Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is a co-funded partnership between its two stakeholders, the Australian Government and the fishing and aquaculture sectors. It was formed as a statutory corporation on 2nd July 1991, under the provisions of the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (the PIRD Act 1989) and is responsible to the Minister of Agriculture & Water Resources.
FRDC’s role is to plan and invest in fisheries research, development and extension (RD&E) activities in Australia. This includes providing leadership and coordination of the monitoring, evaluating and reporting on RD&E activities, facilitating dissemination, extension and commercialisation. The FRDC achieves this through coordinating government and industry investment, including stakeholders to establish and address RD&E priorities. In addition the FRDC monitors and evaluates the adoption of RD&E to inform future decisions.
FRDC has a significant responsibility in ensuring, on behalf of the Australian Government, that research is undertaken to assist in the management of the fisheries and aquaculture resource for ongoing sustainability. This means that a significant proportion of funding is directed at research that has a benefit for the three sectors of the fishing industry: commercial (wild catch and aquaculture), recreational and indigenous and also delivers a public good benefit to the Australian community.
Since it's inception, the FRDC has evolved from being essentially a granting body to one that adds value and strategic focus to RD&E for Australian fishing and Aquaculture. A summary of FRDC's evolution has been prepared and is available for download [PDF].
FRDC works with a diverse and geographically-dispersed group of stakeholders and the four main sectors of fishing and aquaculture (aquaculture, commercial fishing, Indigenous fishing and recreational fishing) are not mutually exclusive. For example, Indigenous fishers may participate in customary fishing, conduct aquaculture and commercial fishing, and fish recreationally.
FRDC's stakeholders include:
- federal, state and territory governments, including fisheries and national resource managers
- all fishing and aquaculture sectors
- the Australian community, on whose behalf aquatic natural resources are managed
- seafood consumers
- the research community, including universities, government fisheries organisations, further education organisations (e.g. TAFE) international research organisations and private-sector research providers.
Revenue for RD&E investment is based on a co-funding model between the Australian Government and the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. Funds are collected by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments as part of their fisheries management activities. As stipulated in the PIRD Act, the FRDC's primary revenue source is based on:
A. the Australian Government providing unmatched funds equivalent to 0.50 per cent of the average gross value of Australian fisheries production (AGVP) for the current year plus the two preceding years,
B. fishers and aquaculturists providing contributions via government, and
C. the Australian Government matches this amount up to a maximum of 0.25 per cent of AGVP.
In addition to the requirements of the PIRD Act, the FRDC reports to its prescribed representative organisations and is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The FRDC produces an Annual Report for the Commonwealth Parliament and its stakeholders these are available for download on the Annual Report page.