Final Report - 2014-009-DLD - Research and Science Information Guidelines for Australian Fisheries
Principal Investigator: Andrew Penney
Fisheries research and scientific information is used to inform fisheries management decisions and the formulation of related environmental policy. Government Ministers and decision-makers, stakeholders and the public need to have confidence and trust in research and scientific information used to inform fisheries management. To help achieve this, key principles for ensuring quality of science need to be adhered to, and effective science quality assurance processes need to be put in place, to:
- ensure the quality and integrity of research and scientific information, irrespective of the source of that information;
- require research providers, relevant advisory committees and advisory processes to meet sufficient Guidelines for ensuring the quality of scientific information; and
- ensure that peer review processes, the primary mechanism for ensuring the quality of scientific information, are cost-effective and efficient.
These Guidelines provide guidance for high quality and reliable scientific information, and best practice quality assurance of research and scientific information to inform fishery management decisions, regardless of the source of that information. The Guidelines set out principles for research and scientific information quality, identify responsibilities, and describe requirements for getting third party peer reviews, evaluation of scientific information quality, storage and management of data and documentation and communication of results.
As well as the Guidelines is another document which makes up this study titled Development of guidelines for quality assurance of Australian fisheries research and science information (https://frdc.com.au/research/Final_Reports/2014-009-DLD%20B.pdf
) which gives the overview of the development of the Guidelines themselves.
Scientific methods strive to produce objective and reliable information, and document how that information has been derived, such that the results can be validated and reproduced if required.
Scientific methods and quality assurance processes can be applied to any research project. Much of the research and scientific information used to inform fisheries management relates to fisheries characterisations, biological studies, stock assessments, resource abundance surveys and evaluations of impacts on associated or dependent species. Other disciplines using scientific methods also produce information that is used in fisheries management, including broader ecosystem, social science and economic studies. The principles and quality assurance processes in these Guidelines can be applied to any such information, if scientific methods have been used.
The provisions of these Guidelines are intended to be applicable to:
- Fisheries research projects contracted or conducted by research purchasers and/or providers such as the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Commonwealth or State government departments purchasing or providing research intended or likely to inform fisheries management decisions relating to wild capture fisheries and their impact on the marine environment.
- Fisheries research projects conducted or contracted by the seafood industry or other stakeholder organisations as part of established research programmes intended to inform fisheries management decisions relating to wild capture fisheries and their impact on the marine environment.
- Any other research conducted or contracted by other organisations, if that research is intended or likely to inform fisheries management decisions relating to wild capture fisheries and their impact on the marine environment. ny other research conducted or contracted by other organisations, if that research is intended or likely to inform fisheries management decisions relating to wild capture fisheries and their impact on the marine environment.