Project number: 2002-103
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $22,133.84
Principal Investigator: Mary Lack
Organisation: Shellack Pty Ltd
Project start/end date: 13 Dec 2002 - 30 Jun 2004


The environment in which the SBT fishery operates both domestically and internationally has changed in recent years. The domestic fishery, along with other Commonwealth managed fisheries, has come under greater scrutiny as a result of the implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and an increased focus on ecosystem-wide impacts of fishing as opposed to a concentration on management of only target species.
Internationally, efforts to ensure that the global catch of SBT is managed under the CCSBT have seen Korea recently join the Commission and Taiwan agree to join the Commission. The Commission has been unable to agree on a TAC and national allocations amongst its members since 1997. This results largely from disagreement about the chances of stock recovery at current catch levels. To address this issue the Commission agreed in November 2000 on a framework for a Scientific Research Program (SRP) and the appointment of an advisory panel of eminent international fisheries scientists to oversee the program. In May 2002 the Australian Government announced funding for the SRP of $3m over the period 2002/03 to 2003/04.
The exclusion of Japanese vessels from the AFZ since 1997 has seen a dramatic reduction in the availability of research funding (in 1995/96 the access fees provided $680,000 for research).
Given these changes research funding and management/policy agencies are keen to ensure that:
- research is well targeted to the current and future needs of the fishery;
- the structures in place for determining research strategies, research projects and priorities and for delivering research are the most appropriate and effective;
- the research funded is that which delivers the highest returns to increasingly scarce research funds;
- research is driven by management needs; and
- Australia has the capacity to deliver and to articulate research results.


1. Analyse outcomes/expected outcomes of past, ongoing and current SBT research projects.
2. Identify gaps in current research
3. Ensure the processes for developing, prioritising, selecting and funding SBT research projects are effective and appropriate

Final report

ISBN: 0-9751089-0-5
Author: Mary Lack

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