Despite improvements in the status Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF) fish stocks, three key indicators of the performance of the fishery have raised concerns:
- the fishery is failing to catch the TAC’s of many quota species despite historically low levels of fishing effort — at the end of the 2015/16 season, less than 50% of the TAC of two-thirds of quota species was caught;
- there has been continued decline in catch per unit effort for some species; and
- there has been a lack of recovery of some overfished species.
These concerns prompted the FRDC to fund this project to investigate a range of potential causes/issues the underperformance of these three indicators.
A range of potential causes/issues of underperformance were evaluated during focussed investigations. This culminating in a workshop to rank the likelihood of potential for each cause/issue to affect each indicator, and to make recommendations to address those causes/issues.