Published: 29 June 2021 Updated: 20 October 2023

Workplace fatalities and injuries in fishing and aquaculture make it one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia.

Established in 2018, FRDC’s National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative partnership builds on and broadens previous FRDC investment in this area by addressing research gaps in Australian fishing and aquaculture workplace health and safety.

FRDC works with industry, community, regulatory and research partners to achieve positive cultural change in the safety of the Australian fishing and aquaculture. The Strategic Plan and Terms of Reference developed by members of the initiative to guide its activities can be found below:

Research management

National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative membership comprises national industry leaders and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Key contacts:

Marine safety

FRDC’s Seafood National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative Strategic Plan commits research funding to four key areas:

  1. Education: the development of electronic learning tools to facilitate an improved culture of safety awareness, including knowledge of general workplace safety requirements under workplace health and safety legislation and Australian Maritime Safety Authority legislation.
  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.
  4. Coordination and communication: 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.

Key resources

Key publications

Current research

  • 2017-194 SeSAFE: Delivering Industry Safety through Electronic Learning
  • 2017-231 To develop a national marine safety extension resource toolkit and to trial with all fisheries jurisdictions

Past research

  • 2002-231 Occupational health and safety national extension strategy
  • 2003-236 Accident statistic tool
  • 2003-415 Development of an OH&S induction training video for the post-harvest sector of the seafood industry
  • 2005-228 A pilot project conducted in the western rock lobster industry, to create a software audit tool for assessing occupational health and safety compliance with industry best practice on board a commercial fishing vessel
  • 2012-765 Seafood CRC: Southern Rock Lobster clean Green Business Framework
  • 2012-409 Primary industries health and safety collaborative partnership 2012-2015
  • 2012-765 Seafood CRC: Southern Rock Lobster clean Green Business Framework
  • 2015-401 Assisting commercial and recreational organisations adapt to national maritime safety standards
  • 2016-400 Sustainable Fishing Families: Developing industry human capital through health, wellbeing, safety and resilience
  • 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
  • 2017-134 Progressing the National Fisheries Digital Data Framework - Industry consultation
  • 2018-106 Identifying electronic platforms to increase safety at sea in the Australian commercial fishing fleet