March 2021 Call for applications


Small Call for Applications

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is calling for Full Applications that address the nominated priority Development of an Indigenous Engagement Strategy for fishing interests with a focus on Commonwealth fisheries.

The detail of the RD&E priority for investment is outlined below.

FRDC strongly recommends that all applicants consult with the relevant stakeholder groups and expected end users to ensure that the research concept has the support of beneficiaries. Support can be demonstrated through formal letters of support, in-kind contributions and project cash contributions.


Minimum Requirements

A Full Application MUST be completed via FishNet. Refer to the FRDC website for more information on the FRDC’s process for Applying for Funding.


Once you have completed your Full Application you must finalise it on FishNet so that FRDC receives notification that the application is submitted. Failure to do so may mean that your application is not submitted and therefore not considered for funding.

If you have any questions or issues with FishNet, please contact the FRDC by phone (02) 6122 2100 or email


PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for applications is 2nd May 2021. 

An application must clearly outline how it will meet the relevant identified Need(s). Provide a succinct description of the proposed Method to achieve the stated Objectives, and deliver the expected Outputs and Outcomes. This should include a quantification of the impact of the research if the outputs were adopted such as a change in fisheries management, an improvement in the species population, increased profitability or efficiency of the commercial sector or improvements in recreational fishing experiences. Applicants also need to define project Extension activities that will be used to disseminate expected project findings. A realistic Budget that reflects the activity to be undertaken is to be provided along with Justification for the budget request. Where appropriate, applicants should demonstrate collaboration with other relevant research providers as well as end users and consider, providing detail, of past and current research to avoid duplication and build on previous outputs.

After the closing date, the FRDC will undertake an evaluation process which may involve obtaining feedback from relevant stakeholder groups for assessment, and possibly external technical review. Following this evaluation, you will be provided advice via email on whether the application has been supported or not supported in the round.

The FRDC is changing the way in which we will be calling for applications in the future. We encourage you to keep an eye on FRDC communications to keep updated on how applying for funding will occur in the future.


Priority Area 


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

























Identifying and understanding Indigenous interests in Australian fisheries is an important component to managing the resource in a fair and equitable way for the benefit of the Australian community.

For Commonwealth fisheries, changes were made to the Fisheries Management Act 1991 in 2017 to require the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to ensure that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers are taken into account in Commonwealth fisheries management decisions. As a core function of the agency, AFMA has progressed procedural and administrative changes to facilitate this objective including providing for Indigenous Members on Management Advisory Committees (MACs) and Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs), where relevant.

Effective engagement with Indigenous fishing stakeholders, at what level and with who, is not well understood. To date, the Commonwealth has found designing an appropriate Indigenous engagement process for fisheries management purposes challenging given the limited data and networks available to understand potential stakeholders and the complex nature of representative and other groups interacting with Commonwealth managed fisheries.

This knowledge gap was recently highlighted during development of the Commonwealth fisheries resource sharing framework. Identifying the interests of all fishing stakeholder groups (including Indigenous communities) is a key step in establishing resource sharing arrangements.

To effectively implement the new legislative requirements and Commonwealth fisheries resource sharing framework, the Commonwealth is seeking to develop an appropriate ‘Indigenous engagement strategy’. This engagement strategy will also be relevant for other Australian jurisdictions.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) are key stakeholders in this work and will have significant input.

Contacts are:

It is also envisaged that the Australian Fisheries Management Forum (AFMF), comprised of the Directors of Fisheries in each jurisdiction and the Commonwealth and its Indigenous subcommittee will be kept abreast and engaged regarding the research outputs. 










An effective and detailed strategy, structure and two-way process for engaging Indigenous stakeholders with a focus on Commonwealth fisheries management. The strategy will provide a consultation framework with indicative costings for delivery of the framework and strategy.

The strategy will be designed to cover engagement in fisheries management, compliance and other activities relevant to the management of Commonwealth fisheries. This should include:

  • Investigation of the best method for the Commonwealth to engage with Indigenous stakeholders
  • Identifying Indigenous communities, groups or experts with interests or expertise in Commonwealth fisheries
  • Advice on the implications and applicability of this strategy for other jurisdictions
  • Costings associated with implementation of the framework.



End User

Primary – fisheries managers, policy officers and Indigenous communities.


The work will focus on Commonwealth fisheries. However, there is potential for this work to inform engagement at the state and territory level.

R&D Plan Outcome

Outcomes 3 and 4.








The Australian Government, through a project with Fishwell Consulting, is currently undertaking work to build the capacity of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishing stakeholders to engage in Commonwealth fisheries management. An FRDC-funded Indigenous Capacity Building Program has also been developed and two trial workshops have been run to build the capacity of a small number of Indigenous Australians to participate in a fisheries management process and a standalone program has been run in the Torres Strait. This work will complement an overall Indigenous engagement strategy and should be considered in development of this strategy. Additionally, some jurisdictions have been working on engagement strategies. The AFMF Indigenous subcommittee may be consulted regarding any activities to date that could be drawn upon.