SRFMEStrategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment


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A strategic approach allows us to gain a broad understanding of the WA marine ecosystem and in particular how it functions and varies over time.

Ships entering port




SRFME is a joint venture between CSIRO and the Western Australia Government. The State Government is represented in the joint venture by the principal agencies involved in marine resource development and conservation: Department of Fisheries, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Department of Environment, Department of Industry and Resources, and Office of Science and Innovation.

The most important characteristic of SRFME is that it has been established to invest in and carry out "strategic" research rather than "applied" or "tactical" research. A strategic approach allows us to gain a broad understanding of the WA marine ecosystem and in particular how it functions and varies over time.


In July 1998 CSIRO approached the Western Australian Government and began a dialogue aimed towards strengthening CSIRO’s presence in Western Australia. The State government formed the Marine Research Taskforce, which conducted a two-day workshop in October 1998 to identify the State’s marine science priorities. The workshop involved over ninety representatives from peak industry bodies, research, academic and training institutions, community bodies and state and federal government agencies.

A major outcome of the workshop was a strong identification of the need for strategic research to support decision making for ecologically sustainable development and conservation in the marine environment. Additionally, the limited funding available to support such research was identified as a major constraint. In June 1999, the outcomes of the workshop were handed to the Coordination Committee on Science and Technology (CCST) by the Marine Research Taskforce for implementation and the CCST established a Marine Science Working Group to work with CSIRO to develop a solution to this funding situation.

In January 2000, the Western Australian Government agreed to jointly establish and manage the Strategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment (SRFME) with CSIRO. In July 2000, following the Western Australian Government’s endorsement of the structural and administrative arrangements for the fund, a Joint Venture Management Committee was established with the immediate task of negotiating the Joint Venture Agreement. This Joint Venture Agreement was entered into on 4 January 2001 pledging $10 million from each of the joint venture partners over six years.

More information:

The Final Report Concise Summary [PDF 2.4 Mb] contains more information about;

  • SRFME structure and governance
  • committees and committee members
  • framework for SRFME, and
  • research portfolio structure.


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