Members sought for Hand Collectables Resource Assessment Group

Expression of interest

Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) Hand Collectables Resource Assessment Group Vacancies – Chairperson & Scientific Members

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), on behalf of the PZJA, is seeking applications for a Chairperson and up to three Scientific Members for the newly forming Resource Assessment Group (RAG) for Torres Strait Beche-de-mer (BDM) (sea cucumbers) Fishery and other hand collectable fisheries in the Torres Strait. This application process was previously due on 17 January, however has been extended to 31 January 2021.

The PZJA is responsible for managing fisheries in the Torres Strait Protected Zone. The PZJA, established under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984, comprises the Australian and State (Queensland) Ministers responsible for fisheries, and the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA).

AFMA is seeking applicants for the new PZJA RAG for a term of up to three years for the positions listed below:

  • Chairperson (one position)

  • Scientific Members (up to 3 positions)


About the PZJA Hand Collectables Resource Assessment Group (HCRAG)

The new RAG will provide dedicated scientific advice to the PZJA on the status of stocks, sub-stocks and species (target and non-target species) and the impact of fishing on the marine environment for hand collectable fisheries in the Torres Strait, with a specific focus on the BDM Fishery. The new RAG will also play an important role in the peer review of scientific data and analysis, reviewing of research priorities and data collection programs in the fishery as they develop and provide a two way sharing of knowledge between scientists and industry.  This advice assists the PZJA in its role of regulating commercial fishing in the Torres Strait. The RAG will inform the Hand Collectable Working Group (HCWG) and the Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC).


Terms of Reference

General terms of reference for a PZJA Resource Assessment Group (RAG) are as follows:

  1. Analyse, assess, and report on the fishery status against agreed reference points, including target and non-target stocks, impacts on the marine environment from fishing, and the economic efficiency with which stocks are fished;

  2. Identify improvements and refinements to assessment methodology;

  3. Evaluate alternative harvest strategies or Total Allowable Catch settings. This includes providing advice on confidence limits or risk levels associated with particular management/harvest strategies;

  4. Assist the relevant Management Advisory Committee and/or the Working Group to develop, test, and refine sustainability reference points and performance indicators for the fishery. Advise on stock status and trends relative to these reference points and indicators;

  5. Identify and document fishery assessment and monitoring gaps, needs and priorities. These should be communicated to the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) so that they can be incorporated in the Torres Strait strategic research plan;

  6. Provide advice and recommendations to the SAC on issues consistent with RAG functions;

  7. Facilitate peer review of assessment outputs;

  1. Facilitate/drive a collaborative stock assessment with adjacent jurisdictions;

  2. Maintain awareness of current issues by promoting close links with the MACs, SACs and any other Torres Strait RAGs; and

  3. Liaise with other researchers, experts and key industry members.


PZJA Forum Positions and Selection Criteria Chairperson

The Chairperson of a PZJA RAG plays a key role in ensuring effective and thorough discussion of factors affecting the performance of a particular fishery (e.g. implementation of ecological sustainable development factors, and impacts of management strategies on the fishery) and is the primary communication link between the RAG and the PZJA.

Appointments will be merit based and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be independent of commercial or other interests with the particular fishery/fisheries, including industry association(s);

  • Have a demonstrated capacity to chair meetings, including a sound understanding of the meeting procedures and practices necessary for the efficient conduct of meetings (including the rules of debate);

  • Have an ability to identify strategic goals and objectives and facilitate their achievement through the MAC, SAC, WG or RAG process;

  • Have a demonstrated capacity to communicate clearly and concisely to a wide cross-section of people, particularly with respect to acting as the MAC, SAC, WG or RAG spokesperson and representing MAC, SAC, WG or RAG views to the PZJA, industry, Government, the media and the general community in a balanced and rational manner;

  • Have an understanding of industry and public policy;

  • Preferably, have some fisheries (or resource management) experience; and

  • Not be a staff member of the PZJA Agencies, although this is allowed for SACs, WGs and RAGs.


Scientific Member

The role of the scientific member is to:

  • contribute impartial scientific and/or economic expertise to RAG deliberations;

  • provide advice to the RAG on the latest scientific or economic developments of relevance to the fishery.


Scientific members will be appointed on the basis of their scientific or economic qualifications, experience and expertise, knowledge of the fishery and the species being managed and therefore must:

  • be a person of seniority and standing in the scientific community;

  • have experience in liaising with the major Commonwealth and State fisheries research organisations at the highest level; and

  • not have, or be employed by an entity with or representing entities with, commercial interests in the fishery.


More information

The PZJA’s policy document PZJA Fisheries Management Paper 1 (PZJA FMP 1) provides further information about the roles and responsibilities of the RAG and their members and is available online here:


How do I Apply for a PZJA Hand Collectables RAG Membership Position?

For Chairperson and Scientific Member positions, please submit your curriculum vitae and a brief cover note summarising your relevant experience, qualifications and reason for your application.


How do I submit my application?

Applications need to be submitted to AFMA by close of business 31 January 2021 and can be submitted by post, email or facsimile:


Fisheries TI Administrative Assistant

PO Box 376


Email:                   FisheriesTI [at]

Facsimile:            (07) 4069 1277

Phone:                 (07) 4069 1990