The AFMA Research Committee (ARC) is calling for brief expressions of interest (EOI) applications for the following strategic research priorities.  These priorities do not require full proposals but can be completed using a brief EOI application form (link below). Subject to ARC consideration of submitted EOI applications, applicants may be asked to complete a more detailed full proposal at a later date.

Key information for applicants when completing and submitting EOI applications

When completing and submitting EOI applications, applicants should:

  • Use the strategic research priority scopes outlined below as a guide when developing their EOI applications to meet the identified need for the project
  • use the AFMA EOI application form to prepare their EOI applications
  • include in their EOI applications:
    • the projected costs and expected funding source, as well as alternatives; and
    • 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.
    • email their completed EOI applications to the AFMA Research Secretary at research.secretary [at] by Friday, 3 December 2021.

Strategic research priority scopes

Project Title: Evaluating contributing factors to catch per unit effort standardisation in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery

Project Need: 

Noting the uncertainty associated with fishery dependent catch per unit effort (CPUE) data in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), the AFMA Research Committee (ARC) is seeking expressions of interest to develop a project to examine:

  1. What are the likely drivers of uncertainty in fishery dependent CPUE data (fishing efficiency, environment, fishery dynamics) and what empirical data do we have to quantify these drivers?
  2. How can we use this information and data to better standardise CPUE data for key species in the SESSF, including novel approaches? E.g. inclusion of fishing power time series or environmental data in CPUE analyses.
  3. What data should be collected in the future to enable these factors to be included as a factor in CPUE standardisations.

EOIs need to clearly demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the implications of the previous work undertaken on CPUE standardisations in the SESSF, including FRDC project 2008-002 Targeting and CPUE definition in the SESSF trawl fishery through auxiliary data as well as that undertaken by CSIRO since the 1990s.

This project would:

  • consider information already collected as part of FRDC project 2016/146 Understanding factors influencing under-caught TACs, declining catch rates and failure to recover for many quota species in the SESSF (the Declining Indicators project) with regards to fleet characteristics;
  • examine how to progress key recommendations from the Declining Indicators project and FRDC project 2014/203 Strategic Review of SESSF Monitoring and Assessment (the SMARP project);
  • include examination of data from fishery independent surveys in the SESSF, to identify the utility of species composition information at finer spatial scales than is currently available.

Desired Outcomes

The desired outcomes are:

  1. Analysis concerning the drivers of uncertainty in fishery dependent CPUE, including a summary of available empirical data to quantify these drivers.
  2. Empirical data identified through #1 is incorporated into updated standardisations of CPUE data for key species in the SESSF.
  3. Identification of cost-effective options for collecting data identified under #1, adequate to support ongoing incorporation of these factors in CPUE standardistions.


Fiona Hill
Senior Manager, Demersal and Midwater Fisheries
Phone: 02 6225 5473
Email: fiona.hill [at]

Natalie Couchman
Research Manager
Phone: 02 6225 5382
Email: research.secretary [at]


Project Title: All Commonwealth Fisheries: Scoping studies to address four key strategic research needs 

Project Need:

The AFMA Research Committee (ARC) has identified four key strategic research challenges facing Commonwealth fisheries and is looking to gain an understanding of potential projects to inform these research areas. The ARC is seeking expression of interest style scopes to cover the following broad areas:

  1. Climate adaptation strategies – how to collect and incorporate environmental data into assessments and harvest strategies;
  2. Economic objective – innovative projects that inform pursuit of AFMA’s economic objective, the data needed, and how performance against the objective can be better measured and reported for low participant or limited data fisheries;
  3. Meeting the requirements of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy – the current policy lacks guidance for some new and emerging issues (e.g. rebuilding species, climate change, multi-species fisheries, use of close-kin outputs, how to assess consistency with third party accreditation systems and data poor species) to facilitate the development of alternative assessment and harvest strategy approaches;
  4. Threatened, endangered and protected species (TEPs) – better understanding TEP species behaviour and factors that will minimise their interaction with fisheries. 

Desired Outcomes: Broad outline and approach to explore and understand these issues including identification of funding sources and partners to progress proposed initiatives.


Natalie Couchman
Research Manager
Phone: 02 6225 5382
Email: research.secretary [at]