Project number: 2018-077
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $33,639.76
Principal Investigator: George Day
Organisation: Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)
Project start/end date: 14 Mar 2019 - 30 Oct 2019


The recent Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) Declining Indicators project (FRDC 2016-146) culminated in a successful workshop discussion involving effective contribution and engagement from all fishery stakeholders with particularly good industry attendance and engagement. The Declining Indicators project entailed the presentation of a series of subject matter papers covering seven focus areas:
- legislative / management impediments
- fleet capacity and characteristics
- fisher behaviour and vessel operation
- climate change and oceanographic conditions
- costs of production and markets
- quota ownership and trading
- the assessment process.

At the workshop numerous hypotheses were tested through presentation, discussion and survey approaches. This resulted in a range of significant outcomes recommended for adoption to improve the sustainable, efficient and cost-effective management of the SESSF.

In conjunction with the current project, there have been other recent strategic projects which elucidate current issues in the SESSF and their potential to be addressed in future SESSF management: FRDC 2014-203 ‘SESSF Monitoring and Assessment – Strategic Review’ (Knuckey et. al 2017); FRDC 2016-139 ‘Decadal-scale projection of changes in Australian fisheries stocks under climate change’ (Fulton et al. 2018); and ‘FRDC 2016-059 Adaptation of Commonwealth fisheries management to climate change’ (Rayns et al, underway). There is a need for the outcomes and recommendations of all of these project to be considered together to inform future management of the SESSF and in particular to help inform the design of the upcoming project: FRDC 2018-021 ‘Development and evaluation of multi-species harvest strategies in the SESSF’.

The new proposed project, an implementation workshop, will draw together the outcomes of these projects to be assessed, conveyed to those outside the Declining Indicators group, and implemented into the fishery.


1. Drawing together, evaluating and developing a prioritised list of actions from the SESSF from a number of interrelated projects that have, or are close to being, finalised. Primarily the Declining Indicators project (FRDC 2016-146) and SESSF Monitoring and Assessment Review Project (FRDC 2014/203)
2. Informing the project team of FRDC proposed project Development and evaluation of multi-species harvest strategies in the SESSF (FRDC 2018-021) about key priorities and preferred approaches relevant to the development of a revised harvest stategy.
3. Providing information that will inform a SESSF data needs workshop, to be organised and funded by AFMA, expected to be held in February and March 2019.
4. Effectively communicating agreed priorities for the fishery across industry and broader SESSF stakeholders to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-877044-40-3
Authors: George Day Dr Ian Knuckey Daniel Corrie Brodie Macdonald
Final Report • 2020-06-01 • 2.66 MB


The key outcome of this project is the implementation plan at Appendix 1 which provides a comprehensive, prioritised list of actions for the SESSF as it transitions to a new harvest strategy framework. The implementation plan also provides a framework for ongoing governance and reporting to ensure the benefits of recent research can be realised.

This project ensured that views of stakeholders were taken into account in the effective adoption of research outcomes. The high level of stakeholder engagement has increased support for pursuing the resultant list of actions.

Fundamental to the transition of the SESSF is the current FRDC project to revise and update the SESSF Harvest Strategy Framework (Development and evaluation of multi-species harvest strategies in the SESSF (FRDC 2018-021)). Many of the recommendations from the implementation plan at Appendix 1 will help inform that project. 

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