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The Fish and Fisheries (F&F) Lab has been doing research, training students, working with stakeholders, and engaging communities for over 20 years. Today, the F&F Lab is based at James Cook University in northern Australia, and continues to work with stakeholders and communities on applied research projects that help people better understand and manage their sharks and rays, fish and fisheries.

We focus on applied, inter-disciplinary research that directly addresses end-user needs, and the challenges of sustainably managing our oceans and fisheries.

Our Two Visions

People live in balance between their needs and sustainability, livelihoods and stewardship, so that sharks, rays, fish, fisheries, and their habitats, are responsibly managed and effectively maintained for future generations.

Our work

Our lab culture provides a supportive, grounded, inclusive, and kind environment that delivers research excellence and outstanding people. We will inspire and encourage people to remain in science, build future leaders, and create a brighter future for those working in fisheries and conservation science in the region.

The way we work

Photo:  Annie Gutteridge

1. We do high quality, high impact science:  We recognise that scientific quality is a core measure of our work. We recognise that we are resource-limited and thus invest our efforts to activities that directly address our mission.

2. We collaborate: We work with people to create effective projects that consider complexity and to help us have a lasting impact.

3. We engage and communicate: We recognise that impact means extending our efforts beyond publishing our research. We also focus on community engagement, we prepare science syntheses, we participate in the public discourse, and provide useful information and advice to fishers, communities, and decision makers. 

4. We act ethically and with authenticity, integrity, and transparency: We recognise that authenticity, honesty, and integrity are essential to successful partnerships and relationships.

5. We practice curiosity: We recognize that being curious leads to better science, better collaborations, and is essential for discovery and creativity. We recognise that humility is a precursor for curiosity.

6. We are always improving: We recognise that our work is challenging and complex, and that we need to embrace continuous learning, including learning from our mistakes. We support each other in improving.

7. We practice care, stewardship, and respect: We are part of an interconnected social, cultural, economic, and ecological system, and we are mindful of our place within it, and our role in improving life in the tropics.

8. We work with courage: We recognise that our work and the way we work, may involve uncomfortable interactions where cultures, attitudes, and values are in conflict, or where we are disadvantaged because we adhere to these values. We will lean into this discomfort, and we accept the potential costs of having different priorities and ways of working.  

9. We strive for reciprocity: We recognise our position of privilege in a region that faces immense challenges, and we recognise our role in tackling these challenges as we work towards our mission.

Our history

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The Fish and Fisheries Lab (F&F) is based at James Cook University and works across northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Established in the 1990s, the F&F Lab has a long history of applied research to help people, industries, and communities better manage their fish and fisheries, sharks and rays, and their use of marine resources. The Lab has also trained world-leading marine ecologists and fisheries researchers who now work around the world. The historic F&F Logo of the hook and coral trout is a well-recognised icon to the Australian fishing and fisheries research community.

The F&F Lab today

Today, the F&F Lab continues as a community of shark and ray, fish, and fisheries researchers who are part of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, a JCU research centre working across the tropics.  The CSTFA provides organisational infrastructure and support for F&F staff and students in project and professional development, especially in developing interdisciplinary research. Download more information about the CSTFA research program here.  

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We deliver applied research that helps people ensure that sharks, rays, fish, and their habitats are responsibly managed, sustainably used, and when necessary, effectively protected. The F&F Lab focuses on tropical fish and fisheries, and in particular, on the biology, ecology, management, and conservation of predators such as sharks and rays.   

As marine conservation and management are primarily about managing people, our projects and our research approach recognise and respect the relationships and dependencies that people have to the coasts and oceans, and the fish within it. As such, we value co-developed and intra-disciplinary research that brings together specialists from different fields to better understand the complexities involved with fisheries and species conservation. 

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