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:

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.

Recent discussion topics

  • Reviewing data for stock assessments
  • Reviewing fishery indicator data and whether any action is required during multi-year total allowable catch periods for quota species

Download the minutes from previous meetings here.

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 24-26 August 2021.

Current research priorities

  • Assessment of target species
  • Close kin assessments
  • SESSF species stock structure review

Past meetings

Past minutes, recommendations and advice can be found on the SESSFRAG past meetings page.

Working Groups

Fishery Independent Data Working Group (Aug 2020)


Members are appointed for the period 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2022.

  • Dr Cathy Dichmont, Chair
  • Ms Fiona Hill, AFMA member
  • Mr Lance Lloyd, scientific member (GABRAG Chair)
  • Mr Sandy Morison, scientific member (SharkRAG Chair)
  • Dr Mike Steer, scientific member (SERAG Chair)
  • Dr Cathy Bulman, scientific member
  • Dr Sarah Jennings, economics member


Ms Cate Coddington
Executive Officer
Tel: 02 6225 5358
Email: cate.coddington [at]