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(Agenda item 17)

Statistical area boundary changes

76. ICES informed its needs for catch and effort statistics in more detail than is presently collected. There are two prime movers for this initiative 1) for use in assessment of deep water fish stocks, and 2) NEAFC's need for statistics by its convention areas (outside 200 nautical mile EEZs). The assessment needs are related to certain fishing banks (e.g. Hatton Bank); this affects ICES divisions Va, VIb, X, XII and XIVb. There are three areas of international waters in FAO Area 27. Two of these areas fall within an ICES division (I and IIa) while the third: NEAFC area I (NE Atlantic proper) cuts across many ICES divisions (Vb, VIb,VIIc,d,j,k, VIIIe, IXa, X, XII and XIVb). At the moment this possible revision has not yet been concluded into a final proposal. Eurostat, ICES and NEAFC are working closely together in developing this proposal.

77. CCAMLR informed that the boundaries of Division 58.4.3 (FAO Area 58) had been changed to better align the statistical boundaries with known topographic and biological features associated with fisheries. Division 58.4.3 had also been divided into 58.4.3a (Elan Bank) and 58.4.3b (Banzare Bank). These changes have consequently affected the defined boundaries of Divisions 58.4.1, 58.4.2 and 58.5.2.

78. FAO informed that there had been consideration by the SEAFO process concerning the boundary line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as to whether 30°E or 20°E would be more practical as a boundary for its convention area (see CWP-17 report, paragraph 131). Similarly, there are boundary concerns regarding CECAF and SEAFO areas (in a small area of the northern boundary of area 47). CWP recommended that in general ad hoc adjustments to statistical boundaries should be discouraged and that any statistical boundary changes, which inevitably require changes to statistical data reporting questionnaires, should only be implemented if historical data can be adjusted to retain consistent time series (see CWP-17 report, paragraph 130). CWP further recommended that the Secretariat once again inquire of SEAFO as to its intentions concerning the boundary between areas 47 and 51 and, if the 30°E boundary is to be retained. The development of the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) will also require similar considerations of its western boundary.

79. FAO informed the meeting that the change in the statistical boundary between fishing areas 57 and 71 in the Australian-Indonesian region, is being implemented according to the borders shown in Appendix 5, figure 3, of the CWP-17 Report. The new border will match the present border between the IOTC and SPC areas of competence. Indonesia has provided a first release (back to 1975) of its catch statistics in areas 57 and 71, revised according to the new border.


80. FAO announced the latest proposals for revisions to the fishing vessel type classification, noting this was after two rounds of discussion within CWP. The classification list included several levels of vessel categories with the top tier containing: drifters, gillnetters, etc.

81. CWP reviewed the proposed revision of the ISSCFV classification, noting that an earlier review was described in the report of CWP-19 (paragraphs 157-162). After extended discussions by CWP members, it was restated that the ISSCFV categories should be based on consideration of vessel structural characteristics, but agreed that some category terms should be revised to better reflect vessel types currently used in fisheries. Whilst FAO has had extensive consultations with fishery technologists, CWP recommended fisheries statisticians should also be consulted to develop suitable criteria and nomenclature. It was noted very few regional fishery bodies now use vessel types for statistical recording, and that most agencies now use gear types extensively, particularly in tuna fisheries. Thus, guidance was provided for improving the current proposal:

Purse seiners: the sub-categories American seiner and European seiner should be reworded to ‘Purse Seiner: American type’, and ‘Purse Seiner: European type’. The introduction of a ‘Purse Seiner: Chinese type’ category should be considered. To that effect SEAFDEC will liaise with FAO;

Multipurpose vessels: ‘Polyvalent should be renamed ‘Multipurpose’; the multipurpose category should be reduced as much as possible, in order to avoid facilitating reporting against this opened category; the ‘Pelagic trawler - purse seiner’ would be an obvious category under multipurpose vessels;

‘Platform for aquaculture’ and ‘Fishing vessels using pumps for fishing’ should be deleted;

‘Local vessel types’ (e.g. ‘bottom otter trawler’) may be added as required at the third level as examples of vessel types under either first level or second level of standard categories.

CWP recommended that after considering these inputs, the Secretariat revise the proposed revision and circulate it for comments.

Socio-economic indicators

82. Eurostat introduced the results of a programme known as “Concerted Action”, the results of which have been a recent report on economic indicators for 20 national fleets and that the data has been harmonized and compiled into time series with nine parameters. The parameters will be put into a database by Eurostat and will be a first attempt at the development of socio-economic indicators. This development, although preliminarily voluntary and subject to the Council Regulation, has now been delayed to 2004.

83. SEAFDEC reported that a 4-year pilot project in four ASEAN countries had started last year which involved the development of socio-economic indicators as a tool for fisheries management. There was strong interest in the region and SEAFDEC noted that perhaps the Eurostat programme would serve as a useful model for the project to study.

84. CWP hoped that communications among its members would help progress in developing socio-economic indicators.

Environmental sustainability indicators

85. Eurostat stated that the EU Commission has been under pressure to investigate these indicators. In addition, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) has addressed this issue and will be reviewing its proposals for fisheries environmental sustainability indicators.

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