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FRDC - Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
FRDC - Message in a Bottle

In this week’s newsletter, registrations are open for the World Fisheries Congress in September, we share a suite of new digital resources that help seafood businesses connect with their communities and feature the historic traditional fishing agreement signed last month between the Narungga Nation in South Australia and the South Australian Government. Plus, artificial reefs in the top end, harnessing seagrass against plastic and could fish on the moon be the next frontier?

Connect with your community
Image of digital community
How can seafood businesses effectively engage with their communities and be confident that they are doing a good job?

An FRDC project developed a digital toolkit to provide fishing and aquaculture industry organisations with practical resources to help them engage with the community digitally. The resources cover the entire digital engagement process from planning through to engagement and evaluation.

Related to R&D Plan Outcomes 5.
Narunnga Nation
Photo of Traditional Fishing Agreement has been signed between the Narungga Nation
An historic, Traditional Fishing Agreement has been signed between the Narungga Nation in South Australia and the South Australian Government. The announcement was made last month and sets out a new pathway for the management of South Australia's aquatic resources by combining Aboriginal knowledge with leading fisheries management. The agreement formalises the rights of Narungga people to enjoy, exercise and maintain Aboriginal fishing practices in a sustainable way.

For all of us in Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sector the agreement is a sign of things to come and new ways of working together.
Engaging with mental health in the fishing industry
Photo of fisher
Watch a discussion between Hakai Magazine’s managing editor Adrienne Mason and author of Mental Health and the Modern Fisherman,” Christina Couch, Monique Coombs and Ian MacPherson—two advocates for mental health resources in fishing communities. They address the deep, messy love fishers have for their profession—an identity for many—and how the fishing community might better navigate the ups and downs of its changing industry.
World Fisheries Congress 2021 - Registrations now open
Image of World Fisheries Congress 2021
One of the largest gathering of fisheries research, industry and management sectors in the world, WFC2021 will be held in Adelaide, South Australia.

Designed to ensure access to everyone in the global fishing community, you can attend this event either in-person or online. 

The dynamic and comprehensive five day program will be delivered under the overarching theme of ‘Sharing our oceans and rivers – a vision for the world’s fisheries’ while bringing together the latest technological advances in marine and freshwater fisheries.

With more than 1400 abstracts received, WFC2021 promises to be both an exciting and inspiring event offering a diverse and thought-provoking program of topics.

Registrations to attend the
World Fisheries Congress 2021, 20–24 September, are now open. 

To register go to
New reef designs bring top-end joy
Photo of artificial reefs
After little more than a year in the water, the largest single artificial reef deployment in the Southern Hemisphere is already teeming with marine life.

Fishing tourism draws many Australians north to cast a line, and the four new purpose-built reefs, located off Darwin, are part of a $50-million Northern Territory Government project to improve recreational fishing opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

The reefs are part of a ‘fishing trail’ experience, a connected journey of the new and existing fishing spots.

Related to R&D Plan Outcome 4.
Battle to watch: Seagrass vs plastic
Photo of plastics
Spanish researchers have found that seagrass beds may have a role to play in helping to remove plastics from inshore marine environments.

The grasses trap plastic fibres, often aggregating them into balls, which are then washed onto the shoreline.

The researchers investigated the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, known as Neptune grass, which forms extensive meadows in the Mediterranean Sea.

They found beached seagrass remains, including vegetative balls known as aegagropilae, had trapped up to 1470 plastic items per kilogram of plant material. The plastics were mainly composed of negatively buoyant polymer filaments and fibres.

They estimate the total extent of P. oceanica may be capable of trapping nearly 900 million pieces of plastic debris from the Mediterranean Sea each year, although the meadows are in decline in some areas as a result of climate change, pollution, dredging and other stressors.

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports on the Nature website.
Intertidal Oyster Guide
Front cover of Intertidal Oyster Guide
The biodiversity of tropical rock oysters in Australia is generally poorly understood and is of interest for both ecological and commercial applications. This lack of understanding is compounded by the difficulty in distinguishing oyster species using morphology alone. This guide highlights the predominant oyster species found within the Queensland intertidal, distinguished using genetic evidence.

The guide is a product of the
FRDC research which along with a number of other projects is seeking to understand more about Australia’s oysters and their taxonomy. Learn more about the journey in our most recent FISH magazine.

Related to R&D Plan Outcome 1.
Related to R&D Plan Outcome 2.
Will astronauts farm fish?
Photo of moon
A team of French scientists has a pressing concern. When the European Space Agency constructs its planned Moon Village, what exactly are the astronauts supposed to eat?

Thankfully, they have a plan: farming fish on the Moon using live eggs shipped from Earth and water harvested from the lunar surface. Wow - just think Australia's delicious Mulloway may soon be on the moon.
FRDC seeks applications for non-executive directors
Image of empty board seat
Applications are sought for part-time, non-executive directors who are suitably qualified to provide strategic stewardship to the FRDC for terms up to three years.

An information pack for applicants is available at
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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