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Innovation, Research & Development

Innovation, Research & Development Investment

Marine Research in Tasmanian waters is conducted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). The Tasmanian Abalone Council (TACL) is a member of the IMAS Sustainable Marine Research Advisory Committee (SMRAC) thereby ensuring management input into the provision of human and financial resources for abalone related fishery research.

Abalone research in Tasmanian waters is funded from several sources via the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Government.

The Tasmanian Abalone industry contributes 0.25% of its annual Gross Value of Production (GVP) in the form of a levy to the Commonwealth Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). A portion of these Research funds are administered via an Industry Participants Agreement (IPA) with Abalone Council Australia Ltd and the balance is made available on a competitive basis via membership of the state based Fishery Research Assessment Board (Tas FRAB).

Additionally, the Tasmanian Government provides resources directly to IMAS for dedicated fishery assessment and research purposes.

The Abalone Research Advisory Group (ABRAG) is convened (and chaired) once per annum by IMAS. Representatives from IMAS and the TACL use this forum to review and prioritise abalone related research. 

The TACL is also a member of Abalone Council Australia Ltd (ACA) – please refer to www.abalonecouncil.com.au .

The ACA is a national peak industry body representing the wild-harvest abalone Industry from the five producing states of Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales.

One of the primary functions of the ACA is to oversee and manage national Research and Development investment in abalone related research as set out in an Industry Participants Agreement (IPA) between the ACA and the FRDC. As such, it has developed a 10 year Strategic Plan that focuses on encouraging investment in the following areas;

1. Product Development and Market Management

2. Harvest Optimisation

3. Resource and Environmental Sustainability

4. Human Capacity Development

5. Socio–economic Sustainability

The ACA is a member of the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (ASCRC) and is currently overseeing $3.8 million of abalone related R&D.

The ACA has partnered with the FRDC and the ASCRC to ensure that investment in abalone related R&D supports and underpins the developmental needs of the Australian Wild Harvest Abalone industry.

The TACL is also a member of the Abalone Association of Australasia Inc (AAAI) – this is the peak body for Australian Abalone Exporters.

Some of Tasmania’s premium abalone exporters are participating members of the Australian Wild Abalone ™ Program.

Based on extensive market development research in China and Hong Kong, ACA and the AAAI have developed an exciting new domestic and international market education initiative called Australian Wild Abalone ™ (AWA).

The Australian wild abalone industry has undertaken research to identify opportunities for differentiating their product in China. Facing increasing competition and driven by declining returns, the industry is focused on the opportunities presented by the economic, political and social changes in China.

An AWA™ trademark has been developed to help customers to identify quality Australian wild abalone products and to create a point of differentiation against competitive products.

The AWA™ Program seeks to create an appreciation of and preference for Australian Wild abalone products. The Program aims to elevate the profile of the Australian wild harvest abalone industry.

The Tasmanian abalone industry will benefit significantly from this important initiative – particularly when you consider that half of Australia’s wild abalone exports originate from Tasmania!

For more information on this important industry initiative, please refer to;

www.australianwildabalone.com.au