The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) takes a leading role in planning and investment in fisheries research and development (R&D) in Australia to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our marine sectors and marine ecosystems.

A co-funded partnership between the Australian Government and the fishing and aquaculture industries, the FRDC was formed as a statutory corporation on 2 July 1991, under the provisions of the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (the PIRD Act) and is responsible to the Minister of Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management.

FRDC plans and invests in fisheries R&D activities in Australia by providing leadership and coordination of the monitoring, evaluating and reporting on R&D activities, and facilitating information dissemination, extension and commercialisation. The FRDC coordinates government and industry investment and works with stakeholders to establish and address their R&D priorities. In addition, the FRDC monitors and evaluates the adoption of R&D to inform future decisions.

On behalf of the Australian Government, the FRDC has a significant responsibility to ensure research is undertaken to assist in the management of the fisheries and aquaculture resources for ongoing sustainability. This means a significant proportion of funding is directed to research that has a benefit for the three sectors of the fishing industry: commercial (wildcatch and aquaculture), recreational and Indigenous, while also delivering a public good benefit to the Australian community.

Since its inception, the FRDC has evolved from a granting body to an organisation that adds value and strategic focus to Australia’s fishing and aquaculture R&D. A PDF summary of FRDC's evolution is available for download.

FRDC's stakeholders

The FRDC works with diverse stakeholders across the three main sectors of fishing industry (commercial fishing, Indigenous fishing and recreational fishing). It’s important to note that these sectors are not mutually exclusive and there is often crossover. 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.


FRDC revenue base

Revenue for R&D 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:

  • 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
  • Fishers and aquaculturists providing contributions via government
  • The Australian Government matching 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.