrate and monitor its economic and other contributions and to showcase evidence of these to its communities and to Australians in general. The project was undertaken by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania, with BDO EconSearch commissioned to provide the economic estimates.


AgriFutures’ The Community Trust in Rural Industries Program

FRDC is a partner in The Community Trust in Rural Industries Program (2019-042), which is a collaborative partnership involving 10 Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) to build the capacity of food and fibre industries to productively engage with the community.

The Program is a capacity building initiative to drive a productive and cohesive response to changes in cross-sector community trust.

More information about the program is available here.

The year one findings of this project are summarised in this fact sheet and this infographic.


HDR Subprogram Project Highlights

The following active and recently-completed projects are addressing the HDR Subprogram’s 5 RD&E goals.

  1. Delivering benefits - Ensuring social, cultural and economic benefits from fisheries and aquaculture through benefit sharing, resource allocation and other management activities and models.
    • Understanding benefits and costs of changing conditions and management of fisheries and aquaculture – various projects in SA (2017-014), TAS (2018-075; 2018-067), and WA (2016-0342016-113)
    • Harvest strategy design that includes ecological, economic and social objectives (2015-013).
    • Current status of integrated coastal and marine management in Australia, workshop report (2017-214)
    • Selecting social objectives for fisheries management (2010-040). This report also produced a guide to "Managing the social dimension of fishing" (see Appendix 17 and 18 of the final report) with its own introductory guide

  2. Changing behaviours - Understanding behaviour of fishers/farmers, institutions and organisations in areas of compliance, adaptation, adoption of new practices and technologies, and innovation.
    • Understanding barriers to uptake of best practice community engagement by industry (2017-133; 2018-201).

  3. Working with markets- Understanding how seafood product and   non-product markets (e.g. labour markets, other inputs, markets for fishing rights) and market-based mechanisms operate and how they support fisheries and aquaculture prosperity and sustainability.
    • Investigating price elasticity for the Commonwealth South East Fishery (2018-017).
    • Reviewing ITQ markets for Australian fisheries and their past performance (2017-159).

  4. Building community trustEffective engagement that builds community trust and socially-supported fisheries and aquaculture.
    • Identifying what determine levels of community support for fisheries and aquaculture (2017-158)
    • Our Pledge (2017-242) is a project being undertaken by Seafood Industry Australia’s to establish industry response to community values and expectations of industry behaviours and performance.
    • Designing engagement strategies for social acceptance, for example with the South East Queensland commercial fishing industry (2017-012)
    • See the Building Community Trust page for more resources.
    • Project 2018-201 developed a digital toolkit to provide fishing and aquaculture industry organisations with practical resources to help them engage with the community digitally. The resources cover the entire digital engagement process from planning through to engagement and evaluation.

  5. Building human dimensions research capability- Enhancing capability through data platforms and standards, training, and tools to help identify HDR needs.


Project Number
Design aspects of well-functioning ITQ markets
Economic Mapping of Australia's Wild-catch Prawn Supply Chain
Fishing for change: A social marketing approach to reduce the recreational harvest of Snapper and Pearl Perch in Queensland.
Engagement for Success: evaluation of engagement events to inform industry management strategies
Measuring, interpreting and monitoring economic productivity in commercial fisheries
Identifying and mitigating obstacles to uptake and adoption of aquatic animal welfare practices by the Australian Fishing Industry
Optimising Compliance Outcomes in Recreational Fisheries
FRDC Community Engagement Strategy Evaluation Framework
The End of an Era: Acknowledging the socio-cultural history and contribution of Australian small-scale fisheries
Women in Seafood Australasia - Understanding, supporting and promoting effective participation by women within the Australian seafood industry