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Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee

Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee

The Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee (COMRAC) formerly the Commonwealth Fisheries Research Advisory Body (FRAB), is an Australian Government statutory authority that was established by the FRDC in March 2016 under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act).

The Commonwealth Research Advisory Committee (COMRAC) is an expertise-based committee is comprised of a membership group with expertise in wild catch (commercial and recreational), aquaculture, resource management, processing/post-harvest, indigenous, RD&E management or people development. The committee is responsible for facilitating the identification and delivery of efficient and effective research for stakeholders in Commonwealth

Research Priorities

Research, Development and Extension Plan

COMRAC has developed a 5-year Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan that provides a framework to identify and invest in key strategic research needs of Commonwealth stakeholders, with the intent to ensure a healthy marine ecosystem and efficient, productive and profitable fisheries (including commercial, Indigenous and recreational).

The FRDC invests through a flexible approach. Part of this approach allows the Research Advisory Committees (RACs), Industry Partnership Agreements (IPAs) and Subprograms to call for applications based on their priorities, drawn from the RDE Plan, up to three times per year in November, April and August – See whether this RAC has put forward any priorities in the current call for applications.

  • Peter O'Brien – Chair
  • Hayley Abbott
  • Melissa Brown
  • Russell Conway
  • Clayton Nelson
  • Bertie Hennecke
  • Keith Sainsbury
  • David Smith
  • Peter Trott

FRDC Management Contacts:

Carolyn Stewardson – FRDC Portfolio Manager (M 0418 867 944; E

Alison Connelly – Secretariat (M 0437 694 485; E

Meeting dates:  

COMRAC meeting no. 12 - 7 November 2019

Associated Industry Partnership Agreements:

IPAs are an agreement between the FRDC and a sector body to manage a suite of sectoral projects over a specified time period against an agreed industry strategic plan. Some sectors in a jurisdiction may have their RD&E need represented by the IPA as opposed to the RAC – Find more information on IPAs.

Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries IPA 

Southern Ocean IPA 

Related projects are listed below:

Project Number
Multiple - Before After Control Impact (M-BACI) analysis of the effect of a 3D marine seismic survey on Danish Seine catch rates
Spawning biomass of Jack Mackerel (Trachurus declivis) in the East sub-area of the Small Pelagic Fishery during summer 2019
Attendance at the Annual Session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) - 4-9 December 2018 in Honolulu, USA
Ecological modeling of the impacts of water development in the Gulf of Carpentaria with particular reference to impacts on the Northern Prawn Fishery
Implementation workshop for the effective adoption of the outcomes from the SESSF Declining Indicators project
Development and evaluation of multi-species harvest strategies in the SESSF
Cumulative impacts across fisheries in Australia's marine environment
SafeFish 2018- 2021
Assess new technologies and techniques that could improve the cost-effectiveness and robustness of recreational fishing surveys
Southern Bluefin Tuna: Changing The Trajectory