The ecological risk assessment process recently undertaken jointly by AFMA and CSIRO has identified that sharks generally, are high priority species which require focussed management attention. In the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) this is particularly the case for upper slope Southern and Eastern gulper sharks (including Harrison’s dogfish and Southern dogfish) which have been found to be severely depleted and have been nominated as threatened species under the EPBC Act. AFMA is now developing management responses to address these identified ecological risks, and there are a number of complimentary processes currently underway. These include the bycatch working group in the SESSF, which is currently preparing a bycatch work plan to be developed and implemented during 2008. AFMA is also establishing an expert shark and ray (Chondrichthyan) working group to develop appropriate management responses for these species across all fisheries. There is also a small working group in the South East Trawl Fishery (SETF) which is looking closely at the deepwater shark species of the lower slope and additional work is being undertaken to provide immediate management recommendations in relation to Harrison’s dogfish in particular. However, despite these various initiatives, there is a need to review available information on the upper slope gulper sharks (including species other than just Harrison’s dogfish) to improve understanding of levels of interaction and to provide advice on future management options.
Project number: 2008-065
Budget expenditure: $67,273.00
Principal Investigator: David Wilson
Organisation: Department of Agriculture; Water and the Environment (ABARES)
Project start/end date: 31 Oct 2008 - 18 Feb 2009
1. Review the success of management arrangements used elsewhere around the world to address the sustainability of fisheries catches involving similar upper slope low productivity shark species
2. Consider the historical identification of Harrison's dogfish including catch statistics and scientific surveys.
3. Investigate and improve estimates on the extent and nature of actual interactions with Harrison’s dogfish and other similar upper slope gulper sharks in all sectors of Australia’s SESSF
4. Provide an analysis, with supporting rationale, for alternative management options for reducing the ecological risk to Harrison’s dogfish and other similar upper slope gulper sharks in Australia’s SESSF
Author: David Wilson