AFMA Research Committee 2016 call for research

It’s that time again when the AFMA Research Committee (ARC) is making its annual public call for expressions of interest to address research priorities identified for potential AFMA funding in 2016/17.

The ARC met on 21 October 2015 to consider fishery-specific research priorities identified by individual fisheries research assessment groups (RAGs) and management advisory committees (MACs), following a review of their fisheries’ five year strategic plans and development of their annual research plans.

To assist in the quality control and to promote relevance of their EOI, applicants are invited to discuss their applications with the AFMA Research Section and the relevant fisheries manager prior to submitting an EOI.

The AFMA Research Section can be contacted on 02 6225 5432 or by emailing Research.Secretary@afma.gov.au.

Applicants should use the fishery-specific project scopes provided below as a guide when developing their initial expressions of interest (EOI).  Please note that the research EOI must be submitted to the AFMA Research Section by 31 January 2016.  AFMA will seek RAG and MAC comments on EOIs received prior to the ARC’s March 2016 meeting when EOIs will be assessed.  Applicants will be advised in late March 2016, following the ARC’s evaluation of EOI, whether they should develop their EOI into full proposals in consultation with AFMA management, RAGs and MACs. Applicants will need to submit their full proposals to the Research Section by mid-April 2016.

Key Information for applicants when completing and submitting EOIs

When completing and submitting EOIs, applicants must:

  • use the project scopes outlined below as a guide when developing their initial EOI to meet the identified need for the project
  • use the ARC application form to prepare their EOI
  • include in their EOI:
    • the projected costs and expected funding source, as well as alternatives.
    • the proposed contractor’s full legal identity/description, including each corporation’s full description and Australian Company Number or the full names of all partners/joint venturers. A trading name and/or Australian Business Number should also be notified, but only if registered to the parties described

Fishery – specific project scopes

Fishery Scopes
Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery
  1. Southern Bluefin Tuna Inter-sessional Science  including Archiving of hard parts for routine ageing and developing age-length keys for the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Surface Fishery 2016/17
Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
  1. Fishery independent survey of shelf and slope resources in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) 2016
  2. Review of the effectiveness of spatial management measures in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery
  3. Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery – 2016 Survey
  4. Improving the location and targeting of economically viable aggregations of squid available to the squid jigging method and Improving the SSJF fishing fleets ability to catch squid

Southern bluefin tuna (SBT)

Project title Southern Bluefin Tuna Inter-sessional Science  including Archiving of hard parts for routine ageing and developing age-length keys for the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Surface Fishery 2016/17
Project description To provide support for essential work for the ongoing assessment of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) outlined as research priorities for the CCSBT Extended Scientific Committee (ESC) work program for 2016-17 which includes:

  1. Planning, consultation, attendance, advice exceptional circumstances, 2017 data exchange.
  2. Run MP – provide advice 2018-2020 TAC.
  3. Advice on approaches for including unaccounted mortality for the 2021 TAC block and beyond.
  4. Transitioning to a new MP – review initial conditioning, propose data generation for projection models and form of potential MPs
  5. Prepare for 2017 stock assessment and preliminary reconditioning OM after data exchange in 2017.
  6. Age 100 SBT from the Australian surface fishery (2015/16 season).
  7. Provide  direct age estimates to the CCSBT via the data exchange process
  8. Construct age-length keys and estimate the age distribution of SBT in the Australian fishery.
  9. Prepare working paper on the outcomes of the project to the CCSBT Scientific Committee (SC) meeting in 2017.
Desired outcomes
  • The previous CCSBT schedule of activities for the ESC has been altered substantially by the decision to transition to a new MP. This will require a large amount of work and additional consultation, relative to the previous work plan. This is in addition to running the current Bali MP to recommend 2018-2020 TACs, in 2016, and a full stock assessment in 2017.
  • This ageing and archiving component provides for the collection, ageing and archiving of otoliths from the Australian surface fishery, which is a requirement of the CCSBT.

Contacts:

Trent Timmiss                                                            ARC Research Section
Senior Manager                                                        Telephone: 02 6225 5432
Tuna and International Fisheries                       Email: Research.Secretary@afma.gov.au
Telephone: (02) 6225 5313
Email: Trent.Timmiss@afma.gov.au

Southern & Eastern Scalefish & Shark Fishery (SESSF)

Project title Fishery independent survey of shelf and slope resources in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) 2016
Project description To conduct a winter survey which will provide further points in the times-series of fishery independent survey (FIS) indices of abundance. The resulting FIS data series will be included in stock assessments of target species and time series analysis of major by-product and by-catch species.The FIS also provides time series information on the spatial and temporal distribution of a large number of non-commercial fish species and a platform from which biological information (length, sex, maturity, age etc) can be collected in a systematic way from these species.
Project objectives
  1. To continue the time-series of fishery independent trawl surveys in the SESSF through the conduct of a Winter survey only in 2016;
  2. To provide fishery-independent indices of abundance for the following SESSF species: Silver Warehou, Blue Grenadier, Tiger Flathead, Jackass Morwong, Mirror Dory, Pink Ling, Common Sawshark, Southern Sawshark, Offshore Ocean Perch, Gummy Shark, John Dory, the Deepwater Shark basket, Western Gemfish and Redfish;
  3. To obtain reasonable abundance indices for the following byproduct species:, Ocean Jacket, Latchet, King Dory, Stargazer, Frostfish and Red Gurnard;
  4. To collect length frequencies and otoliths from all major quota species and selected high risk and non-quota species; and
  5. To prepare all survey information for use in fishery stock assessments and data summaries.

 

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF)

Project title Review of the effectiveness of spatial management measures in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery
Project need To better understand the use and effectiveness of spatial management measures (area closures) as required in the Harvest Strategy. The project will assist management determine if area closures are necessary and, if so, to what extent given:

  1. The known biomass of the commercial scallop resource in south-east Australia from surveyed areas (Commonwealth and State);
  2. The unknown biomass of scallops in marine reserves, outside known areas and in areas of low (non-commercial) density; and
  3. The factors impacting the capacity to harvest and maximise economic returns from the fishery (i.e. fleet size and market implications).

The project should consider experiences from other scallop fisheries, including the Victorian Port Phillip Bay Scallop Fishery.

Desired outcomes A more effective Harvest Strategy.

 

Project title Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery – 2016 Survey
Project need To coordinate a fisheries survey to measure the size distribution and calculate biomass estimates to assess the potential for commercial catch rates in the BSCZSF.
Desired outcomes Determination of the available biomass and scallop size to set the TAC and area closures in line with the BSCZSF Harvest Strategy for the 2016 season.

Southern Squid Jig Fishery

Project title Improving the location and targeting of economically viable aggregations of squid available to the squid jigging method and the fleets ability to catch squid
Project need To understand the environmental cues and indicators that will assist the fishery better focus their targeting practices, including:

  • Remote sensing data on sea surface temperature, chlorophyll A concentrations etc
  • Abundance and movement of sharks that prey on squid (e.g. mako sharks caught on boats for tagging have a large number of squid stomach contents)
  • New Zealand data on characterizing where squid have been caught relative to environmental factors.

and

a review of squid jigging fishing techniques and practices used in other fisheries to determine if and what improvements can be made to increase the SSJF fishing fleet’s ability to catch squid.

Desired outcomes A more economically viable fishery through improved location and targeting of viable aggregations of squid and improved ability to catch squid.

Contacts:

George Day
Senior Manager
Demersal and Midwater Trawl Fisheries
Telephone: (02) 6225 5331
Email: George.Day@afma.gov.au

ARC Research Section

Telephone: 02 6225 5432

Email: Research.Secretary@afma.gov.au