Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC) Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

  1. Identify and document research gaps, needs and priorities for fisheries in the Torres Strait.
  2. Provide a forum for expert consideration of scientific issues referred to the Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC) by the Torres Strait Fisheries Management Advisory Committee (TSFMAC).
  3. Provide a forum for detailed consideration of scientific issues raised by Torres Strait Fishery Working Groups and relevant stakeholder representative bodies and advise Torres Strait Fishery Working Groups and relevant stakeholders on the feasibility and merits of suggested research.
  4. Develop and update a strategic plan for Torres Strait Fisheries research.
  5. Solicit and review research proposals in line with the strategic plan and recommend proposals for implementation to the AFMA Research Committee (ARC) and other relevant funding organisations.
  6. Provide other advice to the TSFMAC on matters consistent with TSSAC functions.
  7. Review research / consultancies, stock assessments, and other reports and outputs relevant to Torres Strait fisheries and advise the TSFMAC and Fishery Working Groups, on their technical merit.
  8. Advise the TSFMAC and Fishery Working Groups on the management implications identified by the research projects or the TSSAC’s own assessment of fisheries data.
  9. Convene Fisheries Assessment workshops as appropriate to review and address assessment needs for Torres Strait fisheries and recommend research priorities for future assessments.
  10. Provide advice to research providers and the TSFMAC on appropriate mechanisms and protocols for engaging research providers in the Torres Strait fisheries.
  11. Provide advice on effective delivery of research results to stakeholders.
  12. Provide advice on a range of issues for the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, including stock assessment advice.


In view of the special circumstances of the Torres Strait, especially in relation to the multiple jurisdictional arrangements for management and the provisions for economic development favouring Torres Strait Islanders in the Torres Strait Treaty (1985) and the Torres Strait Fisheries Act (1984), the Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC) should reflect a balance between stakeholder representation and research expertise. The TSSAC shall have a greater representative function than other AFMA Scientific Committees. Accordingly, appointments to the TSSAC should include the following:

  1. An independent Chair with broad expertise in fisheries science or related area.
  2. Executive Officer.
  3. Three (3) Fisheries Scientists with expertise in any of the following areas:
  • The prawn trawl, tropical rock lobster, bêche-de-mer fishery, trochus, pearl shell, tropical reef finfish fisheries;
  • Traditional fisheries, including turtle and dugong fisheries;
  • The Torres Strait environment, including reef and non-reef habitats; and
  • Broad disciplines of relevance to fisheries management including:
  • stock assessment;
  • stock and fisheries monitoring (including logbooks and community surveys); and
  • data management and analysis.
  1. One (1) Social/Economic Scientist with expertise in fisheries.
  2. One (1) representative from Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPI&F).
  3. One (1) representative from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
  4. One (1) independent industry member selected from Industry through a nomination process.
  5. One (1) Community fisher Representative nominated by the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA).
  6. One (1) Papua New Guinea representative.
    Other experts included on the register may be called to attend specific TSSAC meeting based on their specific areas of expertise as required.