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FRDC - Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Happy sustainable Seafood week… almost
Next week is Sustainable Seafood Week, an annual campaign run by the Marine Stewardship Council that champions action to protect fish and marine life.

The FRDC works constantly towards improving the sustainability of Australian fishing and aquaculture through gathering scientific knowledge to inform management. Some examples of FRDC-funded initiatives geared towards ensuring sustainability are the
Status of Australian Fish Stocks reports (SAFS), the Australia’s first National Bycatch Report, and the Whichfish portal for businesses, to name just a few.

For more sustainability content check out our Banksia Awards and microplastics stories below. 

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:
[1] [2] [5]
Agriculture Innovation Australia inaugural board
Photos of Ms Heather Stacy, Mr Bernie Brookes and Dr Anne M Astin
Agricultural Innovation Australia Ltd (AIA) recently appointed three directors to its inaugural board.

Joining the AIA Board are: Mr Bernie Brookes AM as Chair, Dr Anne Astin AM PSM and Ms Heather Stacy AM.

The board’s immediate priority will be the identification and appointment of AIA’s Chief Executive Officer.

For the FRDC, being part of the AIA aids the pursuit of our R&D Plan outcomes and ties into R&D Plan Enabling Strategies, in particular Enabling Strategy
II (strengthening adoption for transformative change), and IV (building of capability and capacity).

The AIA is the product of Australia's 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations (including the FRDC) joining forces to drive cross-industry research, leverage private sector investment and target transformational innovation.

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Northern Prawns recognised by the 2020 Banksia Sustainability Awards
The Northern Prawn Fishery's logo
The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) Industry has been chosen as a Finalist in the prestigious 2020 Banksia Sustainability Awards ‘Medium Business’ category for
their ‘Seas of Change’ work. 

‘Seas of Change’ documents the NPF journey of innovation and collaboration in addressing the significant challenge of reducing small fish bycatch in the NPF. 

Recognition of their ongoing ecological and social obligations, as well as a commitment to minimising environmental impacts of fishing whilst producing high
quality Australian prawns underpinned this important initiative. 

The Banksia Sustainability Awards are globally recognised as Australia’s highest sustainability award program and the longest-running sustainability awards in the world. This year all finalists’ initiatives had the common thread of recycling, reducing and re-purposing. Reducing waste in general.

Reducing waste through increased operation in a circular economy is an area of focus in the new FRDC R&D Plan under Outcome 1. The FRDC is exploring opportunities to research circular economy opportunities for fishing and aquaculture in Australia to help determine opportunities for waste reduction.

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:

[1] [2]
Where are the microplastics?
In a newly published paper, AIMS' Dr Amanda Dawson and her team compared the seafood eating habits of Australians to what is reliably known in the global scientific literature about microplastics in the fish, crustaceans and shellfish we consume.

They found that fresh fish fillets are largely free of microplastic contamination. While microplastics can accumulate in the digestive tract or gills of the animals, Australians usually discard these parts.

There is some evidence of microplastics in pre-packaged fish fillets. These are likely entering the fish during processing and handling, simply by their exposure in the human environment.

Although researchers reviewed over 130 studies, only 24 of them were found to be relevant and reliable.

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:

[1] [2]

Related FRDC research
Art can improve science adoption
Photo of René Campbell
Art and science can work well together to clearly convey complex scientific messages and increase research visibility.

René Campbell, an Adelaide-based marine biology PhD candidate, knows exactly how powerful the combination of art and science can be. Alongside her scientific career, René is also a professional visual artist and scientific illustrator. Her artwork is used in ecological research and to explore environmental and scientific themes, especially in marine environments. 
Safer with training videos in five languages
A series of videos have been developed as part of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Fisheries Divisions Aboriginal Fishing Mentor Program to promote safe fishing and processing practices in remote communities.

There are eight videos in the series which are currently available in English and Yolgnu Matha with a further three language translations underway including Murrinh-Patha, Anindilyakwa and Tiwi.

The videos cover work health and safety responsibilities, safety messages for planning a trip, dangerous marine life, safety information on launching a net from land and from a boat, working safely with ropes and nets and how to process fish and maintain a cold chain.

The series will be distributed to all Aboriginal Coastal Licence holders in the Northern Territory and are also available on the Fisheries NT YouTube play list.
Must Attend - Online Seafood Expo North America
Image of the Seafood Expo North America Reconnect banner
One of the few perks of the current global situation is that you can now attend the Seafood Expo North America Reconnect conference without leaving your home.

This year’s event will be online on 15-17 March and the
program is packed with topics highly relevant to Australia from plastics in seafood to seafood trends in a changing environment.
Implementing the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-25
Diagram of the FRDC's R&D Plan Planned Outcomes and Enabling Strategies
Over coming years, the FRDC’s investment will be guided by the key outcomes of our latest R&D Plan

There are
five key outcomes and they are each represented by a colour in the stories above, to highlight how our work and the work others align with the strategic intent of our new Plan.

The key outcomes are:
Growth for enduring prosperity 
Best practices and production systems 
A culture that is inclusive and forward thinking 
Fair and secure access to aquatic resources 
Community trust, respect and value
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