Published: 21 February 2024 Updated: 27 February 2024
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DATE 27 Feb 2024
FEEDBACK/STORY SUGGESTIONS Dempsey Ward Communication Coordinator +61 2 6122 2134

The Federal Government is offering up to $1.1 million dollars for SME’s who can provide innovative solutions to improve the energy efficiency of the commercial fishing sector


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"Energy is the highest input cost for commercial fishing operations. Reducing energy use and finding alternative low-cost options can help the bottom line have a win by reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said General Manager of Strategy and Innovation at FRDC, Jennifer Marshall. 

"The commercial fishing sector is a vital part of our economy, and whilst the sector doesn't create high emissions compared to other forms of agriculture, it is reliant on fossil fuels. Energy efficiency improvements can reduce environmental impact and support positive economic outcomes for producers.” 

“We're looking for cost effective, technically feasible solutions that can help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, increase efficiency, and operate more sustainably." 

The aim is to increase efficiency and reduce carbon intensity of commercial fishing operations by 30% or more.  

Successful applicants will receive funding from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. FRDC will then connect these applicants to key commercial fishing stakeholders and relevant expertise to help ensure the innovative idea can be put into action as soon as possible.   

Successful applicants also have the potential to open doors to other sectors and countries, keep their intellectual property, and accelerate commercial opportunities. 

"There's a growing market for sustainably sourced seafood," said Managing Director at FRDC, Patrick Hone.  

“The cost of doing business is increasing. Innovations that can help us reduce our carbon emissions and improve our energy efficiency will not only benefit the environment, but also put us in a prime position to take advantage of this growing market." 

The initiative is open for small to medium enterprises. 

If you have a bright idea for how to make the Australian commercial fishing sectors more sustainable, don't hesitate to apply: