To ensure FRDC activities align with the ambitions and contemporary needs of end-users, we engage widely with our industry partners to establish and address their specific R&D priorities and to ensure that cross-sectoral issues of national importance are also a focus.
Specifically, we work with the commercial fishing (aquaculture and wildcatch), Indigenous fishing and recreational fishing sectors to ensure our investments meet their needs. It’s important to keep in mind that there can be crossover between sectors. For example, Indigenous fishers may participate in customary fishing, conduct aquaculture and commercial fishing, and fish recreationally.
FRDC's stakeholders include:
- Federal, state and territory governments, including fisheries and national resource managers
- All fishing and aquaculture sectors
- The Australian community, on whose behalf aquatic natural resources are managed
- Seafood consumers
- The research community, including universities, government fisheries organisations, further education organisations (e.g. TAFE), international research organisations and private-sector research providers.
To help ensure our R&D reinvestments are in the interests of stakeholders and deliver benefits to end-users, we rely on advice from a range of advisory groups.
These advisory groups provide key information to the FRDC on the prioritisation and assessment of research and can be at the jurisdiction level (Research Advisory Committees - RACs) or sector level (Industry Partnership Agreements - IPAs).
Advisory groups help identify and articulate research priorities during our Call for Applications, sit on project steering committees and advise on opportunities for research extension and adoption. They may also be called upon to review applications where their expertise aligns.
The FRDC has also developed a number of Co-ordination programs to provide a higher level of coordination, integration and communication for areas of national significance.
For broader strategic guidance, FRDC works with four ministerially-declared representative organisations to which the FRDC is accountable under legislation:
- Seafood Industry Australia (representing the seafood industry at a national level)
- Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Industry Confederation Inc. trading as Recfish Australia (representing recreational and sport fishers)
- Commonwealth Fisheries Association (representing commercial fishers who operate in Commonwealth fisheries)
The FRDC also regularly engages with key forums related to fishing and aquaculture or the environment in which it operates:
- The Governance Committee that supports the National Fishing and Aquaculture RD&E Strategy and the National Research Providers Network which represents fishery and aquaculture researchers (FRDC is a member of both groups)
- National Marine Science Committee
- Australian Fisheries Management Forum, representing government agencies responsible for fisheries management (FRDC is an observer)
- FRDC coordination programs.
Each year, the FRDC holds a number of meetings with stakeholders, including as part of Board meetings, the work of advisory groups, or workshops on key issues.