Abalone Industry Reinvestment Fund (AIRF)
The Abalone Industry Reinvestment Fund (AIRF) is an allocation of $5.1 million over 5 years funded under the Government's "Taking Seafood to the Next Level" initiative.
The AIRF is designed to support and increase the sustainability and productivity of the abalone fishery both biologically and economically while also addressing the impacts of the long spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus) to the marine environment.
As part of these objectives the fund will:
- support projects to increase abalone stock rates, including larval seeding; and
- support projects to reduce the long spined sea urchin population on the East Coast
The fund is administered by the AIRF committee which consists of membership from the Tasmanian Abalone Council (TACL), the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) with advice provided by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania. The AIRF Committee is chaired by Dr Ian Dutton, Director, Marine Resources.
Expressions of interest for project funding
In the second quarter of 2019, the Committee initiated a process inviting expressions of interest for project funding. Examples of the areas and types of suitable projects sought included:
- abalone stock enhancement
- habitat survey and long spined sea urchin barren mapping
- management and mitigation of long spined sea urchins
- effects of global warming on abalone and abalone habitat
- improved supply chain innovation
- fishery/market development including product diversification
- public outreach and education to promote understanding of issues such as abalone fishery management and urchin control strategies
Applications for the 2019 funding round are now closed and the assessment and award process is underway.
Application assessment process
The Abalone Industry Reinvestment Fund (AIRF) has approved a number of projects to further the objectives of the AIRF as an initial portfolio of projects.
Future AIRF website updates will include further details of projects supported by the AIRF as well as progress in development of the overall Centrostephanus response strategy
and public engagement opportunities.