Stakeholder Briefing December 2019

Contents

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from FRDC

Funding Round Update

FRDC Annual Report

Annual Stakeholder Workshop 2019

Planning for the future: FRDC’s 2020-25 RD&E Plan

Digital Update

People Development Review

Innovation Update

Inquiries and Reviews

National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative

Carp Update

Food and Agriculture Organisation's International Fisheries Sustainability Symposium, 18-21 November 2019

International Coalition Fisheries Association (ICFA) Meeting

CRC Northern Australia Workshop - Aquaculture Opportunities in Northern Australia: Solutions and Strategies

World Fisheries Congress 2020

Little Fish Film Competition

Key events 2019-20

FRDC board meeting dates and locations

FRDC RAC meeting dates

Key new projects approved since last update in June 2019

Download a pdf version of the Stakeholder Briefing December 2019

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from FRDC

From the directors and staff of the FRDC we wish you all the best for the festive season. Looking forward to 2020, sharing our new RD&E Plan and connecting with all our wonderful stakeholders in the new year.

Funding Round Update

Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest now open.

Closing 16 February 2020

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) that address research, development & extension (RD&E) priorities nominated by the FRDC’s Advisory Groups: Research Advisory Committees (RACs), Industry Partnership Agreements (IPAs) and FRDC Subprograms.

Download and read the RD&E priorities for investment

EOIs that address multiple priorities are encouraged. Applicants may also submit an EOI that does not address a nominated priority; however, it should be noted that preference may be given to applications that address nominated priorities. If you do wish to submit an application that does not address one of these priorities, it is recommended that you first discuss your research concept with the relevant FRDC Advisory Group contact. As part of the application assessment, value for money is a key consideration – applicants clearly need to justify the benefit versus the cost. In addition, FRDC strongly recommends that all applicants consult with the relevant stakeholder groups and expected end users to ensure that research concepts have the support of beneficiaries. Support can be demonstrated through formal letters of support, in-kind contributions and project cash contributions.

FRDC Annual Report

It is again pleasing to provide a short report on the FRDC’s performance against its priorities and performance indicators for 2018–19 (more detail can be found in the full version of the annual report which is available at http://www.frdc.com.au/about/corporate-documents/annual-reports).

Over the year, the FRDC met and achieved its performance indicators as outlined in the 2018–19 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS).

  • The financial income target was $34.70 million and $39.55 million was achieved.
  • The financial expenditure target was $34.68 million and actual expenditure was $35.22 million.

The directors’ review of operations (which can be found in the full report on pages 5–12) provides further detail on events and activities that impacted the FRDC during the year.

The FRDC Board would like to thank all its stakeholders, the Australian Government and the many members from across the Indigenous commercial and recreational fishing sectors for their continued support over the last year. Government and industry engagement play a vital role in ensuring high-quality research priorities are identified and addressed.

Annual Stakeholder Workshop 2019

FRDC’s annual planning workshop was held on 25 & 26 September in Adelaide. Participants were involved in a workshopping process to inform the 2020-2025 RD&E Plan on the first day, working in groups to consider four alternative scenarios for the future, and considering implications and insights that will shape the nature and direction of the plan.

The process was generally well received, however some participants were unsure of how scenario planning can be useful in strategic planning and had concerns in relation to the focus and content of some scenarios. Feedback received helped to refine the approach used in regional workshops held later in the year - in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane on 30 Sept, 1 Oct and 14 Oct, respectively.

On the second day, Managing Director Patrick Hone provided an overview of relevant developments including the Council of RDCs discussion on modernising the RDC system, the advisory panel that will be advising the Government on RDC reform, the new Food and Fibre Plan, the National Fishing Plan as part of the Governments election commitment, the senate inquiry into seismic testing and various reviews including the EPBC Act and biosecurity targets and the Code of Conduct for Responsible fishing by the UN. This overview was followed by a presentation on the Forrest Hill review of FRDC’s partnership models that was largely well received. There was some side discussion on the potential benefits of making changes to FRDC’s advisory bodies such as RACs and subprograms. The day was rounded off with Peter and Annabel outlining FRDCs approach to extension and adoption and progress against previous priorities highlighted at last year’s workshop.

Presentations from the Stakeholder Workshop 2019 are available in the 2019 Stakeholder workshop notes on the FRDC website http://www.frdc.com.au/partners/stakeholder-workshops

Planning for the future: FRDC’s 2020-25 RD&E Plan

Fish Forever – A shared 2030 vision for Australia’s fishing and aquaculture community

FRDC and Strategic Journeys have been working with stakeholders from across the fishing and aquaculture sectors to define a shared vision for the future. Titled Fish Forever – a shared 2030 vision for Australia’s fishing and aquaculture community, the document build on insights gathered through consultation over the last 8 months, to define areas of impact that require focus to help all sectors thrive in a changing world.

Fish Forever has been informed by detailed scenario planning, and once complete, will help FRDC as we consider how we might best assist our stakeholders over the next five years through investment in research, development and extension (RD&E). In this way, Fish Forever will directly inform FRDC’s strategic RD&E plan for 2020-25, which is currently under development.

FRDC is currently gathering feedback on an early draft from stakeholders who have helped inform its development, before broader circulation for comment early in the New Year.

FRDC RD&E Plan Consultation

FRDC is on track to produce its draft strategic plan for 2020-25 early in 2020. The plan will outline key result areas that FRDC will work towards in collaboration with our stakeholders over the next five years, through investment in research, development and extension (RD&E). Details for upcoming activities are summarised below:

Drafting complete  30 January 2020 
 Seek input on draft from Representative Organisations and Department of Agriculture  7-28 February 2020
 Design complete  30 March 2020
 2020-2025 RD&E Plan launched  1 July 2020

We will continue to provide more information on the FRDC RD&E Plan web page.You can also share your thoughts and ideas to FRDC2025@frdc.com.au.

Review of the FRDCs investment partner process

The draft of the review undertaken by Forrest Hill into the FRDCs partnership structures such as the Research Advisory Committees, Industry Partnership Agreements and Subprograms was circulated to these partners for comment. The review found that there was broad support for the partner process with options put forward around improvements to collaboration, changes to assist in linkages, consolidation of some committees and better extension. These comments have been provided back to Forrest Hill for consideration in the finalisation of the report. Once finalised, the review will be used to help inform the FRDC regarding future structures, for the implementation of the 2020-2025 RD&E Plan.

Digital Update

FRDC is continuing on from the trial with Queensland to build a jurisdictional stock status authoring and publishing system that can link back to the National Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports with Western Australia and Northern Territory.

With fishers being encouraged to collect more and more data it is essential to increase trust and mitigate risks associated with third parties that hold or transmit the data. To address this, FRDC is authoring a paper for Abalone Council Australia (Wild-catch Abalone) in relation to ownership, vendor risk management, future reforms and development in relation to data.

Accelerating Precision to Decision Agriculture (P2D) provided 13 recommendations relating to policy, strategy, leadership, digital literacy and enablers. The RDCs agreed that the best mechanism to take forward these recommendations is another Cotton RDC led RRD4P application, and put forward a subsequent application titled ‘Australian Agriculture – Growing a Digital Future’ to the Department of Agriculture’s fourth round of the Rural R&D for Profit program. However unfortunately the RRD4P application was unsuccessful.

People Development Review

In early 2019 FRDC commissioned a review of its People Development Program to feed in to the RD&E planning process (http://www.frdc.com.au/project/2018-149). Under the last RD&E Plan FRDC devolved the leadership of investment in people development to the Research Advisory Committees and Industry Partnership Agreements. It is clear from this review that there is a requirement for the FRDC to provide some high level guidance on people development, including a strategy with structural support. The final report is on the FRDC website at the above link and the FRDC will be working to operationalise some of these aspects under the new FRDC RD&E Plan.

Innovation Update

EvokeAg

In early 2020 the FRDC will be partnering with Agrifutures Australia sponsoring evokeAg.

Over two days in Melbourne, more than 70 thought-provoking experts in their fields will take to the stage and share their ideas on how we can challenge the conventions of what we grow, how we grow it and what we eat.

As part of the program a Blue Economy session will be run. The session aims to showcase how scientists, brands and investors are capitalising on what is on offer in the deep blue.

The event will take place in Melbourne at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building on 18-19 February 2020. Tickets are available online, with discounted group, student and primary producer delegate passes also available. Visit evokeAG. Food Farm Future 2020 for the program and further information.

TekFish

FRDC is trialling a process to increase its activity in the innovation space through the investment in start ups and possible existing technology developers to solve stakeholder ‘problems’. During the trial, the FRDC will focus on three areas - aquaculture, traceability and fishing technologies. Stakeholders will be involved in the identification of the issues or problems experienced in each of these areas. These will then be further developed into challenges that will be shared with other innovation investors and then exposed to the startup and technology innovation system for solution identification. This process will be trialled with an aquaculture workshop that is being organised prior to evokeAG. (outlined above) to discuss issues and bottlenecks associated with aquaculture with the view to exposing these to the start-up community to test the market for innovative ideas.

Fish 2.0

The FRDC partnership culminated at the Global Innovators Forum held at Stanford, California in November 4-5, 2019. The core elements of Fish 2.0 included a series of entrepreneur training workshops and investor exposure, an online readiness assessment program in which investors gave feedback and helped vet ventures, a publication series for investor education and an ongoing communications campaign to raise awareness and engagement in the sustainable seafood sector.

This year’s Forum confirmed that the sustainable seafood sector is now on firm footing and is no longer on the fringe. The investor representation at the Forum reflected this mainstreaming, including not just “seafood” investors, but individuals and funds from the broader ag-tech world and agricultural banking. For the first time, the leading U.S. seafood distributors were there too, amazed at the innovation happening in their own sector.

Australian finalists are outlined below. The winner as judged “Fish 2.0 Top Innovator Award – Australia” by the forum was Australian Crayfish Hatchery.

Company 
Presenter / Location 

Snapshot
Aquaculture Supplements 
Suzanne Catty, Brisbane 
 The production of a new veterinary medicine for the treatment of internal and external parasites in farmed fish. 
Skadia Technologies
Geoff Lipsett-Moore, Canberra 
 Skadia Technologies develops new products to improve efficiency and compliance of longline fishing. First product, Underwater Baitsetter, reduces bycatch of seabirds, particularly albatross. 
 Climate Foundation 
Samuel Harrington, Brisbane 
 Designing, deploying and operating seaweed arrays irrigated with cool nutrient rich water upwelled from the deep ocean to restore mariculture, fisheries and ecosystems. 
 TomKat Global Solutions
Kath Long, Kurrimine Beach 
 TomKat Kool Pak is an environmentally responsible packaging solution designed to protect product, preserve the environment, save money and help meet environmental targets on sustainable packaging. 
 Dreamweaver 
Andy Moulynox, Laverton Nth 
 Dreamweaver develops sustainable, 100% recyclable packaging. Eliminating hazardous polystyrene(HDEPS), & its low rates of recovery, replacing HDEPS with a high recovery, high value, recyclable resource. 
 Two Hands
Greg McLardie, Melbourne 
Two Hands is a digital marketplace connecting Fishers directly with high-end restaurants and their consumers enabling a strong emotional connection and elimination of food fraud. 
 Australian Crayfish Hatchery
Lisa Elliott, Townsville 
 ACH is a state-of-the-art redclaw crayfish hatchery. Using patent pending, sustainable technologies ACH supplies seed stock to grow-out farms globally, revolutionizing freshwater crayfish production. 

Inquiries and Reviews

The FRDC has made submissions to a range of inquiries and reviews over the past few months. It is important to note that in most cases submissions are not publicly available until the inquiry/review is complete, but once they are able to be shared they will be placed on the FRDC (http://www.frdc.com.au/en/about/corporate-documents/submissions). Where the FRDC submission is publicly available the links to these documents are provided. 

Modernisation of the Research and Development Corporations

Minister McKenzie has released a discussion paper on how to modernise the Research and Development Corporations. The discussion paper can be found at:

https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/modernising-rdc

The Minister has said “We are seeking ways to modernise and improve the Research and Development Corporation (RDC) system.”

$100 billion Food and Agriculture

On Thursday, 22 August 2019, the Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, asked the Committee to inquire into and report on growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030. 

The FRDC developed a submission that highlighted that the Australian commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors have considerable future growth potential and are well placed to contribute strongly to a target of growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.

To view the FRDC submission follow this link: https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=88d8b0f1-dcd4-425e-8fb2-64074b649d99&subId=671269

Seismic Review

On 16 September 2019, the Senate referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee an inquiry to look at the impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment and report by 14 May 2020. 

In response to the Senate seeking an inquiry into the ‘Impact of Seismic Testing on Fisheries and the Marine Environment’, the FRDC provided a submission to the Senate, building on the FRDC’s RD&E investment in Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors as well as the Australia’s marine resource and their interactions with the Australian petroleum industry. For more information refer to the ‘Seismic & Marine Sound’ page on the FRDC website – /issues/seismic-and-marine-sound-research. 

The FRDC would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the various stakeholders who provided responses to the Senate on this issue. We are acutely aware of the increasing frequency of interactions between the Australian seafood and petroleum industry. The FRDC keenly awaits the outcomes from the review process. The FRDC’s submission will be available following the completion of that process. 

Tasmanian Finfish Aquaculture

On 16 September 2019, Legislative Council Government Administration Committee resolved to commence an inquiry into finfish farming in Tasmania. The FRDC submitted a submission that focused on the provision of salmonid research and development. The submission highlighted that the FRDC has been investing in science to ensure the sustainable development of the salmonid aquaculture industry since its inception in 1991. Over this time the FRDC has invested in some 260 projects with an overall investment in excess of $60m that has benefited finfish farming in Tasmania.

EPBC Review

The second independent review of the EPBC Act commenced on 29 October 2019. The review will be led by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, supported by a panel of experts. A report will be presented to the Minister for the Environment within 12 months of commencement of the review. The review will look at how the EPBC Act has been operating, and any changes needed for Australia to support ecologically sustainable development into the future. More information about the review can be found at https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/.

Food and Fibre Plan

This plan intends to set out the steps required to achieve the Government’s commitment to the $100 billion farm gate GVP by 2030.

Drought Resilience Fund Inquiry

The Federal government has announced a future drought fund with a total budget to 2028-29 of $5 billion. The fund is primarily for activities that are for community benefit/public good and are not proposed for individual enterprise or commercial benefit. 

The plan is nearing completion with the consultative committee meeting with stakeholders around the country. The FRDC met with the committee in Canberra and outlined the drought impacts on freshwater and marine systems and the fishing and aquaculture activities associated with it. They were interested to hear this as previously they had not considered these types of impacts. More information on the fund can be found from the following link https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund.

National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative

The National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative (SISI) held its first Steering Committee meeting in late August. The Seafood Industry Safety Initiative was developed as a cross-stakeholder partnership to address gaps and/or inefficiencies in the workplace health and safety space of the Australian seafood industry. A Strategic Plan and Terms of Reference recently developed by the Initiative’s steering committee are available on the FRDC’s website. The National Safety Initiative is chaired by John Harrison. For more information on SISI contact Chris Izzo (christopher.izzo@frdc.com.au).

The primary roles of the Steering Committee are to:

  • identify RD&E priorities, through review and consultation with key fisheries stakeholders and develop projects to address those priorities;
  • identify how to address cultural barriers to implementing safety to improve the culture across the commercial harvest and fish farming sectors;
  • facilitate effective extension and adoption of R&D outputs relevant to industry safety; and
  • promote collaboration and co-investment opportunities in RD&E both nationally and internationally.
  • In addition, the National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative will:
  • develop and implement a strategic safety direction for the seafood industry;
  • oversee progress of current and future FRDC funded projects; and
  • ensure future projects are aligned with the strategic safety direction.

In addition, the National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative will:

  • develop and implement a strategic safety direction for the seafood industry;
  • oversee progress of current and future FRDC funded projects; and
  • ensure future projects are aligned with the strategic safety direction.

It was agreed that the scope of the activities are for the commercial wild harvest and commercial aquaculture sectors. It was also agreed that the goal of the initiative was to work towards zero fatalities and reduction in workplace safety incidences. A key supporting activity is Seafood Industry Australia’s ‘Our Pledge,’ that commits to “Value our people, look after them and keep them safe”. 

‘Sea Rogue’ an animated film, which captures the incredible story of Deckhand Michael Williams to attempt to save his crew members recently won the prestigious Jury award at the Port Shorts International Film Festival. The films first public screening will be held on February 27, 2020 in Yamba. ‘Sea Rogue’ was produced as part of FRDC’s safety awareness and education project sesafe, www.sesafe.com.au, as part of a suite of resources aimed at raising awareness and changing behaviour in relation to safety in the seafood sector.

For more information on the range of safety projects and activities that the FRDC is involved in refer to – https://www.frdc.com.au/issues/workplace-health-and-safety-in-fisheries-and-aquaculture 

Carp Update

The National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) will be delivered to the Australian Government in late December 2019. The Plan brings together results from each of the 18 research projects and numerous planning investigations commissioned as part of the NCCP. The Plan also includes a feasibility assessment based on three main criteria: 

  • Will the virus be an effective biocontrol agent? 
  • What are the risks?
  • Can the risks associated with the release be managed?

The Plan includes an implementation strategy to provide guidance should the Government decide to release the virus. This is supported by a cost-benefit analysis and a number of case studies outlining how the release might be managed in specific regions. 

With the delivery of the Plan to Government, the FRDC’s role concludes. The http://www.carp.gov.au/ website will continue as a central repository of research completed as part of this work. 

The Australian Government will then evaluate the Plan and seek the view of state governments to decide whether to proceed with the virus release. If the decision is made to proceed, a phase of legislative approval will follow before reaching the final implementation stage in which the virus would be released.

Thank you 

The NCCP has involved multiple Australian jurisdictions, government and research agencies, hundreds of researchers, numerous experts and independent reviewers, and many members of the community who provided their views. The FRDC would like to sincerely thank these individuals for their interest and dedication. In particular, the FRDC would like to thank: 

  • all NCCP researchers and expert contractors 
  • members of the Science Advisory Group
  • members of the Operations Working Group
  • members of the previous Communications Working Group
  • members of the previous Policy Working Group
  • the NCCP team within the FRDC

Food and Agriculture Organisation's International Fisheries Sustainability Symposium, 18-21 November 2019

The United National Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held an international symposium on sustainability in November 2019 in Rome. Objectives of the event were to establish the global status of fisheries sustainability, identify challenges to improving sustainability, consider how to ensure an evidence basis for decision-making, and discuss what societies expect of fisheries in the 21st century. 

The event was structured into 8 topical sessions, with keynote presentations followed by panel discussions. Links to the presentations by each speaker can be found here, and a short video explaining high level key insights from the event can be found here. Some key themes from discussion during the four-day event are summarised below: 

  • A need for better knowledge mobilisation across all those involved in decision-making, and to develop information collection systems that are cost effective, community-based, and make best use of new tech.
  • A need to be more precautionary management in some contexts to account for present uncertainty
  • Importance of developing integrated biodiversity and food security objectives that recognize trade-offs and are nationally and locally relevant.
  • Merits of enhancing monitoring and reporting on sustainability to include information on ecosystems rather than just target species, drawing on social, economic and biological sciences, local and traditional knowledge, disaggregated by gender. 
  • A need to promote and strengthen diverse, inclusive and accountable partnerships among resource users
  • A need to develop a positive narrative around fishing in general, highlighting contribution towards food security and resource stewardship. 
  • Importance of building capacity among those along the value chain, in particular women and small-scale producers and processors, to seize opportunities and reap their fair share of benefits and engage fully in sustainable and equitable food systems.
  • Challenges and benefits associated with improving access to credit, finance and insurance for the small-scale sector, and in particular women entrepreneurs and operators from disadvantaged groups.
  • A need to reduce waste and increase utilization by developing new products and markets.

It was particularly interesting to note strong consistency between key insights raised during the four-day international symposium, and issues highlighted during consultation with FRDC stakeholder throughout Australia to inform our 2020-25 RD&E Plan. Consequently, we need to work to identify and capitalise upon opportunities for collaboration with international partners as we seek to address our common issues moving forward.

International Coalition Fisheries Association (ICFA) Meeting

The FRDC is a member of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA), which is a coalition of the national fish and seafood industry trade associations from the world’s major fishing nations. ICFA members are deeply committed to science-based and fully participatory fishery conservation and management processes. The group meet annually to discuss key issues. At the most recent meeting in September this year the following issues were discussed. 

  • FAO are developing a declaration to go to next year’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI) meeting. This will provide a possible framework for enhancing the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing. 2020 will be the 25th Anniversary of the Code.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Standing Committee met in Geneva on the 28 August 2019. There were several marine and freshwater species nominated for listing that have direct relevance to Australia.
  • Biological Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions (BBNJ) changes to the UN law of the sea are not far from getting through the UN General Assembly. BBNJ can have a role for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) on the high seas.
  • The ICFA Communication group undertook an exercise to identify areas of change that are of shared interest for ICFA members. Feedback were sought from member and companies operating in the seafood value chain to capture the major changes that could potentially affect industry stakeholders in the next 5-10 years. The key changes raised across all areas of the network are:
    • Efficiencies of different forms of seafood production.
    • Appropriate resource management – wild.
    • Trade distortion, embargoes, agreements.
    • Available workforce.
      In addition, a range of issues were identified that are of interest to parts of the network:
    • Spatial management.
    • Fish production volume – wild/aquaculture.
    • Microplastics.
    • Climate change.
    • Changing landscape for seafood sustainability.
    • Animal welfare.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In November 2018, parties to the CBD agreed to a 2-year process to develop the Post-2020 Framework. The Framework will include a 2050 Vision and targets along the way, such as for 2030. Canada and Uganda are the co-chairs for this process. Decisions on the Post-2020 Framework will be made at the CBD meeting in October 2020. 
  • Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) is meeting next year in India – there is an Australian concern that school shark will be proposed to be listed.
  • Plastics was an issue for all ICFA members. The intractable issue is the consumption of plastic by sea life that is caught as seafood. More and more research is showing that plastic is in seafood – the majority by far of this plastic comes from terrestrial sources – in particular micro and nano plastics. The studies find the plastic in the gut and not the fillet – obviously then only seafood like mussels and oysters where we eat the whole organism is there any issue of human consuming plastic from seafood. Unfortunately, this is a difficult message to communicate to consumers and is the message that this plastic if consumed has no negative health effects. See SafeFish fact sheets for more information.

CRC Northern Australia Workshop - Aquaculture Opportunities in Northern Australia: Solutions and Strategies

During 2019 a CRC Northern Australia funded project “Aquaculture opportunities in northern Australia: Solutions and Strategies” was conducted by researchers and aquaculture experts from James Cook University (JCU), CSIRO, Blueshift Consulting, Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA), Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC). The aquaculture situational analysis project is one of eight industry situational analyses funded by the CRCNA in 2017/18. Other industries being examined by the CRCNA include the rice, forestry, cropping, horticulture, bush foods, beef, health and infrastructure and communication sectors. 

To complete this analysis the project team drew upon diverse views, visions and experiences of stakeholders to identify key challenges and opportunities facing the North Australian aquaculture sector and explore potential solutions and/or identify the most strategic research projects for further investment. The situational analysis examined the Northern Australian aquaculture industry’s current infrastructure, biosecurity threats and protocols, animal health management and investment landscape to identify possible gaps and barriers to development and explore what has and has not worked commercially in the past. 

To assist completion and extension of findings and recommendations from this project, the FRDC has funded a workshop to be held in Rockhampton on the 5th and 6th of February 2020. The workshop sponsored by the Rockhampton Regional Council will provide the opportunity for project investigators to present findings and recommendations to all stakeholders. This gathering will allow indigenous representatives, aquaculture farmers, industry organisations, government agencies, investors and university researchers to contribute to the summation of key recommendations for future investment and R & D needs; and prepare a vision that captures northern Australia’s natural and strategic advantages.

World Fisheries Congress 2020

Australia will host the World Fisheries Congress 2020 (WFC2020) in Adelaide from 11 to 15 October 2020. Held every four years, the 8th Congress will be one of the largest gathering of the research, industry and management sectors in 2020.

The Committee are keen to hear from any organisation who are keen to participate or showcase their organisation to 1500+ delegates from around the world and provide an opportunity to be part of and build the largest fisheries event and tradeshow in 2020.

Download the Sponsorship and Exhibition prospectus or contact the Sponsorship and Exhibition Manager at conference@aomevents.com and ask about the opportunities at WFC2020.

The WFC2020 Program Committee is now welcoming abstract submissions under a list of topics that are organised around four key themes:

  • Sustainable Fisheries ( Assessment, Regulation, Enforcement)
  • Fish and Aquatic Ecosystems (Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecosystem Function, Integrated Management)
  • Fisheries and Society (Contributions to Sustainable Development)
  • Future of Fish and Fisheries (Innovations in Fisheries)

Abstracts for oral or poster presentations must be submitted online via the WFC2020 Abstract Submission Portal. Abstracts must not exceed 350 words and must follow the Abstract Submission Guidelines.

Abstract submissions are now invited for the World Fisheries Congress 2020 and abstract submissions close 31 January 2020. For more details visit https://wfc2020.com.au/callforabstracts/

Little Fish Film Competition

As part of the World Fisheries Congress the FRDC will be running a short film competition, using the World Fisheries Congress to focus a global conversation on fisheries and the role they play in the lives of millions of people. The key objective is to raise awareness of the conference and its themes. A secondary objective is to raise awareness and exposure to fisheries science with a younger generation. The festival will be open to school students from around the world, ages 9-13.

Find out more on the festival at http://littlefilms.fish/

Key events 2019-20

 Date Event  More information
 28 Dec  Oysters in the Vines Seafood and Wine Festival, Port Macquarie NSW  https://portmacquarieinfo.com.au/whats-on/events/ oysters-in-the-vines
 30−31 Dec  International Conference on Marine Ecology, Biodiversity and Pollution, France  https://waset.org/marine-ecology-biodiversity-and-pollution- conference-in-dec-2019-in-paris#
 2020
 11 Jan  Portarlington Mussel Festival, Portarlington Victoria  www.portmusselfestival.com
 12 Jan  Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Fest, Cape Jaffa SA  www.capejaffafest.com
 25−26 Jan  Hooked on Portland, Portland Victoria  www.facebook.com/hookedonportland
 26 Jan  Kilcunda Lobster Festival, Kilcunda Victoria  https://kcda.weebly.com/lobster-festival.html
 2 Feb  World Wetlands Day 2020
 5-6 Feb  CRC Northern Australia Workshop - Aquaculture Opportunities in Northern Australia: Solutions and Strategies, Rockhampton, Qld
 7−9 Feb  India International Seafood Show 2020, India  www.indianseafoodexpo.com
 9−11 Feb  Fish International 2020, Germany  https://fishinternational.de/en
 9−12 Feb  Aquaculture America 2020, Hawaii  www.marevent.com/AA2020_HONOLULU.html
 11 Feb  International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020
 14−16 Feb  Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, Apollo Bay Victoria  www.apollobayseafoodfestival.com
 18−19 Feb  Evoke Ag  https://evokeag.com/
 16−21 Feb  Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020, USA  www.agu.org/ocean-sciences-meeting
 19−20 Feb  AquaFarm 2020, Italy  www.aquafarm.show/en
 27−28 Feb  International Conference on Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Sydney NSW  https://waset.org/fisheries-and-aquatic-sciences-conference-in- feb-2020-in-sydney
 3−4 Mar  ABARES Outlook 2020 conference, Canberra  www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/outlook
 9−15 Mar  Sustainable Seafood Week Australia 2020
 14−15 Mar  Mandurah Crab Fest, Mandurah WA  www.crabfest.com.au
 15−17 Mar  Seafood Expo North America, USA  www.seafoodexpo.com/north-america
 16−17 Mar  International Conference on Aquaculture 2020, Thailand  https://aemconferences.com/aqua
 24 March  Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2020, Thailand  http://feedconferences.com 
 21-23 April  Seafood Expo Global, Brussels, Belgium  https://www.seafoodexpo.com/global/
 5-9 Jul  Australian Marine Sciences Association/New Zealand Marine Sciences Society 2020 Conference, Sydney  https://amsa2020.amsa.asn.au/ 
 11-15 Oct  World Fisheries Congress 2020, Adelaide  https://wfc2020.com.au/ 
 18-23 Oct  International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management  https://icwl2020.com.au/

FRDC board meeting dates and locations

Date  Location 
 25-26 Feb 2020   Brisbane 
 22-23 Apr 2020   Canberra
 16-17 Jun 2020  Darwin

FRDC RAC meeting dates

Date   Research Advisory Committee meetings  More information
 3 March 2020  NSWRAC   See the FRDC website - /Partners/Research-Advisory-Committees 
 5 March 2020  NTRAC
 12 March 2020  TASRAC
 12 March 2020  WARAC
 18 March 2020  QLDRAC
 19 March 2020  VICRAC
 31 March 2020  SARAC 
 2 April 2020   COMRAC

Key new projects approved since last update in June 2019

Project Number   Title  Applicant  Principle Investigator  Budget$
 2018-178  Species identification of Australia’s most significant octopus fishery – the Western Australian Common Octopus  Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) WA  Anthony Hart  94,058
 2019-011  Optimising Compliance Outcomes in Recreational Fisheries  University of Western Australia  Jade Lindley  37,774
 2019-012  Postgraduate funding - Stock structure and connectivity of Black Bream including implications for management  University of Adelaide  Bronwyn M. Gillanders  75,000
 2019-013  Modelling environmental changes and effects on wild-caught species in Queensland  University of Queensland (UQ)  Jerzy A. Filar  298,704
 2019-020  Development of a user-friendly Management Strategy Evaluation framework for Queensland’s rocky reef fishery  Department of Agriculture and Fisheries   Matthew Campbell  138,225
 2019-022  Digital Literacy for Queensland Commercial Fishers Stage 1 - Improving Business Efficiencies  Honey and Fox Pty Ltd  Emily Mantilla  133,990
 2019-023  Identifying and mitigating obstacles to uptake and adoption of aquatic animal welfare practices by the Australian Fishing Industry   ENVision Environmental Consulting  Nicki Mazur  100,100
 2019-026  Measuring, Interpreting and Monitoring Economic Productivity in Commercial Fisheries  University of Adelaide  Stephanie F. McWhinnie  248,572
 2019-027  Improving and promoting fish-trawl selectivity in the SESSF and GABTS  NSW Department Of Primary Industries  Matt K. Broadhurst  776,376
 2019-028  Improving Southern Rock Lobster on-vessel handling practices, data collection and industry tools for lobster quality assessment  University of Tasmania (UTAS)  Quinn P. Fitzgibbon  538,604
 2019-031  Understanding population structure and dynamics of Victoria’s developing Octopus fishery  Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)   Jayson Semmens  372,411
 2019-032  Seaweed production as a nutrient offset for Moreton Bay University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)  Nicholas Paul  370,000
 2019-038  Abalone diver observation collection, analysis and reporting system for improved management decision making  Abalone Council Victoria Incorporated  John M. Minehan  95,800
 2019-044  Quantifying post-release survival and movement of Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus): Informing strategies to engage the fishing community in practices to enhance the sustainability of an important multi-sector fishery  University of Adelaide  Paul J. Rogers  395,517
 2019-046  Cost-effective, non-destructive solutions to developing a pre-recruit index for Snapper  University of Adelaide  Anthony J. Fowler  541,804
 2019-051  Examining the potential impacts of seismic surveys on octopus and larval stages of Southern Rock Lobster  Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)   Jayson Semmens 610,070 
 2019-060  The Detection of Ciguatera Toxins in NSW Spanish Mackerel  University of Technology Sydney (UTS)  Shauna Murray  490,000
 2019-063  Assessment of the sustainability of common dolphin interactions with the South Australian Sardine Fishery  University of Adelaide  Simon D. Goldsworthy  380,000
 2019-072  A survey to detect change in Danish Seine catch rates of Flathead and School Whiting resulting from CGG seismic exploration  Fishwell Consulting Pty Ltd  Ian Knuckey 647,850
 2019-085  National Snapper Workshop - Rebuilding our iconic Snapper stocks  Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia  Jonathan McPhail  65,000
 2019-091  Non-Market Impact Valuation for Fisheries RD&E (Phase I)  Agtrans Research  Talia Hardaker  42,000
 2019-096  Workshop - Aquaculture opportunities in northern Australia: Solutions and Strategies  James Cook University (JCU)  Jennifer Cobcroft  55,007
 2019-100  Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Lead Auditor Training Program for Aquaculture Biosecurity Plans  Nautilus Collaboration Pty Ltd  Christine C. Huynh  20,000
2019-103   Strategic Planning Workshop for Yellowtail Kingfish Stock Assessment in South-Eastern Australia  NSW Department of Primary Industries Mosman  John Stewart  12,338
 2019-110  Best practice and policy in abalone stock enhancement, restocking and translocation  Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA  Lachlan Strain  61,802
 2019-118  Drawing strength from each other: simulation testing of Australia’s abalone harvest strategies  Cathy Dichmont Consulting  Cathy M. Dichmont  616,001
 2019-122  Developing jurisdictional and national SAFS authoring and collaboration platform   SourceCode ANZ Pty Ltd  Rudi van der Walt  380,000
 2019-142  Resource Sharing in Australian Fisheries Workshop - Progress to Date, Lessons Learnt and Next Steps towards a harmonised approach  FutureCatch Consulting  Nick D. Rayns  15,000
2019-146   National Recreational Fishing Conference bursary 2019  Enviro Circle Pty Ltd  Owen Li  45,000
 2019-153  Minor Use Permit development for use of AQUI-S (isoeugenol 540g/L) by the Australian lobster industry.  Future Fisheries Veterinary Service Pty Ltd  Matt A. Landos  179,800
 2019-154  Bursaries to fund three South Australian Recreational Sector members to attend the National Recreational Fishing Conference 2019  Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia  Skye Barrett  6,500
 2020-003  Understanding the stock structure of rock flathead and the role of movement dynamics in influencing the performance of the Corner Inlet fishery  Deakin University  Justin Rizzari  145,650
 2020-004  The impact and implication of Perkinsus olseni on Australian abalone fisheries  SARDI Aquatic Sciences  Ben Stobart  322,174