The roles of the AFMA Research Committee and the Commonwealth Fisheries Research Advisory Body are to consider research proposals and prioritise essential research priorities that contribute to improved management for fisheries.

Management advisory committees and resource assessment groups provide crucial advice and input to AFMA on the management of Commonwealth fisheries.  Members of these committees and groups include AFMA fishery managers, fishing operators, scientists and researchers, state and territory governments, conservation groups and recreational fishers.

Committee information for members

Below are links to information for members of management advisory committees (MACs) and resource assessment groups (RAGs). Use the links to the webpages below for information on daily sitting fees, how to invoice AFMA and travel expenses.

MAC member admin information.

RAG member admin information.

Click on a committee for more information

The AFMA Research Committee (ARC) considers essential research priorities that contribute to improved management for fisheries.

Specifically, the AFMA Research Committee provides advice to the AFMA Commission and AFMA Management on:

  • Major fishery and cross fishery research issues affecting Commonwealth fisheries to support AFMA in meeting its objectives and other legislative requirements;
  • The outcome of its review of finalised research projects in terms of delivery of outputs and outcomes, adoption/impacts and required adjustment to AFMA processes;
  • The strategic directions for research relevant to AFMA’s information needs;
  • Priorities for potential funding from AFMA, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and other funding sources.

The ARC also supports AFMA’s administration of the annual research budget.

Read more about the AFMA research program.


  • Mr Brett McCallum, Chair and AFMA Commissioner
  • Mr Wez Norris, AFMA Chief Executive Officer and AFMA Commissioner
  • Ms Anna Willock, Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch, AFMA
  • TBC - Secretariat

AFMA advisors on the committee:

  • Mr Ryan Murphy, Senior Manager, Policy, Environment, Economics and Research, AFMA
  • Ms Natalie Couchman, Manager Policy, Environment and Research, AFMA

Invited regular observers who attend to provide expert advice:

  • Dr David Smith, AFMA Commissioner
  • FRDC
  • Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
  • Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

The FRDC supports a network of Research Advisory Committees (RACs) located in each state and the Northern Territory. ComRAC is the primary planning and entry point for consideration of Commonwealth research proposals for potential Fisheries Research and Development Corporation funding.

For more information visit

Each fishery is covered by a management advisory committee. These committees provide advice to AFMA on the scientific and economic status of fish stocks, sub stocks, species (target and non-target species) and on the impacts of fishing on the marine environment.

Members are from industry, policy, conservation, state and territory governments, recreational and research fields. Following a public expression of interest process, members are selected and recommended by an assessment panel to the AFMA Commission for formal appointment. Appointments are expertise based and are for up to a maximum of three years.

Advice provided by the committees must be evidence based and address biological, economic and wider ecological factors affecting the performance of the fishery. Advice and recommendations from committees must align with AFMA’s pursuit of its legislative objectives.

Fisheries Management Paper 1 – Management Advisory Committees provides operational and functional guidelines for management advisory committees and gives detailed advice on membership, roles and responsibilities.

Upcoming management advisory committee meeting dates

MAC Date Venue
SEMAC Nov 2021 (TBC) TBC
ScallopMAC 18 June 2021 (completed)

Click on the links below to read more about each committee.

Each fishery is also covered by a resource assessment group. These groups provide advice and recommendations to management advisory committees, AFMA management, the AFMA Commission and the AFMA Research Committee on the status of fish stocks, substocks, species (target and non-target),fishery economics and on the impact of fishing on the marine environment.  These groups also give advice on the type of information required for specific stock assessments.

Members of these groups include fishery scientists, industry members, fishery economists, AFMA management and other interest groups. Having this variety of membership ensures that industry knowledge and developments in management strategies, market prices and the costs of harvesting as well as scientific information are taken into account when making recommendations. Resource assessment groups are non-statutory committees.

Fisheries Administration Paper 12 – Resources Assessment Groups provides operational and functional guidelines for resource assessment groups and gives detailed advice on membership, roles and responsibilities.

Upcoming resource assessment group meeting dates

RAG Date Venue
ScallopRAG 15 June 2021 (completed) Completed
ScallopRAG TBC July/August 2021 TBC
Sub Antarctic RAG TBC TBC
SERAG #1  28-29 September 2021 Hobart, TBC
SERAG #2 19-20 October 2021 Hobart, TBC
SERAG #3 30 November - 1 December 2021 Videoconference, TBC
SharkRAG 5-7 October 2021 TBC
SPFRAG 1 July 2021 TBC
Tropical Tuna RAG TBC TBC
SESSFRAG Chairs 16-18 March 2022 (TBC) Canberra, TBC
SESSFRAG Data 24-26 August 2021 Videoconference

Click on the links below to read more about each group.

Considering the views of stakeholders is an important part of AFMA’s management of Commonwealth fisheries, including the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF). On 16 October 2015, the independent AFMA Commission decided to trial a scientific panel, together with stakeholder forums, to enable more stakeholders to engage in the advisory process while maintaining the focus on the scientific and economic advice it is seeking.


See the SPF Stakeholder Forum webpage for the latest information from recent forums.

See the SPF Scientific Panel webpage for the latest information and presentations provided by the panel members.

The Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group (the Working Group) has recently been established to provide advice to AFMA on marine mammal management arrangements for Commonwealth managed fisheries.  A previous iteration of this working group (the Marine Mammal Working Group) was disbanded in June 2015 following the successful implementation of strategies to protect Australian Sea Lions and Dolphins in the Gillnet, Hook and Trap fishery.

AFMA considers it appropriate to look at marine mammal interactions across all Commonwealth managed fisheries in developing mitigation and avoidance strategies. This “whole of fisheries” approach will be the focus of the Working Group advice to AFMA.

The Working Group has been structured to elicit the best possible advice from a wide variety of stakeholder groups.  The current membership includes three marine mammal scientists, an industry member, a conservation member, a recreational / charter fishing scientific member and members from AFMA, the Department of Environment and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.  The Working Group also has an independent Chair.

Previous Meeting

Download the minutes from the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group meeting 5 - October 2018

Download the minutes from the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group Meeting 4 - May 2018 (PDF, 529KB)

Download the minutes from the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group Meeting 3 – March 2018 (PDF, 419 KB)

Download the minutes from the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group Meeting 2 – June 2017 (PDF, 424KB)

Download the minutes from the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group Meeting 1 – November 2016 (PDF, 356)

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Working Group will be likely be held in the second half of 2018.

Terms of reference

Download the Commonwealth Fisheries Marine Mammal Working Group Terms of Reference


Members have been appointed until 30 June 2018.

Mr Bill Talbot (Independent Chair)

Dr Karen Evans (Scientific/Mitigation member)

Dr John Wakeford (Scientific/Mitigation member)

Dr Simon Goldsworthy (Scientific/Mitigation member)

Mr Richard Wells (Industry member)

Mr Rhys Arangio (Industry member)

Mr Gerry Geen (Industry member)

Dr Julian Pepperell (Recreational / charter fishing scientific member)

Ms Alexia Wellbelove (Conservation member)

Mr Tony Harman (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources)

Mr Phil Ravanello (Australian Fisheries Management Authority)

Dr Mike Double (Department of Environment)


Phil Ravanello

Interim Executive Officer

Telephone: 02 6225 5398

Email: claire.wallis [at]

In 2017, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) formally established the Economic Working Group (EWG) as an advisory group to provide AFMA with strategic advice on a range of fisheries economic matters. The EWG commenced functioning as an informal body in 2015.

The purpose of the EWG is to provide advice on major and cross fishery economic issues related to Commonwealth fisheries management. The outcomes from the EWG are intended to support AFMA in meeting its legislative requirements, in particular, maximising the net economic returns to the Australian community from the management of Australian fisheries.

Economic Working Group Terms of Reference can be viewed on the AFMA EWG page.

The links to the minutes of the EWG meetings since its establishment are available below.

Past Meetings

September 10 2020 Economic Working Group meeting (PDF, 664KB)

April 15-16 2019 Economic Working Group meeting (PDF, 127KB)

April 10 2018 Economic Working Group meeting (PDF,314KB)

September 13 2017 Economic Working Group meeting minutes (PDF, 353KB)

February 23 2017 Economic Working Group meeting minutes (PDF, 272KB)

December 16 2015 Economic Working Group meeting minutes (PDF, 292KB)

Next Meeting

The next Economic Working Group will be advised shortly.


Mr Scott Spencer (Chair)

Dr Robert Gale (GABRAG Economic Member)

Prof Tom Kompas (NPFRAG Economic Member)

Ms Sarah Jennings (SESSFRAG & SERAG Economic Member)

Dr Julian Morison (SharkRAG Economic Member)

A/Prof Caleb  Gardner (SPFRAG Economic member)

Mr Robert Curtotti (SquidRAG Economic member)

Mr David Mobsby (TTRAG Economic member)

Mr Anders Magnusson (Member with recreational fishing expertise)

Dr Sean Pascoe (Member with Commercial fisheries expertise - Not otherwise covered)

Sevaly Sen (Invited Participant)

Mr Ryan Murphy (AFMA Member)


Nigel Abery

Telephone: 02 6225 5303

Email: nigel.abery [at]

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Audit and Risk Committee reviews and provides independent advice and assurance on the appropriateness of AFMA’s:

  • Financial reporting
  • Performance reporting
  • Systems of risk oversight and management
  • Systems of internal control

Download the AFMA Audit and Risk Committee Charter 2016 (PDF, 280KB)

Download the AFMA Internal Audit Charter 2016 (PDF, 246KB)


The Audit Committee comprises four members, appointed by the CEO, being one Commissioner and three independent (non AFMA officials) members.


Andrew Pearson

Executive Secretary, Corporate Services

Telephone: 02 6225 5555

Email: andrew.pearson [at]