The Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Resource Assessment Group (SESSFRAG) is the key research and scientific committee for management of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery.
The Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery is a multi-sector, multi-species fishery and includes the following sectors:
- Commonwealth south east trawl
- East coast deepwater trawl
- Gillnet, hook and trap (includes: the scalefish hook , the shark hook , the shark gillnet and the trap sub-sectors)
- Great Australian Bight trawl.
The group provides advice to the South East Management Advisory Committee on the status of fish stocks, sub-stocks, species (target and non-target), the impact of fishing on the marine environment and the type of information needed for stock assessments. It also evaluates:
- the impact over time of different harvest strategies
- stock depletion and recovery rates
- confidence levels for fishery assessments
- risks to the success of fishery objectives.
Compliance and economic factors affecting the fishery are also evaluated and reported on by the group.
The group meets twice a year holding a Chairs’ meeting and a data and research meeting. At the Chairs’ meeting, the group reviews the previous year’s assessments for each quota species and general research priorities for the fishery. At the data and research meeting, they consider data summaries for each quota species to be used in assessments and research priorities for the fishery.
The group provides an avenue for consultation between industry members, fishery managers, fishery economists, fishery scientists and other interest groups.
The group provides oversight and recommendations to the following groups:
- Great Australian Bight Resource Assessment Group
- Shark Resource Assessment Group
- South East Resource Assessment Group.
These groups provide recommended biological catches for the 34 species, or species groups, under total allowable catch across the fishery, as well as more general recommendations on fishery-related research.
The members of this group are evaluated every three years. Currently the members of SESSFRAG are as follows:
- Dr Cathy Dichmont, Chair
- Ms Sally Weekes, AFMA member
- Mr Lance Lloyd, scientific member (GABRAG Chair)
- Mr Sandy Morison, scientific member (SharkRAG Chair)
- Dr Paul McShane, scientific member (SERAG Chair)
- Dr Beth Fulton, scientific member
- Dr Sarah Jennings, economics member