National Priority One - Ensuring that Australian fishing and aquaculture products are sustainable and acknowledged to be so

Ensuring that Australian fishing and aquaculture products are sustainable and acknowledged to be so

As part of the 2015-2020 FRDC RD&E Plan, the FRDC will allocate a significant portion of the Australian Government’s public-good funding it receives to take the lead in priority setting for RD&E with a national focus.

Consumers and communities are empowered by information and are increasingly scrutinising the use of natural resources. They are becoming choosier about the food they eat, where it comes from, how it is produced or caught, and its sustainability. The FRDC’s overview of fishing and aquaculture, along with stakeholder feedback, shows this situation is apparent in the Australian fishing and aquaculture sector, but is impacting all other sectors.

The FRDC has conducted significant RD&E aimed at ensuring that Australian fishing and aquaculture is sustainable, and this will continue. It is vital that the sustainability of fishing and aquaculture in Australia is maintained and this information is available to the public.

Research Priorities

Research, Development and Extension Plan

The strategic direction of National Priority 1 is outlined in the FRDC’s 2015-2020 RDE Plan.


For 2019-20 the key focus for National Priority 1 is:

  • Expansion of the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports to include information on bycatch, fisheries management and habitat, and reduce the number of undefined species in the report,
  • progress the development and implementation of a national bycatch reporting framework,
  • develop risk assessment tools for commercial fisheries and aquaculture,
  • Best practise and on water performance,
  • Ethical issues and risk assessments,
  • extend new forms of communication with stakeholders and end users (consumers), and
  • Finalise guidelines for Australian Fisheries Management Standards.


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 IPA has put forward any priorities in the current call for applications.

National Priority One Contact:
Sevaly Sen, Subprogram Leader


FRDC Management Contacts:

Crispian Ashby – FRDC Portfolio Manager (P 02 6285 0425; E


Meeting dates: See – Events 

Additional Information


The website Whichfish has been developed under National Priority One to help businesses find out more about Australian seafood to support them into making informed stocking decisions. o help businesses find out more about Australian seafood to support informed decisions 

Related projects are listed below

Project Number
Aquatic animal welfare – a review of guidance documents and legislation
Developing a guidance document for Whichfish Risk Assessment
Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) reports 2020, and further development of the SAFS production and dissemination system
Resource Sharing in Australian Fisheries Workshop - Progress to Date, Lessons Learnt and Next Steps towards a harmonised approach
Update of Whichfish Risk Assessments
A framework for advancing social acceptance of the agriculture sector in Australia - A joint RDC initiative
Agrifutures: FRDC Contribution: Phase 2 of $100 billion growth strategy
A Stock Assessment Toolbox for Australian Fisheries
Cumulative Impact Risk Assessment Tool for Aquaculture in Australia
Completing Australia’s First National Bycatch Report