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FRDC - Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
FRDC - Message in a Bottle
Photo of fish farming

FRDC Stakeholders identified that as stewards of aquatic habitats they wanted to ensure that their activities had the least ecological footprint. Through this prioritising process a mission was set to implement a circular economy. This is high on the list of priorities, as stated in the FRDC’s R&D plan outcome 1 ‘Growth for enduring prosperity’. Creating useful products from waste, is a way of reducing what ends up in landfill but also of producing something with limited input of new resources.

This article highlights an FRDC-funded project developing technology to repurpose organic food waste into black soldier fly larvae feed. The larvae could then be fed to farmed fish to achieve better fish growth and performance.

The research is being undertaken at the University of Western Australia.

If you are after more sustainability information find below an article packed with information about restoring habitat, how oceans influence climate and how a clothing company is looking out for the sea.

Also in this issue, read here about Agriculture Innovation Australia’s new board, or read below about Indigenous grants, leadership opportunities, webinars and conferences, a thought-provoking article on the science informing fisheries management, new tech for anglers and right at the end, an incredible display of Nature’s impeccable aesthetics.

Related to R&D Plan Outcome 1.
If a fish is saved in the wilderness, does anyone know it survived?
Image of The Sundown Series
The Sundown Series of Webinars returns on 14 April with its seventh session featuring Adpower's Ben Hale. The discussion will explore the behind the scenes of the rollout of one of the most comprehensive social license community engagement programs for Australian Wild Prawns.  Australia’s Wild Catch Prawn Fishers have dramatically changed their practices over time to improve their sustainability performance and credentials. But is that enough?

The Sundown Series, is organised by the Queensland Seafood Marketers Association and funded by the FRDC. It is an informal end-of-the-day Zoom gathering where experts from the seafood industry share their insights.
Shellfish Restoration Conference back on!
Photo of beach and ocean
Also partially sponsored by the FRDC is the 20th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration. Originally scheduled for 2020, this gathering is now going ahead on 27-30 April 2021, in Nelson Bay, NSW and online.

With shellfish restoration efforts and research growing globally each year, this conference will provide an exciting opportunity to progress the science and practice of shellfish reef restoration by providing a forum to share ideas, experiences and advances from leaders in diverse fields from around the globe.
How to fish smarter in the future
Photo of ocean waves
This report about the future of commercial fishing in Aotearoa New Zealand was prepared after a request from the New Zealand Prime Minister in late 2019. The report aims to identify ways to fill knowledge gaps, increase our understanding of the marine environment, and ultimately take a more holistic approach to fisheries management.
The work highlights how science cannot solve all the issues facing commercial fishing - but it is certainly a critical platform to inform change.  This quote particularly resonated with the FRDC: "There is no accepted single source of truth in the fisheries sector and this report does not claim to be one. Passionate debate arises from (over-)interpretation of uncertain datasets by all sides, which supports conflicting narratives of ‘what the evidence says’. We have tried to highlight where particular points of contention lie in interpreting data and were saddened by the number of incidences of ‘alternate facts’ that we navigated in this project."
Grants available
Image from the Kuti Shack, Goolwa PiPiCo
The Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund (AFTF) provides grants and loans for the enhancement, maintenance and protection of Aboriginal cultural fishing as well as for Aboriginal communities to develop businesses associated with fisheries resources throughout NSW.

Applications close on 19 May 2021.

Image from the Kuti Shack, Goolwa PiPiCo. Artist: Cedric Varcoe.
Two leadership opportunities
Photo of Brenton Cardona
Although applications have now closed, FIAL, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre is still seeking participants for their Transformational Leadership course, particularly from the fishing and aquaculture sectors. Head to their website for more information.

The FRDC-sponsored National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) has extended its applications until 14 April. This is the only national industry-specific leadership program designed in consultation with seafood industry people for people wishing to take up leadership roles within the seafood industry. More details here.
The impact of new tech for anglers
Photo of angler
As recreational fishers get access to more and more sophisticated technologies to interact with fish, this paper explores what this means for fisheries and/or technology management—from changes in fish capture, to fish handling, to how anglers share information with each other and with managers.
Creating sustainable oceans
Photo of ocean
Understanding the role we play in the health of our oceans allows us to take proactive steps towards restoring and maintaining that health. These articles explore this theme from very different, at time surprising, angles.

The minds behind a
fashion label doing their part to reduce plastic micro-fibres and sharing their experience and vision at the Ocean Decade Australia first Stakeholder briefing.
The connection between what we do on land and the health of the marine environment is the centre of this article explaining the efforts of the Orca Task Force in Washington State, USA. They are working to facilitate Chinook salmon spawning by restoring habitat, with the ultimate goal of securing an ongoing food source for the resident orcas.

The discussion from the recent World Meteorological Day highlighted the deep relationship between the ocean and climate and weather. The ocean shields us from more dramatic levels of global warming than we are already experiencing, but at a heavy cost to its own ecosystem.
The article explains how the livelihood of 6 billion people on earth is related to the health of the oceans and how disrupting the marine food chain could have devastating effect.
Tiny, beautiful monsters of the deep
Photo in blackwater
Divers practicing blackwater photography are helping marine scientists gain new insights into fish larvae.

Diving deep, at night, blackwater diving enthusiasts are capturing stunning images and videos that reveal a secret world of bizarre, tiny animals that scientists have struggled for decades to better understand.

As this hobby gains followers globally, researchers are investigating the growing digital collection and new citizen scientist collaborations are emerging.
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 references to them are indicated in the stories above where relevant 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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