Project number: 2021-053
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $351,147.00
Principal Investigator: Alison Turnbull
Organisation: University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2022 - 30 Apr 2025


The Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Advisory Committee (ASQAAC) is a volunteer organisation comprised of members including state regulators, industry representatives and associated stakeholders including researchers, Safefish, seafood importers and laboratories. As the program sets the requirements for market access in Australia through the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (ASQAP), and influences industry's ability to grow and further develop our low input, carbon friendly and job intensive industry. The ASQAP is best practice, and ASQAAC strives to include safe and appropriately innovative and validated measures to ensure market access is maximised - important for both COVID recovery and future proofing the national shellfish industry.
There is an on-going need to provide national guidance on ASQAP interpretation and delivery for our industry that has been highlighted by both the succession needs of the well-established programs in SA, Tas and NSW, and by the emerging shellfish industries in WA, NT, and Qld. The market failure for systemisation and training material and continuous improvement stems from the underpinning knowledge of this topic being niche and highly specialised.
In the words of the ASQAAC Chair Phil Baker: “The last decade has seen the exit of significant knowledge and history with long-term regulators being replaced with new recruits to the technically complex shellfish regulatory role. Currently there is little to guide them, particularly as ASQAP has transitioned to an outcome-based program. The vital knowledge required is often learned through experience.” This program aims to take advantage of the pool of experts that do exist in Australia, to the benefit of all existing and developing programs.


1. Understand the training needs to support the continued development of Australian shellfish industries covered by ASQAP
2. Develop technical training modules for regulators and industry in bivalve shellfish food safety risk management
3. Deliver the training modules in a manner that suits both industry and regulators, and supports learning from existing Australian experts and adoption of successful risk management strategies
4. Provide a pathway for longevity of the training

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