Published: 27 October 2021 Updated: 27 October 2021
Table of contents

A successful World Fisheries Congress 2021 

Like many of our stakeholders, some of the FRDC staff participated in the recent virtual World Fisheries Congress 2021 (WFC). The congress saw 1100 delegates from over 60 countries converge online for four days to discuss the future of the world's fisheries. The virtual format provided a thoroughly enjoyable and highly stimulating forum that is a model for how we can connect better in the future. Congratulations to the WFC Organising Committee for coordinating this successful event – especially given the ongoing COVID-19 challenges.  

It was great to see so many familiar faces (or at least their online avatars) throughout the weeklong virtual gathering. It was also exciting to see a large number of presentations that extended the excellent research and development work being undertaken through FRDC-funded activities. These presentations highlighted the breadth of FRDC-funded research – tropical to sub-Antarctic – as well as the diversity of our research community. The WFC also saw the extension of: 

Thanks to all who dropped in on the FRDC virtual stand to have a chat with one of our staff. Please see our new FRDC corporate video that promotes our research community. 


FRDC funding round update 

The latest open call funding round for the FRDC closed on 16 August. There were approximately 50 applications received addressing the nominated research priorities in the call as well as a range of applicant-identified needs.  

These requests for funds have been evaluated by a pool of external reviewers and the FRDC Research & Investment team. Applicants can expect to be informed on the outcomes and next stages of their application evaluation shortly.  


What happens once applications are received? 

Once an application is received by the FRDC, an evaluation process begins. The applications are matched to any nominated priorities, assigned to a Portfolio Manager and external reviewers are identified. These external reviewers could include members from our jurisdictional Research Advisory Committees (RACs), Industry Partnership Agreements (IPAs), Coordination Programs, technical experts and/or end users. For applications seeking funds from the IPAs, the relevant committees will evaluate and provide recommendations for funding to the FRDC. Evaluations are no longer undertaken as part of RAC or Coordination Program meetings. 

Applications are assessed on attractiveness and feasibility as per the following table in line with the FRDC’s Investment in Research and Development Policy. The Policy also outlines other elements of consideration that include risk, avoiding duplication and achieving balanced investment. 



Relevance to R&D plan 

Likelihood of success 

Stakeholder support 

Well defined planned outcomes 

Likelihood of adoption 

Outputs clearly defined and linked to planned outcomes 

Value for money 

Clear objectives  

Level of impact 

Sound methodology  

Linkages and collaboration 

Track record of investigators 

Contribution to new knowledge 

Capacity to deliver 

Consequence of not undertaking research 



The FRDC management team collates information from these external reviews and prepares an evaluation sheet following similar criteria outlined above and makes a recommendation to either approve or reject the application. Occasionally, there are further questions or further information that may be required to complete an evaluation of an application. On these occasions, the applicant will provide correspondence outlining the further information required to complete the evaluation of an application. 

Once the evaluation is complete, the application is provided to the FRDC Board or senior management, such as the Managing Director, for final decision. The applicant will be notified soon after, via a decision notification email outlining the outcome of the evaluation process. 

Schematic outlining the FRDC’s planning and investment process. 


FRDC’s advisory structures 

The FRDC consults with a network of advisory structures to seek assistance in the nomination of investment priorities in research, development, and extension against the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-25. These advisory structures include:  

  • Coordination Programs 

  • The Australian Fisheries Management Forum (representing the Directors of Fisheries from the 8 Jurisdictions) 

  • The Research Provider Network (representing the major fisheries research agencies and universities) 

  • The three representative organisations of the FRDC, appointed under the legislation – Seafood Industry Australia, Commonwealth Fisheries Association, and Recfish Australia (Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Industry Confederation Inc.)  

Each of these groups provides the FRDC with insights into needs, priorities and opportunities requiring investment. To support collaboration and the sharing of issues and solutions, the FRDC facilitates an annual stakeholder workshop. The first of these workshops for the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-2025 will be held later this month with subsequent workshops to be held in April of each year to coincide with the development of the FRDC’s Annual Operational Plan that outlines future investment areas for the nominated financial year. 

Contact the Research, Development, and Investment team if you would like more information –


Research Advisory Committee update 

The new Research Advisory Committees met virtually for the first time since their inductions in July. The meetings provided an opportunity for the committees to work through the process of identifying stakeholder needs and aligning priorities to the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-2025. The FRDC encourages all stakeholders to visit the jurisdictional Research Advisory Committees webpages.  

All committees will meet again throughout September and October to finalise the nominations of priorities to submit to the FRDC. These will then be collated and disseminated in a subsequent call for applications. It is anticipated that the next call for applications will be in November 2021.  

Contact the Research, Development, and Investment team if you would like more information –; or the relevant FRDC Advisory Group contact


New and improved FRDC website 

The FRDC website has received an update to provide a new look and a more user-friendly experience. This website allows users to search current and completed FRDC projects, access FRDC corporate documents including the R&D Plan 2020-25FRDC’s partners and, importantly, information on applying for funding, the call for applications and FRDC’s reporting guidelines. Check it out and if you have any feedback, please send it here


Milestone submissions via Fishnet 

This is a reminder that all deliverables for your active projects are now to be submitted via Fishnet. They are no longer being accepted by email.  

This allows all partners to easily submit reports and receive a notification that the submission was successful. This process will also allow for streamlining of the FRDC’s review of the submitted deliverable and improve turnaround times. More information on how to submit your milestone via Fishnet can be found at the quick start guide.  


Increased FRDC capacity to affect culture change 

The FRDC has identified that achieving the vision by 2030 of “a collaborative, vibrant fishing and aquaculture, industry creating diverse benefits from aquatic resources, and celebrated by the Australian and global community” will require a shift in the beliefs people hold, their capability and capacity to adopt new ways of thinking and behaving, and the culture they operate within and contribute towards. This is the basis for Enabling Strategy 4 of the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-2025 – Build Capacity and Capability


To help deliver this strategy, a new position at the FRDC has been created, the Capacity, Capability and Culture Change Manager. This role is to develop a strategy, informed by stakeholder input, to help build the capacity, capability and enhance the culture of the fishing and aquaculture community.  


Sally Roberts has been appointed to this new position. Sally joins the FRDC from Dairy Australia where she worked extensively in bringing change in a challenging environment to the dairy industry as their People Development lead. Welcome Sally. As Sally immerses herself in the fishing and aquaculture community and its culture, she will be engaging with stakeholders to better understand perceived capacity and capability needs as well as the existing programs of work.   


Transforming FRDC’s approach to extension and communication  

Another underpinning Enabling Strategy to assist in the delivery of the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-2025 is Strengthen Adoption for Transformative Change. Jamie Allnutt has taken on the role of Transformational Extension and Adoption Manager at the FRDC. Jamie is exploring options and opportunities to improve extension and adoption to realise transformational change including regional extension capacity, re-establishing an extension network and improve mechanisms for uptake of knowledge generated through FRDC investments.  

Kate Harvey started in early October as General Manager Stakeholder Engagement. Kate will work with Jamie to further improve the benefits that stakeholders receive from the FRDC.  


External funding opportunities 

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has recently released research priorities for AFMA funding for Commonwealth managed fisheries. More information here


Projects approved since last update in June 2021 

NOTE: some projects may be in the process of contracting 

Project Number 



Principal Investigator 

Budget ($) 


Optimisation of treatment of Cryptocaryon irritans in Barramundi aquaculture 

University of Adelaide 

Marty Deveney 



Habitat ecological risk assessment for eco-regions with high trawl footprints, in southern Queensland and northern NSW 

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart 

Roland C. Pitcher 



Overcoming propagule supply bottlenecks for seaweed production 

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) 

Manoj Kumar 



Understanding white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) transmission in Moreton Bay - epidemiological modelling of surveillance data 

AusVet Pty Ltd 

Brendan D. Cowled 



Accelerating the adoption of digital technology on Queensland prawn farms 

Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) 

Kim Hooper 



Demonstrating the impact of prawn viruses on prawn aquaculture production 

James Cook University (JCU) 

Kelly M. Condon 



Assessing the effectiveness of IRG R&D projects to deliver change 

Land to Sea Consulting 

Leila Alkassab 



Indigenous Branding in the Fishing and Seafood Industry - Economic Creation and Capture 

Ridge Partners 

Ewan Colquhoun 



Human Dimensions Research Coordination Program 2021-24 

University of Tasmania (UTAS) 

Emily Ogier 



Biology and Ecology Program:  Strategically targeting research on Panulirus cygnus and its ecosystem to suit the needs of the WRL fishing industry and stakeholders 

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) 

Simon de Lestang 



ABFA IPA: RD&E project investment and management via ABFA strategic plan 2021-2025 

Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA) 

Jo-Anne Ruscoe 



Workshop to examine the viability of establishing a peak seafood industry body for South Australia 

Wildcatch Fisheries SA (WFSA) 

Ian Knuckey 



Maintaining productivity and access to Estuary Cockle across sectors through improved science-based decision making 

NSW Department Of Primary Industries Port Stephens 

Matt D. Taylor 



Estimating narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata) abundance using close-kin mark recapture 

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart 

Toby Patterson 



Development of an Indigenous Engagement Strategy for fishing interests with a focus on Commonwealth fisheries 

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) 

Nicholas R. McClean 



Water disinfection for influent water biosecurity on prawn grow-out farms 

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Bribie Island 

David Mann 



Can novel seismic survey sources mitigate potential impacts to fisheries? 

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) 

Ryan Day 



Digital transformation of the WRL industry to help resolve challenges and leverage opportunities to grow GVP and maintain competitiveness 

Western Rock Lobster Council Inc (WRLC) 

Matt Taylor 



Provision of strategic advice to Oysters Australia - identifying opportunities and associated value for the Australian Oyster Industry in Carbon Neutral Accreditation and Environmental Accounts.   


Rachael A. Marshall 



Management and delivery of the Oysters Australia RD&E Plan 2020-2025 

Oysters Australia Ltd 

Andy Myers 



Determining if the CCSBT Management Procedure sufficiently demonstrates sustainability credentials of Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna 

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association 

Brian Jeffriess 



Shark depredation in Australian fisheries: understanding the scope of the issue and identify potential mitigation options 

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) 

FRDC to coordinate delivery through multiple providers  



Impacts of COVID19 on the Australian Seafood Industry: Extending the assessment to prepare for uncertain futures 

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) 

Emily Ogier 



Review of regulation and policy guiding use of artificial reefs and Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) in Australian waters 

Bond University 

Daryl McPhee 



Preliminary evaluation of electro stunning technology for farmed Barramundi 

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Bribie Island 

Brian Paterson 



Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG) R&D Needs Workshop 

Abalone Council Victoria Inc (ACVI) 

Craig Fox 


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