Project number: 2018-168
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $77,220.00
Principal Investigator: Michael F. O'Neill
Organisation: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct
Project start/end date: 31 Mar 2019 - 29 Jun 2020


The Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) aims to manage fisheries utilising the best available science taking into account environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts.
Through the Government’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy (SFS, 2018–2020), plans are actioned to establish regular stock assessments (ongoing annually or at least every two years) to provide the science for assessing key fishery stocks against reference points.
To conduct regular stock assessments of finfish, Fisheries Queensland and the SFS expert panel have directed DAF staff to investigate the use of off-the-shelf stock-assessment models. This recommendation is for delivery of recurring information to support fishery harvest strategies; and followed a review to support the use of common stock assessment methods and models (FRDC Research Code: 2014-039; This proposal is to progress Qld’s adoption of FRDC recommendations and research: project 2014-039.
DAF’s training needs are by 31st May 2019.
The aim for this training is to build stock assessment systems for DAF and help support similar national needs in Australia.


1. DAF scientists to learn SS methodology and assumptions.
2. After 5-day course, DAF scientists to be proficient in the use of SS software with R
3. Produce 3–4 updated DAF finfish stock assessments through the 5-day course
4. Publish on success, outputs and findings of SS
5. Improve speed on future reassessments of fish stocks

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-7345-0464-7
Authors: M. F. O’Neill R. Lovett P. Bessell-Browne S. Streipert G. Leigh A. Campbell A. Northrop J. Wortmann F. Helidoniotis W.-H. Yang M. Holden and S. French.
Final Report • 2020-02-01 • 2.75 MB


This is a report on ‘stock synthesis’ software training by CSIRO. Noted are training outputs and learnings, together with an assessment of what role stock synthesis (SS) may play in Department of Agriculture and
Fisheries (DAF) fish stock assessments. Findings suggest SS could potentially assess 50–60% of the fish species currently listed for Queensland stock assessment.
Reports on SS herein represent initial views after training. SS views may change in time with individuals, and with more use and learnings of the software.

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