The Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC) is the committee that takes a leading role in determining research priorities and assessing proposals for Torres Strait Fisheries related research each year.  The TSSAC meets 3-4 times a year and facilitates an annual funding round, and administration of Torres Strait fisheries related research projects. Research priorities are identified in the five year strategic research plan, which is in turn used by researchers to develop five year fishery research plans. These documents are listed below.

Research reports

Historic research reports

The PZJA are currently in the process of uploading research reports from research funded by the Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee.  A number of these publications are already available on the publications page of the website.  You can also view Torres Strait research and data via the CSIRO marine and atmospheric research data centre.

Research documents

In 2018, the new procedural framework for undertaking research in the Torres Strait was introduced. The framework outlines a cleared stepped process for researchers to follow at the different stages of research for Torres Strait fisheries research projects, from the pre-proposal phase through to implementation and post project. This framework should be used in conjunction with the Torres Strait research application, and other relevant Torres Strait research documents such as the annual research statement and five year strategic research plan. It outlines the consultation that should occur with Torres Strait communities for different kinds of Torres Strait research and how to go about this.


2019-20 call for research proposals

The Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee (TSSAC) is a Protected Zone Joint Authority advisory body that that guides fisheries related research priorities, and assesses proposals for Torres Strait Fisheries related research each year.  As part of its 2019 funding round, the TSSAC is making its annual public call for research applications to address research priorities identified for potential funding in 2019-20.

The TSSAC met on 5-6 December 2018 to consider fishery-specific research priorities identified by individual fisheries Resource Assessment Groups (RAGs), Working Groups (WG) and Management Advisory Committees (MACs).

Research funding is assessed in two stages by the TSSAC, through pre-proposals, then successful applications will be asked to submit full proposals. Applicants should use the fishery-specific project scopes provided as a guide when developing their pre-proposals to meet the identified need for the project.

To assist in quality control and to ensure that the proposal is relevant to identified research priorities, applicants are invited to discuss their applications with the AFMA Torres Strait Fisheries team prior to submitting a proposal. This also applies to researchers who would like to submit a pre-proposal for a project which sits outside of the provided scopes.

The TSSAC secretariat can be contacted on 07 4069 1990 or by emailing torresstraitresearch [at]

Please note that the research proposal must be submitted to the TSSAC executive officer by 5 February 2019. 

The PZJA will seek RAG and Working Group comments on full proposals in February 2018 before consideration by the TSSAC at its March 2019 meeting. Applicants will be advised in late March 2019 whether a full proposal should be submitted. Full proposals will be due by 10 May 2019. The full proposal process has changed and now includes a pre-consultation process with traditional inhabitants. Please refer to the new procedural framework for undertaking research in the Torres Strait for details about the new process, and the new research application here.

Key information for applicants when completing and submitting proposals

When completing and submitting proposals, applicants must:

  • use the project scopes outlined below as a guide when developing their pre-proposals to meet the identified need for the project
  • read the cover letter for researchers before completing an application
  • use the new TSSAC application form and refer to the procedural framework for undertaking research in the Torres Strait (included in the application package) to prepare their proposals
  • include in their proposals:
    • 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 ventures. A trading name and/or Australian Business Number should also be notified, but only if registered to the parties described.
  • email their completed full proposal to the Research Section at torresstraitresearch [at] by 5 February 2019.  

  • A list of research project scopes (in no particular order), and links to full scopes are below.



All Torres Strait fisheries

1. Climate variability and change relevant to key fisheries resources in the Torres Strait — a scoping study.

2. Measuring non-commercial fishing (indigenous subsistence fishing and recreational fishing) in the Torres Strait in order to improve fisheries management and promote sustainable livelihoods.

Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery

3. Fishery independent survey, stock assessment, Harvest Strategy and Recommended Biological Catch calculation for the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery.

Hand Collectables Fisheries

4. Torres Strait Sea Cucumber Stock Status Survey.

Finfish Fishery



5. Management Strategy Evaluation of Torres Strait Finfish Harvest Strategy

6. Enhancing biological data inputs to Torres Strait Spanish mackerel stock assessment.

7. Scoping for Spanish mackerel stock assessment – Torres Strait Scientific Advisory Committee.

Historic Research reports

The CSIRO Marine Research Repository

List of AFMA funded Torres Strait research undertaken between 1980 and 2003 is available on the CSIRO marine science publication and metadata collection page

Learn more about the CSIRO marine science publication and metadata collection on the About page.