Published: 26 March 2024 Updated: 26 March 2024
Table of contents

Update on FRDC call for investment opportunities

November 2023 Call for investments

The November Call for Investments closed on 16 February.

  • At the close of the Call, 54 applications were received.
  • The cumulative funding request of these applications is $15.7M
  • Applications came from 39 unique organisations.
  • 15 first time Principal Investigators applied.
  • 37 applications addressed a specific priority in the Call.

Applications are now undergoing the investment review process which includes seeking external peer review of applications.

June 2024 Call for investments

The FRDC Research Advisory Committees (RACs) are currently meeting to evaluate stakeholder research priorities for consideration which will feed into the next FRDC Investment Round. Keep your eye out for the June 2024 FRDC call for investments.

Milestone Submission

Reminder that as we enter the end of the financial year it is very important for research providers to submit milestones and any other reporting.  The Stakeholder Engagement team at FRDC very much appreciate early advice on any planned communication activities. 

ASSA call for applications

FRDC has just announced a call for applications that address research, development & extension (RD&E) priorities nominated by the Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA) and FRDC under the Australian Government Seaweed Initiative. Mr Lindsay Hermes, CEO, ASSA should be contacted if additional information is sought on any of the projects (

The nominated RD&E priorities for investment are outlined on the FRDC website. Applications that address multiple priorities are encouraged where practical. Note that all of the projects funded under these priorities must be completed by 10 April 2024.

Futures of Seafood

The ‘Futures of Seafood’ (FRDC-Project 2023-092) is aimed at mapping an evidence-based future for Australia’s Indigenous, commercial, recreational fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Expected to take approximately 18 months, the project will gather and analyse data to support sector participation in the current ocean estate, for the medium to long-term direction of all the sectors.  

This initiative is reliant on both data and insights. Information will be sought through a series of data gathering workshops, surveys and interviews.

Some key members of the Futures of Seafood project – including the Blue Economy CRC (BECRC), Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) and FRDC – met recently to discuss the strategic direction of the project. An output will be the development of a digital version of a marine atlas including information on other marine users such as the emerging offshore renewable sector. It will also include supply chain data, source to sink of seafood, economic and social benefits and scenario analysis of current and future states.

Rather than delivering a static report, the project will develop a “live” tool that continuously compiles data feeds to display “live” maps and the ability to update the fisheries and aquaculture ecosystem through time, especially as planning and decisions evolve. FRDC will provide internal resources to help steer the project and to provide guidance.

Governance arrangements for the project are also progressing with invitations sent to potential members of the oversight committee, the jurisdictional committees and the technical and data group, as well as ongoing dialogue with sector and jurisdictional peak groups.

Seafood Careers platform

Seafood careers has been launched, (previously referred to as AgUp) in partnership with Seafood Industry Australia, provides a centralised location for employment and development information across fishing and aquaculture. Version 1 – includes over 90 roles and 120 courses/training opportunities, with the platform also enabling access to career pathways. Stakeholder videos showcasing what working in seafood looks like, along with additional content, imagery and functionality will be added prior to the industry launch in July 2024.

Sustainable Ocean Plan Taskforce - Update

  • The Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) is developing a national Sustainable Ocean Plan.
  • The plan will protect our marine environment and support our growing ocean economy.
  • As a part of the process, a Sustainable Ocean Plan Fisheries and Aquaculture Workshop was held virtually in November 2023 and DCCEEW has published the ‘what we heard’ summary from the workshop on their website.
  • Key findings included:
    • Historical interactions between industry and government initiatives have negatively influenced the sectors’ perceptions.
    • Longer-term certainty of operating environment is needed to support growth in fisheries and aquaculture.
    • Some participants felt domestic regulation is misaligned and too precautionary, thereby impacting competitiveness.

Further information on the plan can be found on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

Kicking off the FRDC’s ‘Sea Change’ project

  • Sea Change – led by Professor Gretta Pecl, Director, Centre for Marine Socioecology, Uni of Tas – is a key investment from FRDC’s Climate Resilience program.
  • The purpose of this national project is to increase capacity within commercial sectors for climate change adaptation and resilience through a co-design approach that will involve a number of fisheries and aquaculture operations.
  • As the project gains momentum and looks to extend into the states and territories – FRDC Extension Officers will play an important role, working with the project team to connect to stakeholders.

Agrifood Data Exchange

The Australian Agricultural Data Exchange (AADX) has completed its technology partner selection and will be partnering with Eratos to deliver the AADX. Eratos is now working closely with AADX foundation members to identify relevant and impactful pilot studies to demonstrate the full potential of the AADX. FRDC has already been working with Eratos as part of FRDC project 2022-176: Increasing food security through liberation of fishing and aquaculture data giving Fishing & Aquaculture a head start in solving data challenges using the data exchange concept. FRDC is already working on integrating the Data Exchange into several existing projects. Furthermore, FRDC and Eratos will be working together to bring together guidance to inform what it is required to be ‘Exchange ready’. To keep updated of project progress sign up to the newsletter.

Circularity 2022-2025 Program – start of workshop series

  • The project team associated with FRDC’s Circular Economy Program (2021-133) has been hosting a series of circular economy workshops – both online and face-to-face.
  • The face-to-face event in Merimbula was able to capitalise on the collaboration between our program and the Bega Regional Circularity program.
  • Through these events a number of solutions, opportunities and future collaborations were identified with themes such as plastics, organics and energy, suggested.

Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) program for Renewables and Low Emissions Feasibility

  • Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) and FRDC hosted a webinar to provide information about the opportunity to apply for BRII funding to reduce carbon emissions in the commercial fishing sector.
  • BRII invites creators, innovators, start-ups and SMEs to apply for a competitive grant of up to $100,000 to develop solutions for increasing energy efficiency in commercial fishing operations.
  • Successful grant recipients who can demonstrate a successful project feasibility, may be eligible to apply for a subsequent competitive grant of up to $1 million to develop proof of concept.
  • Applications close Thursday 18 April 2024 5:00pm AEDT.
  • Further information is available on the BRII website.


The FRDC Board recently approved a new investment fund. Finnovation was developed because Australian fishing and aquaculture have traditionally underutilised investors and start-up/scale-up companies (early-stage small to medium enterprises; SMEs) to create value through commercialisation of novel solutions to sector challenges. Proposed details of the new fund are outlined below:

  • The Finnovation fund will work with an investor partner (e.g. venture capital/angel investor) to build a diverse community of co-investors, business support programs (incubators/accelerators) and early-stage SMEs.
  • The fund will identify and invest in companies developing innovations that provide impactful solutions to F&A challenges in Australia.
  • Indicative focus areas could include - Indigenous-led initiatives, sustainable fishing, disease prevention, aquaculture innovation, ecosystem regeneration, precision fishing, climate change resilience, circular economy, biotechnology, genomics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and data analytics.
  • Investments will be consistent with FRDC’s R&D Plan to develop technologies, innovations or opportunities directly related to the Australian F&A sectors and will have a high impact for supply chain participants/members.
  • Finnovation will focus on opportunities beyond Australian F&A, that have the potential to transform the supply chain and sector participants/members while building sector capability and capacity for entrepreneurial thinking and innovative community engagement.
  • The Fund is expected to be operational later in 2024.

2024 Status of Australian Stock Reports; and Shark and Ray Report Card

Work on the Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Reports 6th edition is proceeding well.

  • The next (and sixth) edition of SAFS is aiming for completion by authors around Easter. FRDC will share the final report on its website and promote its availability.
  • This edition of SAFS contains over 150 species / species groups
  • FRDC also recently published the 2023 Australian Shark and Ray Report Card – available online. The expanded Shark and Ray Report Card covers and assesses 331 species (341 stocks), of which 230 stocks have been assessed as sustainable at current levels of fishing.

United Nations Ocean Decade Actions

Four FRDC projects have been endorsed under the United Nations Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 framework.

They are, ‘Cross sector collaboration grows circular economy’, ‘Creating Capability, Capacity & Culture Change’, ‘Climate resilience for fishing and aquaculture’ and the CSIRO-led ‘Healthcheck for Australian fisheries‘ activating sustainability reporting.

These endorsements are recognition that the projects will play a central role in supporting the Ocean Decade mission to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and the ocean, to achieve the Ocean Decade vision of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.

For further information please contact: or  To keep informed about the Ocean Decade follow the Ocean Decade Australia web site or subscribe to their newsletter at    

Ropeless Fishing Workshop

  • On 29 February 2024 OceanWatch Australia hosted a workshop and webinar to showcase progress on innovations in ropeless fishing gear.
  • While there is interest in this technology for the prevention of whale entanglements with fishing gear, this technology might also reduce gear loss and waste.
  • FRDC supported an OceanWatch-led industry bursary program to attend the International Ropeless Fishing Symposium at the end of 2023.
  • Videos from each FRDC bursary recipient can be found on the OceanWatch website

Fisheries Climate Briefings

  • FRDC has hosted several National Climate Briefings lead by Alistair Hobday (CSIRO) and Claire Spillman (Bureau of Meteorology).
  • These briefings discuss existing marine warming events in the South-East and Northern waters that are likely to extend into Autumn.  Indications are that there is not enough evidence to claim a return of a La Nina oceanographic event. A La Nina event reduces the likelihood of marine warming on the East coast and increases the likelihood of marine warming on the West coast. 
  • The videos are available on FRDC’s YouTube channel

Review of Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS)

  • The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has commenced public consultation on the renewal of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS).
  • $5 million over four years has been committed for the development of the renewed AAWS, to provide a framework for a national approach to animal welfare in Australia. The development of the renewed AAWS will be jointly led by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, informed by stakeholder engagement.
  • Including nearly all animals, the AAWS will be released in chapters, each dedicated to one of six animal groups, with the final strategy expected in 2027. More information is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.
  • You are invited to share your views and insights on the challenges and opportunities for animal welfare in Australia via the Have Your Say platform – link below:  The survey closes AEST 4pm Monday 20 May 2024.

Seafood Directions in Hobart on 10-12 September 2024

Seafood Directions was established in 1999 by FRDC and the former Australian Seafood Industry Council (ASIC), and we continue to support Seafood Industry Australia to run this important biennial event.

FRDC Principal Investigators are encouraged to promote their work by submitting an abstract for presentation at Seafood Directions.  The FRDC Stakeholder Engagement team are keen to hear your ideas for presentation of sessions that you believe will enhance the adoption for your research findings. Key dates are outlined below:

  • Abstract submissions for Seafood Directions are open now and close on 15 May 2024.
  • Early bird registrations to attend Seafood Directions, close 4 June 2024. You can register via the Seafood Directions website.

Seafood Directions is a networking and knowledge exchange platform as well as an opportunity to collaborate within our industry. As such, relevant sector organisations/groups are invited to host workshops, annual general meetings, or side meetings in and around the conference program. If you or your organisation are interested in holding a side event or workshop please contact Jasmin at to discuss further details or express your interest in hosting a session.

FRDC Board

Mr John Williams AM, completed his term as Chair of the FRDC Board on 9 March 2024. A new Chair is yet to be recommended by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to the Prime Minister. Dr Chris Calogeras is Acting FRDC Chair and Professor Colin Buxton is Acting Deputy Chair during this period.

The current FRDC Board of Directors appointment terms end on 31 August 2024. Mr Travis Dowling has been appointed the Presiding Member of the Board Selection Committee to provide Director nominations to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.  The FRDC Careers web page will have details on how to apply once the directors positions are advertised.

FRDC News, Social Media & Events

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Upcoming Events 2024

Check out FRDC's updated events webpage for all upcoming events in one convenient location.

New projects approved from 18 December 2023

Project Number



Principal Investigator


Developing and validating novel methods to estimate age- and size-at-maturity in South Eastern Australian fisheries

University of Melbourne

John Morrongiello


Design of a fishery independent longline survey for chondrichthyans in Northern Australia

Fishwell Consulting Pty Ltd

Ian Knuckey


Fisheries Management: From Science to Sustainable Practices (program development)

Brentwood Kitchens Pty Ltd trading as Jenny Cook Consulting

Jenny Cook


Safeguarding our Sydney Rock Oyster industry against QX disease

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Cheryl Jenkins


Capability and Capacity Building - Scientific Networking & Early Career Development (Australian Society for Fish Biology)

Australian Society for Fish Biology Inc

John Morrongiello


Macquarie Harbour oxygenation trial

University of Tasmania

Jeff Ross


Sea Change: co-developing pathways to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate for fisheries and aquaculture in Australia

University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Gretta Pecl


Investigative tour to World Fisheries Congress, Boston Seafood Show and Electric and Hybrid Maritime Expo (2024)

Austral Fisheries Pty Ltd

Clayton Nelson


Seaweed National Hatchery Network (NHN) – Tropical Research Hub for Asparagopsis taxiformis

James Cook University (JCU)

Mark Cyrus


Mapping the economic and social contributions of the NT seafood industry – Part 2

Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC)

Katherine Winchester


Alternate energy solutions for aquaculture: A Seafood Industry Australia + Blue Economy CRC Collaboration

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA)

Veronica Papacosta


Fisheries Management Training Course Bursaries

University of Wollongong (UOW)

Alistair McIlgorm


Assess the future needs of Australia's aquatic animal disease diagnostic system

University of Sydney (USYD)

Francisca Samsing


2024 World Fisheries Conference bursary (Seattle, USA)

Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc (WAFIC)

Marshall Thompson


Animal Welfare – what we do know and where to from here?

McPhee Research Consultants Pty Ltd

Daryl McPhee


Land Based Fishing Platforms: a guide to understanding current technologies and the processes required to developing fishing jetties


Matt Gillett


Aboriginal Fisheries Business Development Program

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Sarah Fairfull


Capability & Capacity: advancing education & career pathways through collaboration (inc. National Food & Fibre Education Strategy)

Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA)

Luciano Mesiti


Development of a temperature monitoring framework for Tasmania's seafood industry during marine heatwaves

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Hobart

Camille White


Capability and Capacity: Innovation bursaries and conference sponsorship

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

Sally Roberts


Common Approach to GHG Accounting for Australian Agriculture framework - Build 1 (AIA Environmental Accounting Platform)

Agricultural Innovation Australia Ltd (AIA)

Sarah Castellanos


Future-proofing Lactococcus garvieae vaccines for Australian farmed trout in a warming climate

University of Queensland (UQ)

Andrew Barnes


Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics 2022

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) ABARES

Robert Curtotti


Understanding drivers of jellyfish blooms in the Hawkesbury estuary

Griffith University Gold Coast Campus

Kylie Pitt


Capability & Capacity: 2024 Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo North America and Conference

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

Clayton Nelson


Bringing the iconic Australian Herring to the food service and retail market

Curtin University

Janet Howieson


Reviewing solutions to reduce unwanted fisher interactions with elasmobranchs

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct

Jonathan Mitchell


The feasibility of a financial safety-net: Investigating financial mechanisms to protect oyster growers from disease outbreaks

NSW Farmers' Association

Andrew Myers


Women in the Seafood Industry of the Northern Territory: Participation, Contribution and Workforce Retention (PhD)

Charles Darwin University (CDU)

Natasha Stacey


Australian seaweed industry delegation to Korea to share learning

Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance

Lindsay Hermes


Ecologically sustainable aquaculture growth through Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) – Incorporating IMTA nutrient modelling into regulatory frameworks.

Flinders University

Matthew Hoare


Queensland gillnet fishers - a story and history

Bowerman Ventures Pty Ltd

Martin Bowerman


Snapper Science Program: Theme 1 - Biology and Ecology

Flinders University

Troy Rogers


Inshore fishery alternative and innovative gears partnership

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Samuel Williams


SIA early mover micro project - integrated wave energy microgrid design

Climate KIC Australia (for Australian Ocean Energy Group)

Stephanie Thornton


Final Reports received and approved since 18 December 2023

Note that some of these final reports are currently not available on our website.

Project Number



Principal Investigator


Apollo Bay Seafood Festival 2023

Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce

Pat Mackle


Travel Bursary for Professional Development and Identification of Emerging Technologies

Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd

Matthew Whittle


Golden fish: evaluating and optimising the biological, social and economic returns of small-scale fisheries

Murdoch University

James Tweedley


ABFA IPA: Consumer market research to underpin a brand strategy to grow category demand and support premium pricing

Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA)

Jo-Anne Ruscoe


Processing innovation to produce novel, investment ready, WA seafood products

Curtin University

Janet Howieson


Upskilling Australian Barramundi farmers on harmful algal bloom (HAB) identification, monitoring and fish health management tools

Future Fisheries Veterinary Service Pty Ltd (FFVS)

James Fensham


Climate resilient wild catch fisheries

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA)

Veronica Papacosta


Joint Asia Pacific Marine Biotechnology Conference and Australia New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society Conference 2023

Flinders University

Steven M. Clarke


Ensuring market-focused value adding capabilities are available to SA Seafood companies today and through to 2030

Ridge Partners

Ewan A. Colquhoun


Assessing the Risk of Pathogenic Vibrio Species in Tasmanian Oysters

University of Adelaide

Valeria Torok


Accelerating Greenlip Abalone stock recovery in South Australia using release of hatchery-reared juveniles: Phase 1 - genetics risk assessment and preliminary cost-benefit analysis

University of Adelaide

Stephen Mayfield


Review of approaches for determining commercial fisheries compensation

Synergies Economic Consulting

Martin van Bueren


Recreational fishers in Tasmania: understanding experiences, behaviours, drivers, communication needs and change factors

Action Market Research

Neil Howells


Toxigenic vibrio baselines and optimum storage, transport and shelf-life conditions to inform cold supply chains in the north Australian Tropical Rock Oyster industry

Charles Darwin University (CDU)

Karen S. Gibb

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