Industry, in consultation with PIRSA, FRDC and the SA FRAB, specified five-year research priority needs in, “South Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Five Year Research and Development Strategy”. For Marine Scalefish, priority item 2 (after allocation issues of User Access) was “Stocks Assessment (A): There is an urgent requirement to identify further biological information relating to key species which will lead to better total management of the fishery”, with the first Key Requirement being to “more accurately assess stocks levels of key species”.
Data for optimal and sustainable management, to be used under the restructured management regime, are now available. Needed are cost-effective analysis tools for converting these data to a form that managers and the MSF FMC can apply directly to management decision making.
Requested are yearly estimates of stock performance indicators, recruitment, exploitation rate, and stock biomass, for the key species. This need is being addressed for King George whiting in an FRDC project. Models for performance indicators of other species, notably snapper and garfish are now required.
Cost effective delivery of indicators to fishery managers and the Marine Scalefish Fishery Management Committee (MSF FMC) will be attained by providing the research biologists with a stock assessment model estimation software for analysis of fisheries data. This software should meet three criteria: (1) Use the best available methods of estimating stock management indices, (2) provide confidence bounds for all indicators estimated, and (3) be presented in a user-friendly interface, allowing its use, in conjunction with modellers, by the research biologists who gather the data and write yearly stock assessment documents.