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FRDC - Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
FRDC - Message in a Bottle
Happy National Science Week!
Logo for National Science Week

National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology, is in full swing, featuring a wide range of in-person and online events across Australia.

For all things seafood, head to the
Marine Stewardship Council’s website for a variety of activities aimed at promoting ocean literacy and inspiring students to learn about ocean risks and their solutions.

In particular, tune in for the Beam in an Expert live Q&A sessions featuring speakers from Austral Fisheries, Tuna Australia and the Western Australia Rock Lobster Fishery.

Also in this issue aquaculture innovation, prawn transparency, grants received, opportunities for entrepreneurs and students, recognising blue carbon possibilities, a rec fishing survey and more.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this enewsletter does contain the image and name of a person who has passed away.

Landline to the sea
Photo of oyster farming
If you missed it, the Sunday 1/8/2021 ABC Landline episode features two seafood stories.

At time stamp 24:02, a piece on how the South Australian Oyster sector has evolved to respond to COVID-19 and it is doing very well. From selling online, to pop up shops to oyster tourism. The industry is even trialling a new farming technology which could help retain workers by making the job a little easier.

At time stamp 41:00, a report on an FRDC project on fingerprinting Australian wild and farmed prawns, supporting the Love Australian Prawns Campaign.

Trust and transparency are essential ingredients for the prawn industry. The industry is now funding secret product audits to ascertain the prawns marked as Australian are in fact local. They are doing so by using a technology developed in the 70s to detect fraud in gold. This looks at the trace element profile in the prawns to confirm where they grew.

Stress-free seafood
Photo of blood testing for stressed fish

Based on an FRDC proof-of-concept, new research has developed a blood test to predict the stress of aquatic species and help industry manage their stock for optimal productivity and sustainability, while ensuring animal health and welfare.

The recent work from the University of Western Australia in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, focuses on measuring proteins in the blood of aquatic species to detect metabolic stress they may be facing.

Blue Carbon potential
Photo of mangroves
A new $3.3 million research program by BHP and CSIRO will seek to measure and quantify the net emissions reduction potential of Australia’s mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes.

The program will also quantify the value of other benefits these ecosystems provide for coastal protection, fisheries and biodiversity.
Mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, also known as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems, lock up carbon at faster rates than most land ecosystems.

Their importance is also acknowledged by the Government of South Australia, which recently announced a
new investment of nearly $2 million to drive environmental and economic benefits out of restoring coastal wetlands across the state.

The FRDC has long recognised the
value of these ecosystems as habitat and carbon sinks.
Greater markets for Australia's seafood exports
Photo of Seafood Industry Association grant for seafood exports
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) recently received an $888,000 grant from the Australian Government to develop and expand markets for Australian seafood exports.

The grant aims to develop and deliver the industry’s Export Market Strategic Plan, which will focus on expanding into new markets, and markets with high growth potential, such as North Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Americas.
SIA will engage two Trade Export Managers to build capacity for seafood exporters across Australia.
The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2021 is now LIVE!
Logo for Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2021
If you are a start-up or entrepreneur working to improve the health of the ocean, you can now apply for the chance to accelerate your ocean impact with generous cash prizes.

Pitchfest in an initiative of the Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO), Australia’s ocean impact innovation ecosystem and start-up accelerator.

Presented by Bank Australia and HP Australia, Pitchfest will also see the debut of the HP Generation Impact Incubator, a partnership between HP and OIO that aims to find and support the next young Australian innovator with a solution to transform ocean health.

The Winner will receive a cash prize, HP technology and expert mentorship from HP Australia and OIO to help bring your ocean impact innovation to life.

In addition, Pitchfest 2021 will include three Spotlight Awards for innovative solutions to key ocean challenge areas including: Plastic Pollution Spotlight Award presented by Zip Water; Sustainable Ocean Harvesting Spotlight Award presented by Austral Fisheries and the Climate Spotlight Award sponsored by OIO.

Applications open until 21 September 2021.

New PhD scholarship in honour of Dr Harry King
Photo of Dr Harry King
A new University of Tasmania PhD scholarship honouring Tasmanian aquaculture biologist Dr Harry King has been established with funding by the University and CSIRO.

The Scholarship will be continuing Dr King’s legacy, by supporting up to four PhD positions across five years as part of the Harry King Scholarship.

This scholarship provides the opportunity for some of our brightest minds to begin their own careers in aquaculture and continue Harry’s work, bringing scientific solutions to life by working with leading researchers and industry.
Dr Harry King had a long association with the FRDC, sitting on several of our research committees over the years and was very focused on ensuring the voice of industry was heard, and results could be applied by industry.
Calling all SA rec fishers!
Photo of recreational beach fisher
The Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia is encouraging all recreational fishers to fill in this survey. This will provide information to help protect and sustain South Australia’s community-shared fish stocks.

The survey is gathering information about: recreational fisher participation rates, demographics of fishers, their catch both harvested and released, and effort.
World Fisheries Congress 100% virtual
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Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, WFC2021 will now be delivered fully online.

Delegates who registered to attend in-person will be updated to a virtual registration. If this impacts you, find out more about bookings and refunds.
Positions vacant at AFMA
Photo of fish
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority is seeking up and coming fisheries management leaders, with several ongoing vacancies at the Senior Management Officer level. The successful applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to the management of some of Australia's most valuable commercial fisheries.

More details here.
Correction:  In the last edition of this newsletter, in the story 'Working together to create Australia's first net-zero footprint region' we referred to the Bega Valley as one not traditionally associated with fishing and aquaculture. This should have read 'Bega' as the Bega Valley includes both wild fisheries and the local oyster industry.
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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