This project is needed to address concerns expressed by stakeholder groups and the broader Australian community during the recent "super-trawler debate" that the current assessment and management framework for the SPF may have technical deficiencies and not be consistent with world's best practice.
This project is also needed because these concerns have the potential to undermine stakeholder and community confidence in other Australian fisheries for small pelagic fishes, such as the SASF.
A technical workshop is needed because it will provide an efficient and transparent process by which to benchmark the research and management frameworks of Australia's fisheries for small pelagic species against world's best practice and to identify opportunities for improving current approaches.
A stakeholder forum is needed to provide key stakeholders and the broader community with the opportunity and information required to objectively assess how Australia's fisheries for small pelagic species compare to other fisheries worldwide. This forum is a critical first step towards re-establishing stakeholder and public confidence in the assessment and management framework for the SPF. It is also needed to help maintain a social license to operate for other Australian fisheries for small pelagic species, such as the SASF.
Issues that have been identified as matters of particular stakeholder and public concern and that need to be addressed in both the technical workshop and stakeholder forum include:
1) options for increasing the reliability of estimates of spawning biomass obtained using the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM);
2) opportunities to further reduce operational interactions with threatened, endangered and protected species;
3) potential for improving current approaches to assessment and mitigation of potential trophic effects on other components of the ecosystem;
4) innovative methods for reducing possible impacts of localised depletion on predatory species and other (especially recreational) fisheries that target small pelagic fishes.