Fisheries Scientific Committee

Fisheries Scientific Committee

The Fisheries Scientific Committee is an independent body established under Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994. The main functions of the Committee are related to:

  • the listing of species, populations, ecological communities and key threatening processes in the schedules of the Fisheries Management Act 1994;
  • advising the Minister on the identification of critical habitat;
  • reviewing draft joint management agreements and the performance of parties under the agreements;
  • Advising the Director-General on the exercise of Department of Primary Industries functions under threatened species legislation of the Fisheries Management Act 1994; and
  • Advising the Minister and the Natural Resources Commission on matters relating to the conservation of threatened species, populations or ecological communities.

The Committee consists of seven scientists, with expertise in the biology of fish, aquatic invertebrates and marine vegetation; population dynamics, aquatic ecology and genetics of small populations.

The Committee comprises:

Committee memberPosition on the FSCExpertise

Assoc. Prof. Jane Williamson


Scientist employed by a tertiary educational institution, selected by the Minister.

Marine ecologist with 25 years of experience in fish, invertebrate and marine vegetation, and population dynamics. Particular expertise in rocky sub-tidal communities and sharks

Prof. David Ayre
(Deputy Chairperson)

Scientist with expertise in fisheries sciences and natural resource management selected by the Minister.

Ecological/Conservation geneticist with interests in ecological and evolutionary consequences of varying tactics of reproduction and dispersal.

30 years experience working with a range  a range of marine invertebrates and fish.

Dr David Harasti

Scientist employed in the Department of Primary Industries and nominated by the Secretary.

Marine scientist with 20 years experience in threatened marine species management and research. Particular expertise in fish biology, population dynamics and syngnathids (seahorses, pipefish).

Dr Dean Gilligan

Scientist employed in the Department of Primary Industries and nominated by the Secretary.Fish biology, aquatic ecology, population dynamics.
Expertise in freshwater biology (principally fish and decapod crustaceans) and genetics, with a focus on Murray Darling Basin species and communities.

Dr Shane Ahyong

Scientist employed and nominated by the Australian Museum Trust.

Aquatic invertebrate biology (especially crustaceans), invasive species, phylogenetics and systematics.

Dr Nick Whiterod

Scientist nominated by the Australian Society for Fish Biology.

Fish biology, aquatic ecology and population dynamics.
Experience in research and management of threatened freshwater fish. Particular expertise in Murray Darling Basin species.

Dr Marlien van der Merwe

Scientist employed and nominated by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.Evolutionary Ecologist with a background in plant and fungal population genetics, phylogenetics and restoration ecology.

Contact the committee

Executive Officer, Fisheries Scientific Committee
c/- NSW Department of Primary Industries
LMB 3020