Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest now open. Closes 27 September 2019



SafeFish - research to support food safety, trade and market access

Project Number:



SARDI Food Safety and Innovation

Principal Investigator:

Alison Turnbull

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Adoption, Environment, Industry


Maintaining and enhancing market access for Australian seafood is critical for future industry growth. SafeFish makes a significant contribution to this by: • Researching and providing technical input to international multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations such as Codex • Providing research and technical support to food safety incidents to minimise trade disruptions, including supporting appropriate risk communication • Identifying emerging food safety issues and determining appropriate research and technical responses that will protect Australia’s continued access to markets • Conducting research on seafood hazards to support risk management decisions e.g. sulphites in canned abalone, cadmium in prawns, parasites in finfish. • Facilitating national and international expertise networks (including networks between researchers, industry and regulators) • Developing and supporting food safety research and diagnostic capabilities e.g. marine biotoxin laboratory, norovirus and hepatitis A virus testing • Supporting productive partnerships between industry and regulators such as Biosecurity Australia and FSANZ to enable utilisation of research findings and to facilitate “considered” responses to food safety issues. Funding is required to undertake research on priority issues, supportcapacity, infrastructure and capability that has been developed through SafeFish since 2010. The ASCRC estimates the benefit/cost ratio for SafeFish is 11 to 1 with benefits accruing far wider than just to the industries involved. Ensuring the safety of seafood and sustaining access to markets provides significant public benefit. This application is to bridge the gap to assist the transition between the ASCRC winding up and the FRDC implementing the recent changes to the PIRD Act that will enable ongoing industry investment. Several industry sectors (Abalone Council of Australia, Southern Rocklobster Limited, & Oysters Australia) have also committed funding for SafeFish using their respective FRDC IPA funds.


1. To ensure continued delivery of robust food safety research and advice to industry and regulators that underpins Australia’s reputation as a producer of safe seafood.

2. To maintain and enhance the capabilities of SafeFish to provide that research and advice in a cost effective, efficient and timely manner.

SafeFish: Research to Support Food Safety, Trade and Market Access

Author(s):Natalie Dowsett, Stephen Pahl, Navreet Malhi and Alison Turnbull
Date Published:May 2018
SafeFish is an initiative that was developed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) with Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (ASCRC) funding in 2010 (Project 2010-752-10: SafeFish – Seafood Trade Expert Panel). The project ran until the cessation of the ASCRC in 2015, at which point the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and several industry bodies provided funding for an additional three years from 2015 to 2018 (Project 2015-212: SafeFish – Research to support Food Safety, Trade and Market Access). Since its inception, SafeFish has successfully enabled seafood industry sectors to respond in a coordinated and professional manner to technical trade and market access impediments that arise, especially in relation to food safety and hygiene. It provides industry and government departments with access to technical and scientific capability to manage known risks, and assists to identify and address new risks and market access barriers that emerge.

Safefish - Website

Date Published:
Ongoing reporting of Safefish activities can be found at the SafeFish webiste: