Call for Applications

June 2021 Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest

Closing date for applications 11.59pm 1st August 2021

Call for Applications

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) that address research, development & extension (RD&E) priorities nominated by the FRDC’s stakeholders.

The nominated RD&E priorities for investment are outlined below. EOIs that address multiple priorities are encouraged where practical.

Applicants may also submit an EOI that does not address a nominated priority; however, it should be noted that preference may be given to applications that address nominated priorities. If you do wish to submit an application that does not address one of these priorities, it is recommended that you consult with the relevant stakeholder groups and expected end users to ensure that research concepts have the support of beneficiaries. Support can be demonstrated through formal letters of support, in-kind contributions, incorporation of end users into the concept and project cash contributions.

Minimum EOI Requirements
All EOIs MUST be completed via FishNet. Refer to the FRDC website for more information on the FRDC’s process for Applying for Funding.

Once you have completed your EOI you must finalise it on FishNet so that FRDC receives notification that the application is submitted. Failure to do so may mean that your application is not submitted and therefore not considered for funding.

If you have any questions or issues with FishNet, please contact the FRDC by phone (02) 6122 2100 or email frdc.programs@frdc.com.au.

Applications must be finalised by the 1st August 2021. Applications not submitted by this date may not be accepted unless prior approval for a later submission date is provided by the FRDC.

Each EOI must clearly outline how it will meet the relevant identified Need(s). Provide a succinct description of the proposed Method to achieve the stated Objectives and deliver the expected Outputs and Outcomes. This should include a quantification of the impact of the research if the outputs were adopted such as a change in fisheries management, an improvement in the species population, increased profitability or efficiency of the commercial sector or improvements in recreational fishing experiences. Applicants also need to define project Extension activities that will be used to disseminate expected project findings. A realistic Budget that reflects the activity to be undertaken is to be provided along with Justification for the budget request. Where appropriate, applicants should demonstrate collaboration with other relevant research providers and end users and consider past and current research to avoid duplication and build on previous outputs.

After the 1st August 2021, the FRDC will assess each EOI and also have EOIs externally reviewed by end users or other experts.

Current priorities

Title

The multiple values attained through partially protected areas

Need

The implementation of partially protected areas as a management tool to safeguard habitat and aquatic resources is underpinned by a tension to balance the environmental, economic, and social values of multiple users. In turn, this requires that resource managers are cognisant of, and consider these diverse user values to ensure that decision making results in mutually beneficial outcomes (where possible).

 

There is a need to review, and where possible, quantify the multiple values (environmental, economic, and social) that are attained through the implementation of partially protected areas. This should include incorporation of the range of options available such as the types or forms of partial protection available. Importantly, these activities would identify factors that improve the likelihood of attaining mutually beneficial outcomes for all users, aiding resource managers.

 

This might be demonstrated through a review of the national & international literature and/or through Australian case studies.

Deliverables

A review of the multiple values arising from partially protected areas including the provision of case studies to inform the role of these areas in Marine Protected Area networks.

Timing

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st August 2021

End user

Primary – Marine Resource Managers

Secondary – various aquatic user groups

Jurisdictions

Outcomes have a national context. Activities may be focussed on one or more jurisdictional case studies

FRDC Outcome(s)

Outcome 4: Fair and secure access to aquatic resources

 

Other

Nil

 

Title

Review of regulation and policy guiding use of artificial reefs and Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) in Australian waters

Need

There is increasing interest in, and use of, man-made FADs and artificial reefs in Australian waters. These devices or structures are primarily used to attract fish to an area to enhance recreational fishing experiences.

Whilst these structures and devices may enhance recreational fishing experiences, they also have the potential to create conflict within and between extractive user groups.  Impacts may be direct in that they exclude the ability for certain gear types (e.g. pelagic longlines or trawl) to operate within a certain proximity of the device. Impacts may also be less obvious, with changes to fishing dynamics altering resource access and resource sharing arrangements.

There is a need to understand the regulatory and policy landscape associated with the installation of artificial reefs and FADs and how the interests and rights of different user groups, including non-extractive users are considered. This should include exploration of the legal and environmental framework guiding their deployment, management and monitoring, including the intersection with relevant maritime safety bodies.

Deliverable

A report that reviews and outlines the existing environmental, legal and policy frameworks guiding artificial reef and FAD deployment.

Development of best practice guide to artificial reef and FAD deployment, management and monitoring.

Timing

Applications close 1st August 2021

End user

Primary – Managers and policy makers. Recreational, Indigenous and commercial fishers

Jurisdictions

All states and territories

R&D Plan Outcome

Outcome 2 and 4

Other

Consultation should occur with the Australian Fisheries Management Forum as well key commercial representative bodies, Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, Recfish Australia, the National Aquaculture Council and Indigenous Reference Group.

 

Title

Understanding and shaping collaboration within fishing and aquaculture

 

Need

The patterns of relationships, beliefs and behaviours that are adopted by groups (their culture) plays an integral role in determining what they collectively consider to be right and wrong, and how they interact with each other and their environment. Across fishing and aquaculture, these dynamics can enable or constrain collaboration to make progress on areas of shared interest.

 

To help improve collaboration across fishing and aquaculture there is a need to identify and adopt new and more effective ways of working together. This will require detailed consultation across relevant stakeholders using appropriate techniques to identify factors that enhance collaborative and behavioural patterns. Then using these insights, facilitate identification and experimentation with solutions that harness these factors to effect change in areas of shared interest.

Because each group has its own mix of ideas, customs, and social behaviours, FRDC are seeking regional or sectoral case studies that trial strategies to fosters inclusive and participative approaches to addressing areas of shared interest.

Successful applicant(s) will need to demonstrate willing engagement and/or investment of key parties, including relevant sectors, management agencies, research bodies, and environmental non-government organisations (ENGOs). Importantly, this will require all participants being open to changing their own beliefs and behaviours to be successful.

 

Deliverables

Completion of experiments within case study region, fishery or collective of fisheries to explore effective ways to work together in a more inclusive and participative manner.

Extension outputs to share insights

Timing

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st August 2021

End user

The primary end-users will be the participants themselves. Secondary end-users will be other regions, fisheries or groups of fisheries who might learn from and apply insights in their context.

Jurisdictions

Focussed on one or more jurisdictional case studies, with ability to apply lessons learned in a national context.

FRDC Outcome(s)

Outcome 3: A culture that is inclusive and forward thinking

Other

Applicants would need to consider outputs of FRDC project:

·         2011-216: Review of Co-management in Australia’s Fisheries

·         2020-088: Quantifying inter-sectoral values within and among the Indigenous, commercial and recreational sectors

 

Title

Explore changes in recreational fishing participation and catch due to the COVID-19 pandemic – A WA case study

Need

Anecdotal evidence suggests that during travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in participation rates and catches from recreational fishing occurred as people changed their travel and holiday plans due to border restrictions. There is a need to understand the extent of these changes and how participation (and if possible the demographics of this participation) and catches changed during this period. These changes may be observable through such things as boat sales or registrations, accommodation occupancy rates, interviews with businesses, local government and anglers to understand the degree to which participation and or catches increased or decreased. It is likely that much of this information will be qualitative in nature and may require rapid assessment and interpretive techniques. These techniques also need to be documented so that if further shocks occur, rapid assessment techniques could be deployed to measure these changes.

Deliverable

A report that provides a WA case study of any changes in recreational fishing participation and catch during the COVID-19 pandemic

Timing

Applications close 1st August 2021

End user

Primary – Managers and policy makers. Recreational and commercial fishers

Jurisdictions

Initially WA but of relevance nationally

R&D Plan Outcome

Outcome 1, 2 and 4

Other

Consultation should occur with relevant WA stakeholders including WA DPIRD, RecfishWest and WAFIC

 

Title

Development of a guideline to investigate and understand disease outbreaks of unknown cause

Need

 

Aquatic emergency animal disease outbreaks are a substantial threat to aquatic animal production and aquatic environments. The nature of aquatic emergency animal diseases makes them difficult to manage as they are often highly pathogenic and affect both wild and production populations. Further, new and emerging diseases are common, and eradication is typically challenging due to the presence of wild reservoir hosts.

There is a need for practical disease investigation guidelines that clearly and concisely outline the investigation process for new and emerging aquatic animal diseases in the environment and within production systems.

This activity will provide businesses, laboratories, government and community with increased confidence and certainty during disease investigations. This is in turn will lead to more effective and efficient emergency aquatic animal disease investigations.

Deliverable

 

The disease investigation process will be outlined in a step-by-step manner and provide clear and practical guidance. Resultant guidelines will tie together pre-existing epidemiological processes for outbreak investigations, available contingency plans and diagnostic standards (for example, AQUAVETPLAN and Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures).

Timing

 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st August 2021

End user

 

Primary – aquatic animal health professionals (public and private), farm staff, government staff (predominantly at the jurisdiction level), laboratory staff.

Jurisdictions

 

This work will be applicable to all jurisdictions.

FRDC Outcome(s)

 

Outcome 1: Enduring growth for prosperity

Outcome 2: Best practice production systems

Other

 

This priority area aligns with draft AQUAPLAN objectives and activities for 2021 – 2026, which have been developed through consultation with industry and government. This priority is also highly relevant to the work of the Sub-Committee on Aquatic Animal Health (SCAAH).

 

 

Title

 

“Ready, set, go!” preparing for emergency disease outbreaks in aquatic animals

 

Need

 

Aquatic emergency animal disease outbreaks are a substantial threat to aquatic animal production and aquatic environments. Although the response arrangements in the terrestrial animal areas are relatively mature, more attention needs to be focussed on developing emergency responses that are fit for purpose in the highly diverse aquatic industries geographically spread across Australia. This is compounded by aquatic animal diseases often being highly pathogenic, affecting wild and production populations, making emergency disease outbreak responses difficult to manage.

 

Hence, there is a need for agreed upon sector-specific emergency disease responses to exotic disease outbreak scenarios that involve industry and government participants, and other relevant stakeholders. Applications will focus on develop such response scenarios for priority diseases in accordance with needs identified in the biosecurity action plans.

 

Deliverable

 

This activity will deliver a series of sector-specific emergency disease exercises focusing on outbreak scenarios for priority exotic diseases. The exercises will have a strong focus on technical aspects of a response and will test the suitability of existing contingency planning arrangements (e.g. AQUAVETPLAN). This activity will build partnerships, cultivate a shared understanding of managing a response and identify ways to strengthen contingency planning before a disease outbreak occurs.

 

Timing

 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st August 2021

End user

 

Primary – Government employed aquatic animal health professionals, industry, other state and Commonwealth personnel, laboratory staff.

 

There will be extensive consultation with SCAAH, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the National Biosecurity Response Team to ensure the outputs are fit for purpose.

Jurisdictions

 

Both State/Territory and Commonwealth involvement will be required.

FRDC Outcome(s)

 

Outcome 1.

Other

 

This priority area aligns with draft AQUAPLAN objectives and activities for 2021 – 2026, which have been developed through consultation with industry and government. Consideration should also be given to previous disease response arrangements and training materials that have already been developed.

 

 

Title

Preliminary evaluation of electro stunning technology for farmed Barramundi

Need

The Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA) is evaluating alternative humane harvest methods for farmed Barramundi to further optimise animal welfare outcomes, while maintaining product quality. Electro stunning has been identified by the ABFA as a potential technology, but as a first step, the association is looking for information to help shape the direction for future R&D to evaluate the suitability of this technology.

As a precursor to laboratory or on farm trials, the ABFA wants to better understand the technology and look to the international experience. We want to know:

·         Consumer aspects - is there information available as to how the technology is viewed by welfare groups?

·         What is the uptake of the technology in other sectors?

·         Practical aspects – is there information available (published or through speaking to other sectors), as to how the technology is integrated into harvest operations, and impacts on efficiencies?

·         What is the evidence for improved welfare and quality outcomes? Are there unintended impacts when electro stunning is integrated – e.g. do the fish spend more time in the crowd?

·         Have there been studies on cost-benefit?

·         What information is available to help guide ABFA in its prioritisation of electro stunning technology to trial e.g. AC or DC?

·         Who are the suppliers, and what might be the practical and cost challenges for undertaking trials on barramundi relevant to the Australian contexts? What are the IP considerations and are there opportunities for cash contributions from technology suppliers?

·         Are there other potential applications for electro stunning – e.g. partial sedation for handling and grading?

·         Advice for second stage R&D

Deliverables

·         Australian Barramundi farmers will have information to: (a) better understand electro stunning technologies, and (b) shape R&D design for evaluation of the technology.

·         A report that guides the ABFA to select appropriate electro stunning technology/s to trial/pilot and informs research design.

·         This will likely involve a desktop review of available information/literature, and engagement with suppliers and other industry sectors.

·         Presentation to ABFA members Cairns, October 12th or 13th.

 

Timing

Applications close 1st August 2021. It is anticipated that this will be a short piece of work, that would take no longer than 3 to 4 months

 

End user

Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (https://abfa.org.au/)

 

Jurisdictions

Nationally focused

 

FRDC Outcome(s)

Outcome 2: Best practice in production systems

Priority from the ABFA strategic plan:

·         Differentiate to support premium pricing - Industry operational frameworks: Quality and Ethical farming practices.

·         Deliver triple bottom line commitments - meet evolving social licence expectations relating to responsible and ethical behaviour including fish welfare.

 

Other

As a mostly desktop study, plus travel to Cairns, the ABFA IPA anticipates that resultant application budgets would be < $22K