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Download pdf version of the June Stakeholder Briefing


FRDC Programs Continual Improvements – Project ‘Products’

The FRDC have been working to identify the most appropriate forums to centralise and make accessible the suite of other project ‘products’ – e.g. publications, flyers, images & footage, statistical models – generated as part of FRDC funded RD&E activities. The FRDC acknowledges that it has a role in centralising and making accessible these products while ensuring that credit is provided to the author(s).

The FRDC’s intention of centralising these project products is to enhance the extension and improve the broader adoption of R&D outputs and outcomes. In addition, the centralisation of RD&E project products – particularly data and statistical models – will aid in improving the transparency of FRDC funded research and more broadly Australian marine science.

Currently, FRDC make available downloadable copies of Final Reports via the FRDC website. However, it is likely that other product specific platforms are required and their development will be explored in the near future in consultation with our stakeholders. We will provide an update in future Stakeholder Briefings.

FRDC Stakeholder Survey

Every few years the FRDC surveys diverse group of stakeholders – fishing and aquaculture, Indigenous, researchers and government, to find out their views on the priorities, work and investments being undertaken. In 2018 the FRDC took a slightly different approach, in that we asked all stakeholders [those with an email address or mobile phone number] to have their say.

If you have not received or missed the email, you can still have your say until 15 June. The survey itself is conducted online and will take around 15 minutes to go through all the questions.

Survey Link -> take the survey now:

The FRDC gets regular feedback, both directly and indirectly, but our stakeholders do have diverse and differing views, and this survey is a way to give everyone the chance to have their say and share their thoughts.

The results will be used to improve what we do and how we deliver it. The survey results will be posted on the FRDC website in the coming month. See Market-research

FRDC Performance Review

Under its Funding Agreement with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) the FRDC is required to undertake a review of its performance. FRDC management agreed to the terms of reference with DAWR in Sep 2017. Foresthill Consulting (led by Scott Williams) was selected to undertake the review in November 2017, and the Review is well under way. Foresthill Consulting has undertaken a number of face-to-face interviews, but is also seeking FRDC stakeholder feedback via a website it has set up at If you would like to provide stakeholder feedback on the FRDC, you can do so anonymously on the website.

Status of Australia Fish Stocks (SAFS) Reports Update

SAFS species chapters

One hundred and twenty author teams, comprising 95 scientists from around Australia, are currently writing species chapters for SAFS 2018. A further 53 independent scientists will review the draft chapters. The Fisheries Statistical Working Group, comprising representatives from each jurisdiction, has been working diligently behind the scenes to provide the data that underpins the species chapter.

The draft chapters will be submitted to the FRDC in June. Each chapter is then subject to initial consistency and technical review. From July to October the chapters undergo independent external peer review and completion. These final chapters are edited and cleared, uploaded to the web and checked prior to public release in early December.

Reducing the number of undefined species

Malcolm Haddon and his CSIRO colleagues have been visiting jurisdictions conducting training workshops on the stock assessments of data limited species (FRDC Research Code: 2017-102 "Reducing the Number of Undefined Species in Future Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports: Phase Two - training in the assessment of data-poor stocks"). The workshops have been well attended and well received. To date, workshops have been held in all jurisdictions. These workshops provide options to minimise the proportion of "undefined" species in SAFS and expand the capacity for data-poor stock assessments within Australia.

Recent SAFS Advisory Group meetings

The SAFS Advisory Group held meetings on 26-27 March and 27 April 2018. Key outcomes included:

  • Stock structure for 120 species (including Negligible stocks) was finalised
  • SAFS 2018 Authors Guide was released
  • The provision of scientific evidence on how stock status was derived in terms of biomass and fishing mortality when there is no formal published stock assessment
  • Mapping overfished (depleted) and transitional-recovering (recovering) stocks and tracking progress is being progressed through the FRDC jurisdictional Research Advisory Committees.

(Dedicated SAFS website:

Fight Food Waste CRC

In March 2018 the Fight Food Waste CRC was approved by the Federal government. The FRDC through the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries and the Abalone Council of Australia were partners of the bid. However, a component of the initial bid which was of interest to a number of fishing industry sectors, Protecting Provenance and Brands Program, was not funded.

Although the CRC Program noted that the overall application was one of the best written and articulated, they felt that the case for the food fraud funding was not as strong as for food waste.

The FRDC and key stakeholders interested in the non-funded component are now looking at options for undertaking further investment in this area. Alison Turnbull from SARDI and Janet Howieson from Curtin University. We will provide an update in future Stakeholder Briefings.

National Marine Safety and Welfare RD&E Initiative

FRDC launches Marine Safety and Welfare Initiative

Putting marine safety front and centre, the FRDC is set to launch its new National Research, Development and Extension Marine Safety and Welfare Initiative, working with industry partners such as Austral Fisheries and West Australian Fishing Industry Council.

The new initiative, will be ambitious, with a goal of zero deaths, a significant reduction in injuries and 100 per cent compliance with safety regulations.

Over the past year the FRDC’s internal policies have made wearing life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) mandatory for all FRDC staff and all those working on FRDC projects while onboard vessels.

The FRDC’s national research initiative will build on and broaden previous FRDC investment in this area, committing research funding around the following four key areas.

  1. Education: the development of electronic learning tools to facilitate the uptake of knowledge required for an improved culture of safety awareness, including general workplace safety requirements under workplace health and safety legislation and Australian Maritime Safety Authority legislation (FRDC Research Code: 2017-194 "Sesafe – Delivering industry safety through electronic learning"). View resources at
  2. Adoption of a new ‘safety focused’ culture within the industry: for example, through the promotion of ‘marine safety champions’ or the development of capabilities to ensure that safety regulations are adopted.
  3. Behaviour, understanding and influencing: for example, to understand the inhibitors and motivators for behaviour change in relation to industry safety (FRDC Research Code: 2017-046 "What’s stopping you from protecting yourself and your mates? Identifying barriers to the adoption of safe work practises in the small-scale wild catch commercial fishing industry").
  4. Coordination and communication: the initiative will establish a coordination and communication hub to ensure all FRDC marine safety projects are linked and collaborate effectively, and will establish a process for collecting and reporting statistics on marine safety and welfare (FRDC Research Code 2017-231 "To develop a national marine safety extension resource toolkit and to trial with all fisheries jurisdictions").

As part of the national initiative the FRDC is in discussion with further industry partners and organisations who share a vision to make commercial fishing a safe workplace and an attractive one for young people to work in.

Details of the projects attached to this initiative are available on the FRDC’s website.

Aquatic Animal Welfare

The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) was an agreed blueprint for animal welfare in Australia that ran from 2005 to 2013 and aimed to enhance welfare outcomes for all animals. As part of this strategy a suite of codes of practice, guidelines and brochures for aquaculture, wild catch commercial and recreational fisheries as well as restaurants. These publications can be found at Aquatic animal health & biosecurity. To assess the level of engagement with this material, project 2017-221 "Raise awareness of the guidelines developed by the AAWWG (Aquatic Animal Welfare Working Group) with industry and review their adoption, uptake rates and utility" has begun to assess the awareness of the material developed and identify mechanisms to further extend the information. Following the workshop, future priorities in the aquatic animal welfare area will be identified.

Human Dimensions Research Subprogram

Across Australia, the seafood industry councils and individual sectors have identified the need to calculate their social and economic value beyond Gross Value of Production. An excellent example of this work was the FRDC funded studies undertaken by Dr Kate Barclay (UTS) for wild catch fisheries in NSW (FRDC Research Code 2014-301 "Social and economic evaluation of NSW coastal commercial wild-catch fisheries") that was then replicated to also include the aquaculture industry (FRDC Research Code 2015-302 "Social and economic evaluation of NSW coastal aquaculture"). These projects highlighted the suite of social and economic contributions that NSW’s seafood sector provide to the State, with the results of this work well received by the NSW Professional Fishermen’s Association.

Currently, a similar project has been initiated in Victoria as nominated through Seafood Industry Victoria (FRDC Research Code: 2017-092 "Valuing Victoria"s Wild-catch fisheries and aquaculture industries").

Given the increasing interest in this area, the FRDC’s Human Dimensions Research Subprogram are coordinating a project (National Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Contributions Study) that will look across all available methodologies and develop a common approach to provide values that are comparable and can be replicated at national and regional scales. This project will be seeking regional case studies to trial this work and will be looking to the Research Advisory Committees to partner (co-contribute) to these case studies.

National Carp Control Plan

The National Carp Control Plan team was formed to tackle the challenge of identifying a smart, safe, and effective approach to manage carp impacts in Australia. A key focus of this process is to explore the potential use of biocontrol.

Under the NCCP we have engaged 19 of Australia’s leading universities, research institutions and expert organisations to deliver independent and rigorous science and explore carp control options. Research includes field studies to estimate carp biomass in affected habitat types, further testing of the species-specific nature of the carp virus, strategies for cleaning up dead carp if the virus is approved for release, assessing mechanisms to reduce risk of negative impacts to people whose business or recreation depends on carp-affected waterways, complementary methods to control carp such as commercial fishing and genetic biocontrol, as well as research into alternate uses for carp biomass.

Those working on addressing knowledge gaps and risks join others from around Australia exploring regulatory considerations, consulting, communicating and engaging with stakeholders, and conducting operational planning activities.

As the NCCP is now over half way through, as activities are completed research findings will go through an extensive independent peer review process to ensure they are robust before being considered and made public. Currently three projects are being reviewed with another four due for review mid year.

A link to NCCP’s March Progress Report is provided here [] summarising the research work underway and the findings that are emerging from this important work. The next progress report is due later this month.

One common concern raised by stakeholders through consultation conducted to date is that more time is needed to review research findings and ensure that the right recommendations are made in relation to carp control.

The NCCP was set an initial deadline of December 2018 to deliver recommendations to governments. While we still have six months remaining, those working on the plan wish to provide assurance that deadlines will not shape outcomes.

This is an important consideration for our nation and one that must deliver long term improvements to our waterways, and how we enjoy them. If those collaborating to develop the NCCP believe that adequate research and consultation with communities cannot be delivered within the agreed timeframes, an extension will be sought.

The NCCP reiterates its promise to:

  • make findings of all research projects commissioned by the NCCP available via its website
  • ensure a suitable period of time is available to seek feedback from stakeholders on research underpinning the Plan, and draft recommendations.
  • share with the public key outputs for comment, including:


Have Your Say -

A new engagement platform has just been launched to provide people with an opportunity to read more about the research underway and ask questions in relation to the NCCP program and particular areas of focus.

Over coming months we will be taking a deeper dive into the areas that we have learned are of most interest to the public, and provide an opportunity for users to have their say in relation to those topics. We encourage you and your members to register and share your thoughts:

To provide further detail around the work we are undertaking, the NCCP will also be hosting a series of research update webinars on Bang the Table to provide stakeholders like yourself an opportunity to hear directly from leading scientists on the work they are undertaking and to ask any questions you may have in relation to this work. Register for more information as the schedule is announced.


Key events 2018



More information

8 June

World Oceans Day

18 -21 June

SeaWeb Seafood Summit

1-5 July

2018 Annual Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference

16-20 July

International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade Conference

1-2 August

NZ Seafood Industry Technical Day and Conference

9-10 August

Australian Abalone Growers Association Industry Workshop


13-15 August

Ridley Australian Prawn Farmers Association Symposium 2018

18-19 September

Australian Barramundi Farmers Association AGM and industry workshop


28 September

National Symposium On Seafood Marketing

7-11 October

Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2018

10-14 December

Fish Passage 2018 – International Conference on River Connectivity



Research Advisory Committee meetings

More information

11 July

QLDRAC (by invitation)

Research Advisory Committees (RACs) | FRDC


12 July

COMRAC (by invitation)

17 July

WARAC (by invitation)

19 July

NSWRAC (by invitation

25 July

NTRAC (by invitation)

26 July

TASRAC (by invitation)

31 July

SARAC (by invitation)

2 August

VICRAC (by invitation)



Key new projects approved since last update in March 2018

NOTE: may not yet be contracted

Project Number




Budget $


Alternate business models for Community Supported Fisheries

Wildcatch Fisheries SA

Franca Romeo



Sensory testing of seafood - fresh versus frozen - and development of frozen seafood recipes

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD)

Andrew Forrest



Identifying synergistic genetic biocontrol options for Cyprinus carpio in Australia

Wedekind Gutachten

Claus Wedekind



Establishing a network of investors to help drive growth in Australian fishing and aquaculture businesses

Fish 2.0

Monica Jain



Testing established methods of early prediction of genetic merit in abalone broodstock

James Cook University

Jan Strugnell



Engineering Options for the National Carp Control Plan

The Wedge Group Pty Ltd

Karl Mathers



Marketing Symposium 2018

Queensland Seafood Marketers Association

Marshall Betzel



Oil and Gas: National coordination - seismic and other issues

Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc

Mannie Shea



Assessment of gamma irradiation as a feasible method for treating prawns to inactivate White Spot Syndrome Virus

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD)

Stephen J. Wesche



Southern Rock Lobster Clean Green program, revision, digitisation & extension across the supply chain

Southern Rocklobster Ltd

Ross Hodge



To develop a national marine safety extension resource toolkit and to trial with all fisheries jurisdictions

Taylored Health and Safety Pty Ltd

Tanya Adams



World Fisheries Congress 2020 - Sharing our Oceans and Rivers: a 2020 vision for the world’s fisheries

South Australian Research and Development Institute

Jane Ham



Comparative evaluation of Integrated Coastal Marine Management in Australia - Workshop

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart

Robert Stephenson



Assess new technologies and techniques that could improve the cost-effectiveness and robustness of recreational fishing surveys

South Australian Research and Development Institute

Mike Steer



Building Biosecurity Capability across the Wild Harvest Fisheries

Queensland Seafood Industry Association

Eric Perez



National Carp Control Plan - Aboriginal Community Engagement

Marcia Ella Consulting

Marcia Ella-Duncan



Raise awareness of the guidelines developed by the AAWWG (Aquatic Animal Welfare Working Group) with industry and review their adoption, uptake rates and utility

Safe Sustainable Seafood Pty Ltd

Mark Boulter



Blue carbon and the Australian seafood industry

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart

Mat Vanderklift



Indigenous capacity building program

Fishwell Consulting

Ian Knuckey



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