Developing a plan for the future

Fishing and aquaculture play unique roles in Australia. as well as offering physical and cultural nourishment, fishing and seafood provide connection to the natural environment, promote wellbeing, and bring communities together. Fishing and aquaculture have significant potential for growth. as the most highly traded animal protein, seafood plays a vital role in meeting the challenge of producing enough protein to feed a growing global population.

In 2020, complexity and uncertainty are influencing our lives and businesses more than ever before. there are many unknowns that make planning and future decisions difficult, such as how a changing climate will shape water security and food production; the likely impact and duration of CoVID-19 on global trade and economics; in what ways will extreme events (bushfires, cyclones and drought) influence interactions with the natural environment; geopolitical instability; and the take up of alternate proteins.

In developing this five-year R&D Plan, the FRDC has:
• consulted broadly and conducted research to gain a picture of each fishing and aquaculture sector,
• reviewed FRDC’s business, management and practices to see how these can be improved,
• used computer modelling to help understand how future dynamics may affect fishing and aquaculture.

In addition, the FRDC has expanded its approach and has worked with stakeholders to explore alternative futures through scenario planning.

The purpose of exploring alternative scenarios has been to encourage consideration of the changes that are already shaping today’s world, how they might impact on fishing and aquaculture, and identify what might be required today to deal with dynamics that may emerge in the future.

This R&D Plan provides an opportunity for both the FRDC and the fishing and aquaculture community to pause and take stock. Its main purpose is to convey a shared vision for the future, the outcomes required to pursue that vision, and the enabling strategies to achieve them.

It is accompanied by a companion document, Shaping FRDC’s R&D Plan 2020–25, which provides a comprehensive situational analysis and summarises the fishing and aquaculture community’s recent past, current status and imminent challenges. this is written for readers seeking contextual and methodological background. additional detail on areas of investment to deliver the R&D Plan outcomes will be in the FRDC’s annual operational plans.

We would like to thank all sectors, researchers, managers, non-government organisation representatives and staff who have already given significant time, energy, wisdom and enthusiasm to developing this shared plan for change and resilience.

John Williams
Chair, FRDC

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