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FRDC - Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
 
365 days of sustainability
Even though Sustainable Seafood Week is over, the seafood sector’s and the FRDC’s commitment to sustainability lasts all year.

Getting sustainable Australian seafood on our tables is a herculean collective effort involving a diverse cast of researchers, producers and retailers. To highlight this to Australian consumers, we asked “what is your role in making sure Australian seafood is sustainable?”. See the answers in this
short video.

As this important week comes to an end, we would also like to congratulate the winners of the
MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards 2021, in particular Dr Keith Sainsbury for receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to advancing sustainable fisheries management through more than 20 years working for the CSIRO, and more recently, with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania.

In this Message in a Bottle you will find innovation to catch more tuna and prawns with less impact on non-target species and vulnerable ecosystems, advances in safety, a successful program for Indigenous students and a report on what the seafood sector can learn from the pandemic.
Screen capture of Sustainability Seafood video
 
35 years of prawn fishing innovation in two minutes
Screen capture of 'Sea of Change' video
In the last issue of Message in a Bottle we announced the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) Industry had been chosen as a Finalist in the prestigious 2020 Banksia Sustainability Awards ‘Medium Business’ category for their ‘Seas of Change’ work. 

While the winner of the award won’t be announced until 24 March, you can now view the
‘Sea of Change’ video. This will take you on a 35-year journey in 2 minutes, highlighting how the Northern Prawn Fishery recognised in 1985 that sustainability needs to be a never-ending process.
 
More fish, less impact
Image
New GPS technology now helps tuna skippers manage their longline drift around marine parks. 

This, not only allows them to catch more fish but helps minimise the impact of their activity on protected areas, with an added bonus of less time at sea and less fuel consumption.

In this
video, skipper Tony (TK) Walker comments about sustainability “We’ve got a social responsibility” he says “We are guardians of this fishery for future generations”.

This project has been funded by the Australian Government through the Our Marine Parks Grants Program.

The FRDC has also been involved in this space, more recently with a project aimed at “
Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of mitigation tools for protected species interactions in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery”.

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:
[
1] [2] [4]
 
SeSAFE safety training update
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The SeSAFE project will soon be adapted for use on mobile phones, including when Wi-Fi is not available. It will also include exploring the introduction of a ‘white card’ equivalent and the development of fishery-specific modules.

The project is funded by the FRDC, the Australian fishing and aquaculture industry, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. It has provided safety training to over 200 fishing crew from around Australia, at no cost, and is suitable for crew working on boats of any size in any fishery.

Boat owners and skippers only need to spend a few minutes with SeSAFE to pick and choose from
44 modules for their crew to complete. SeSAFE then connects the crew with the modules and they do the rest.

Related R&D Plan key outcomes:
[
2]
 
What the Australian Seafood Industry can learn from COVID-19
Impacts of COVID-19 on the Australian Seafood Industry: January-June 2020 FRDC Report cover
At the recent ABARES Outlook 2021 Conference, Dr Emily Ogier presented the results of an FRDC- funded project that analysed how COVID-19 affected the seafood industry in Australia, with the aim of using this knowledge to prepare the sector for future shocks.

The research team from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) found that the overall impacts of COVID-19 have been asymmetric, with sectors supplying domestic retail markets mostly able to prosper, while producers selling into export markets and the domestic dine-in food service sector were often brought to their knees.  The report also highlighted how Government support measures assisted the seafood industry weather some of the negative impacts on profitability and business continuity. 

For the FRDC, this report will provide a reference point to help us identify future research needed to improve early warning systems and diagnostic capacity of our seafood industry, should future shocks or disruptions occur.
 
Have you heard of JIME?
Reggie Morey, a cadet from the Junior Indigenous Marine and Environmental Cadet Program (JIME)
The Junior Indigenous Marine and Environmental Cadet Program (JIME) offers Indigenous students industry related employment while still at Secondary School.

The program allows students to finish year 12 with a trade based apprenticeship already under their belt and this connection with industry has proven invaluable in finding work, with most cadets like Reggie Morey (pictured) being offered jobs as they complete the program.

Hear what the students think of this opportunity in this
video.
 
Sustainable ocean economy
World Ocean Summit Virtual Week banner
The World Ocean Summit Virtual Week ran from 1 to 5 March 2020. If you missed it, you can catch up on this event here or head over to ocean.economist.com to continue the conversation about accelerating a sustainable ocean economy.

Throughout the summit the importance of ocean literacy was highlighted. In a guest blog for the World Ocean Initiative, Francesca Santoro, ocean literacy specialist at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, explains the importance of education and communications for a sustainable ocean economy.
 
FRDC’s Chair appointment
FRDC Chairperson, Mr John Williams
On 24 February 2021, the Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, reappointed Mr John Williams as Chair of the FRDC for three years to 9 March 2024. 
 
Implementing the FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020-25
FRDC's Enabling Strategy and Outcomes image
Over the 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 [ # ] 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:
[1]  Growth for enduring prosperity 
[2]  Best practices and production systems 
[3]  A culture that is inclusive and forward thinking 
[4]  Fair and secure access to aquatic resources 
[5]  Community trust, respect and value
 
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