(Agenda item 5)
(Agenda item 5a; Documents CWP-21 Reports by Participating Organizations)
7. Member organizations had prepared comprehensive reports on their work programmes and progress since the Twentieth CWP Session (21 - 24 January 2003). The organizations present in the meeting made brief presentations of their reports and issues emerging from the presentations were discussed. Summaries of the reports and the related discussions are given below (full versions of the reports are available on the CWP Web site). The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) were not present at the meeting but had submitted progress reports which are summarized below.
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
8. CCAMLR has undertaken further developments in fishery statistics and related information since CWP - 20 in 2003. This work has included:
the adoption of a resolution seeking further collaboration with RFMOs to reduce the incidental mortality of seabirds arising from fishing;
the further development of the Catch Documentation Scheme for Dissostichus spp. (CDS);
the implementation of a centralized Vessel Monitoring System (VMS); and
a revision of the rules for access and use of CCAMLR data.
9. In 2004, CCAMLR adopted Resolution 22/XXIII seeking further collaboration with RFMOs to reduce the incidental mortality of seabirds arising from fishing. Specific RFMOs are encouraged to implement or develop mechanisms to require the collection, reporting and dissemination of data on incidental mortality of seabirds. For areas where such mechanisms are currently unavailable or where systematic data reporting has not commenced, Flag States fishing outside CCAMLRs Convention Area are encouraged to provide the CCAMLR Secretariat with summary data on the incidental take of seabirds of species breeding in Statistical Areas 48, 58 or 88.
10. The CDS has been extended through the introduction of electronic, Web-based catch and export documentation and the addition of landing and trade statistics derived from the Scheme in the CCAMLR Statistical Bulletin.
11. A centralized VMS was established in the CCAMLR Secretariat in 2004 and Contracting Parties are required to report the six-hourly positions of their flag vessels operating in finfish fisheries inside the Convention Area. Position reports are required to be forwarded to the Secretariat in real-time for those vessels participating in new and exploratory fisheries, and on departure from the Convention Area for other fisheries.
12. In 2003, the rules for the access and use of CCAMLR data were revised. The underlying principles were retained and the conditions under which data may be exchanged within CCAMLR or used outside of CCAMLR were clarified. Access and use of CDS and VMS data were also considered; these data may be released to CCAMLR Members only under restricted circumstances.
Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT)
13. The CCSBT Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBF) Statistical Document Program (SDP) continues to operate. Summaries of the SDP data are now published on the CCSBT web site and are updated on a six monthly basis. The SDP has also been modified to incorporate minimum standards that specify the responsibilities of exporters, importers and the CCSBT Secretariat in relation completion of the documents and the action required in response to missing or inaccurate information.
14. At its annual meeting in October 2003, the CCSBT agreed to a resolution to establish a list of vessels over 24 metres in length which are approved to fish for SBT. The list came into effect on 1 July 2004 and can be accessed from the CCSBT web site. At its annual meeting in October 2004, the CCSBT amended the resolution to remove the 24 - metre threshold with effect from 1 July 2005. The purpose of the amendment is to strengthen the vessel list as a fishery management measure by extending coverage to small longliners, which are fishing outside the CCSBTs management and conservation objectives.
15. Standards for CCSBT Scientific Observer programs were finalized in October 2003. These standards include information on the type of data that should be collected by such programs.
16. The CCSBT developed education pamphlets on seabirds and sharks in 4 languages (English, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean) and distributed these to SBF fishers. The seabird pamphlet was designed as a guide to reduce the incidental seabird catch in the SBF longline fisheries, and the shark pamphlet was designed as a handbook on sharks caught in the SBF fishing grounds.
17. Considerable progress was made in populating CCSBTs database of historical SBF catch effort, catch by fleet and catch at size data since CWP-20. This centralized database was used as the baseline stock assessment data for the first time in the stock assessment conducted by CCSBT in 2004.
18. CCSBT has cooperated with FAO in the development of FIRMS. CCSBT signed the FIRMS partnership agreement in December 2003 and as part of this agreement, submitted a global southern bluefin tuna stock fact sheet and SBF nominal catch data to FIGIS in late 2004. Most of this nominal catch data is now also available from the CCSBT web site. At the time of writing this report, the stock fact sheet submitted by CCSBT had yet to be moved to the public side of FIGIS due to technical issues within FIGIS.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
19. The FAO fishery statistical programme was undertaken by a staff of four statisticians and eight statistical support staff. Although there was less staff turn-over than in previous years, some changes did occur. In February 2003 a new officer was recruited to the post of Aquaculture Statistician, after an extensive vacancy. In 2004 one support post was lost due to the budget cuts and organizational policy on such posts. One new professional post (fleet statistician) was established with relevant professional duties in replacement of a support post vacated in 2002. However the post is not yet encumbered, and given the tight budgetary situation may have to be abolished. Following the retirement of the incumbent in December 2004, the Senior Fishery Statistician post become vacant but it is expected that the replacement process will be completed in the first half of 2005. The current FAO Human Resources policy that includes a gradual decrease in the number of support staff coupled with other personnel policies that do not permit the easy recruitment of junior staff, and continuing budgetary constraints are a source of concern as in the long run they may prejudice the current structure of the programme and its ability to continue to maintain the current work programme. However in 2003 - 2004 a satisfactory level of output was maintained, due also to some input from temporary staff and consultants.
20. The annual statistical programme, whose output is widely used internally and externally for global analyses and policy and trend studies, included the updating of the major databases:
Capture fishery production volume (global and regional for the GFCM - Mediterranean, CECAF - Eastern-Central Atlantic, the Southeast Atlantic)
Aquaculture production (volume and value)
Production and trade of fishery commodities
Number of fishers
21. In 2004, the statistical group contributed very extensively to the preparation of the 2004 edition of SOFIA (The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture) which is the FAO Fishery Departments flagship publication. SOFIA draws very heavily on FAO fishery statistics.
22. Strengthened support to capacity-building for fishery statistics is expected from the launching in November 2004 of a project (FishCode - STF) under the FishCode Programme in support of implementation of the Strategy for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Capture Fisheries (Strategy - STF) which was adopted by FAO Members and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2003.
23. External statistical and information inquiries (an average in-flow of 4-5 per day) are handled through a specific e-mail account - FIDI-Inquiries@fao.org- on a daily basis.
24. Major achievements in the FAO fishery statistics programme in 2003 and 2004 included:
consolidation of the historical time series;
fine-tuning of the system of electronic questionnaires;
the finalization of a revised CWP Handbook of Fishery Statistical Standards (that supersedes the CWP Handbook of Fishery Statistics).
25. The thorough revision of the fleet statistics system which was restructured to make full use of national and international vessels registers for estimating missing values.
26. Improvements on aspects of data processing concentrated on the development of the fishing fleet system as an Oracle database, and on the migration of capture fisheries and aquaculture databases to the same environment. Collaboration with the FIGIS project in this respect has continued to require the redefining of priorities.
27. Methodological work on data quality has continued. The CWP Handbook was completed with the inclusion of commodity classifications, indicative conversion factors from product to live weight and improvements to selected chapters (e.g. methodology, fishing fleet) of the former draft edition. Some progress on methodologies was achieved also through discussions at regional workshops, and participation to statistical meetings of Regional Fishery Bodies, and through collaboration with agricultural statisticians. Matters related to the improved identification of fishery and aquaculture within broad economic classifications have been discussed also with the United Nations Statistical Division.
28. Areas in which no satisfactory progress can be reported include: the systematic inclusion of the value of landings in the inquiry and database, the revision of nutritional factors and their more detailed accounting, the improvement of inland fisheries statistics and the integration of structural aquaculture data in the database.
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)
29. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has changed its main data systems to SQL-based operation. This change has resulted in modifications to statistical data processing and trend reporting of interest to CWP.
30. The new system readily integrates data from either scientific observer or logbook data into analyses, and observer data will be the primary source of catch information. Strata of 5° latitude by 5° longitude by month are used for public domain data. In future, catch and effort data at public domain resolution, as well as adjusted estimates of catch by flag by gear will be provided as raised data that have been adjusted to reflect sampled estimates of species composition.
31. The IATTC has entered into a FIRMS partnership agreement and has identified species and stocks on which it initially will report. Cooperative reporting arrangements have been reached with Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for various species.
32. The IATTC is investigating compilation of a consolidated global vessel list for tuna fishing vessels in collaboration with other regional fisheries bodies concerned with fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species.
33. The IATTC continues to work with the SPC and the Forum Fisheries Agency to pursue harmonization of data collection standards for fisheries which capture tunas in the Pacific. Further harmonization efforts are expected as the new Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission develops its working priorities.
34. The IATTC has modified its document series reporting the status and trends in fisheries. It now includes a synopsis as the Fisheries Status Report (e.g. http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles2/FisheryStatusReport2.pdf) designed to address the needs of the Commission, the general public and those looking for the principal information in synthesized format on which to base discussions of conservation and management requirements. Detailed information and presentation of scientific analyses is now presented separately in Stock Status Reports, which may also be found on line at the IATTC Web site.
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)
35. The ICCAT relational database in now fully operational and it contains all Task-I (Nominal catch) Task-II (catch and effort and size sampling) and other specific databases like catch at size, catch distribution in smaller area, trade statistics, etc.
36. With the adoption of a data exchange protocol, various electronic forms were created and a framework was developed for reading, validating and integrating all statistical data received. Within this protocol a very strict rule was established to document the changes of historical catches before examination by species group and incorporating those changes into the database.
37. Following the good results of the work carried out by FAO-FIDI and the ICCAT Secretariat to reduce the discrepancies between FAO and ICCAT on tunas catches in the Mediterranean Sea, the ICCAT scientific Committee asked the authors to conduct the same work for the Atlantic Ocean.
38. According to the statistical documents of bluefin, bigeye and swordfish and other trade data, the Secretariat continues to estimate the unreported catches (N.E.I.) for those three species. Also trade fin data from Hong Kong was used to construct a more accurate catches during the assessment conducted last year (2004) for blue shark and shortfin mako as the information reported to ICCAT and others agencies was very incomplete.
39. Considering that collection and submission of accurate fishery data is essential for the assessment and the management and a fundamental responsibility for the fishing parties, the Commission decided to have a special fund from voluntary basis for capacity-building related to data collection and quality insurance.
40. An ambitious proposal to re-publish the ICCAT field manual to extend to current scope (centred mainly to collection of fishery statistics) to biological sampling is in process.
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
41. ICES Fisheries Statistical Programme 2003 - 2005 includes the following activities:
Eurostat and ICES signed in 2003 a partnership agreement which allows Eurostat and ICES to supplement each other and to hold a common database - residing with Eurostat - with STATLANT data for area 27. ICES will cease to publish fisheries statistical data on a CD and refer users to the Eurostat and FAO Web sites. ICES maintain contact with those countries that do not through EU membership or EEA arrangements report data to Eurostat. These countries include Faeroe Islands, Greenland, and Russia;
Eurostat, IBSFC, NEAFC and ICES have revised the division/subdivision split of Area 27. The system of divisions and subdivisions are shown on three maps attached in Appendix 4-A.
ICES initiated in 2004 a project aimed at converting the fisheries statistical data prior to 1973 to electronic form. The data will be included in the Eurostat database year by year starting with the most recent years and working backward. The earliest data that exist in the ICES database are for 1903;
ICES has continued its programme on reporting preliminary data for selected species. These data are required for fish stock assessment purposes;
The ICES secretariat was thoroughly reorganized in 2004 and all data handling including the fisheries statistics is now under a single unit, the Data Centre.
42. ICES together with OSPAR is currently developing ecosystem indicators and the associated objectives, the so-called CWP-21 Quality Objectives (EQOs). ICES has analysed the usefulness of several lists of CWP-21 Quality Objectives that are identified for each area. On this basis ICES has proposed the following ten EQO issues as a basic set, i.e:
Ecological quality element
1. Commercial fish species
(a) Spawning stock biomass of commercial fish species in the North Sea
2. Threatened and declining species
(b) Presence and extent of threatened and declining species in the North Sea
3. Sea mammals
(c) Seal population trends in the North Sea
(f) Proportion of oiled Common Guillemots among those found
dead or dying on beaches
5. Fish communities
(l) Changes in the proportion of large fish and hence the average weight and average maximum length of the fish community
6. Benthic communities
(m) Changes/kills in zoobenthos in relation to
7. Plankton communities
(q) Phytoplankton chlorophyll a
(s) Restore and/or maintain habitat quality
9. Nutrient budgets and production
(t) Winter nutrient (DIN and DIP) concentrations
10. Oxygen consumption
Source: Table 220.127.116.11.1.1 from the 2004 ICES advisory report Volume 1 book 1. The table shows the ten CWP-21 components or "Issues", among the 21 associated Ecological Quality elements agreed by the Fifth North Sea Conference. Those elements for which EcoQOs have been set, and which are included in the North Sea pilot project, are shown in bold font.
43. It has to be recognized that fisheries or, for example, environment issues no longer can be considered in isolation from other sectors. Indicators and data collection systems need to reflect this development and several organizations are increasingly working towards eco-system based sustainability indicators. It is, however, a complex approach. Difficulties include, for example, how different indicators should be weighed when creating a composite index.
International Whaling Commission (IWC)
44. The environment in which the IWC operates continues to be dominated by the moratorium on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986. Annual data for all known catches worldwide continue to be collected.
45. In addition to the large whale individual catch database, which it has been developing over many years, the IWC has recently created a summary database of all whaling expeditions since 1900, which will be an important tool in stock assessment work. It is intended to make the new database available on the IWC web site shortly.
46. The IWC Scientific Committee has identified the incidental capture of cetaceans in fishing gear as an important threat to the conservation and management of cetacean populations. The IWC has recently begun developing a program for ascertaining levels of incidental catch including a collaboration with FAO to investigate fishery data that may allow better estimates of large whale bycatch. The IWC also intends to hold a methodological workshop in May 2005 to evaluate whether market data can be used to provide reliable estimates of bycatches and in the future to co-ordinate a series of broad-based regional workshops focusing on regions with significant bycatch problems.
47. There is no restriction on access to the basic catch data that is required to be collected and provided to the IWC. A Data Access Protocol was developed last year to cover other data used by the IWC Scientific Committee, and the protocol has worked well in its first year. Details are given in CWP 21/IWC.
48. In the absence of commercial whaling there is currently no monitoring of an observer scheme or of vessels. The IWC has continued its discussions of the Revised Management Scheme that must be in place before the moratorium can be lifted. The discussions include an improved observer scheme, vessel monitoring systems and additional catch verification schemes, to combat IUU whaling and/or unreported bycatches, including diagnostic DNA registers and market sampling of meat products.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)
49. Since 2002, the Scientific Council has hosted 2 symposia ("Elasmobranch Fisheries: Managing for Sustainable Use and Biodiversity Conservation" and "The CWP-21 of the Flemish Cap") that are being published in the NAFO Journal (http://journal.nafo.int). In addition, a Workshop on "Mapping and Geostatistical Methods for Fisheries Stock Assessments" took place in 2003 (NAFO SCS Doc. 03/13).
50. In 2004 NAFO Fisheries Commission adopted a Precautionary Approach Framework that had been elaborated by Scientific Council. The NAFO Vessel Monitoring System has been strengthened within NAFO with position reports sent every two hours instead of the previous every 6 hours. Also, a Pilot Project on Observers, Satellite Tracking and Electronic Reporting has been introduced in 2004 that involves real time daily catch reports sent through the VMS (see the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures on the NAFO Web site www.nafo.int).
51. Regarding fisheries statistical data, NAFO does not receive all data in a timely and complete manner and in addition, reliability of statistical data was questioned by Scientific Council in 2004. The STATLANT data submission underwent some minor modification since 2002.
52. In 2004 NAFO signed the FIRMS Partnership agreement. NAFO has signed an agreement of cooperation with ICES and has two joint NAFO/ICES groups: one on harp and hooded seals, the other on shrimp assessment.
53. All current and recent NAFO publications can be accessed through the NAFO Web site: www.nafo.int. Archives are restricted due to a lack of space on the server but older documents can be requested via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The electronic version of the NAFO Journal has its own Web site (journal.nafo.int).
54. Following NAFOs report on the Elasmobranch symposium, the meeting discussed improvements in shark data reporting. The development was encouraging with all concerned RFBS reporting on improved species details.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
55. For the past couple of years statistical work of the OECD Fisheries Committee, supported by the Fisheries Division, has concentrated on two main lines i.e. the continuation and improvements to the statistical series collected as part of the Review of Fisheries, and a specialized database on government financial transfers.
56. Work on the Review of Fisheries continued to ensure the statistical coverage of all OECD countries on landings (landings abroad and in domestic ports including value of landings), trade, fleet and fishermen (employment), aquaculture and quota/TAC allocations, government financial transfers. The latest publication issued in early 2004 contains a data series for the years 2000 to 2002; a planned update, covering the years 2001 to 2003 is scheduled for release early in 2005. Data cover most OECD countries with fisheries interests and one observer country i.e. Argentina. Over the past year, a major effort has been invested into ensuring that a database was built that could make analytical work easier. The database, built in an ACCESS framework, is still being tested.
57. During 2003 and 2004 the decision was also taken to move the available data to a public on-line web site with easy access via www.oecd.org/agr/fish. In the future, data will automatically be moved to that on line data facility once the published material has been made available. The OECD's analytical work on the economics of fisheries asks for a number of specialized data sets to be created in support of such work. In particular, this has been the case for the work on government financial transfers where the main focus over the past years has been to analyse the transfers for their possible impacts with a sustainable development paradigm. To this end the OECD Secretariat has collected and organized a wide range of transfer information from member countries and in support of this built a specific database on government financial transfers. As the analytical work on government financial transfers is moving towards ending in 2005, work on the database is presently being consolidated and refined with a view to provide maximum analytical value. Once final (towards end 2005) it may be expected that this database also be moved to the publicly accessible Web site.
58. The Multilingual Dictionary for Fish and Fish Products is presently undergoing a slight revision as Korean will be included; the Dictionary will then comprise twenty languages. Work on updating the Dictionary is likely to be finished during the first half of 2005. At that time it will be decided if the Dictionary will be made available on-line.
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
59. The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is responsible for compiling and disseminating data on tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), shown in Figure 1. The data compiled by the OFP Statistics and Monitoring Section are used primarily for monitoring trends in catch and effort, and for research conducted by the OFP Stock Assessment and Modelling Section, the Tuna Ecology and Biology Section, and by external scientists.
60. Some highlights from the intersessional period are the following:
Compilation of annual catch estimates from Indonesia and the Philippines, which represent about 20 percent of the catch of pelagic tuna in the WCPO, continues to be problematic. However, the situation is expected to improve with the Indonesia and Philippines Data Collection Project, which has been developed by the Preparatory Conference for the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, and managed by SPC. Funds are being used for port sampling and commercial and municipal landing surveys in the Philippines during 2005 and 2006. Additional funds may be raised to establish a port sampling programme in eastern Indonesia in 2006.
The Sixth Meeting of the SPC/FFA Tuna Fishery Data Collection Committee was held from 16 to 20 November 2004 in Brisbane, Australia. The meeting reviewed data collection forms, the status of sampling programmes, and sampling protocols.
It was reported to at CWP - 20 that the WCPO Tuna Bulletin, which presents monthly catch and effort statistics for certain fleets, would be published only on the SPC/OFP Web site and no longer be made available in hardcopy. The same decision has been taken in regard to the SPC Tuna Fishery Yearbook. Both are available via the link below:
The inaugural meeting of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific - the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) - was held from 9 to 10 December 2004 in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Among other decisions taken at the inaugural meeting, the Commission adopted the recommendation of the Preparatory Conference that the headquarters of the Commission shall be in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
The Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish ceased to exist at the close of its seventeenth and final meeting in August 2004, and the WCPFC Scientific Committee will hold its inaugural meeting from 8 to 19 August 2005 at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia. The working groups of the Scientific Committee will be the same as those for the SCTB, e.g., Statistics, Methods, Fishing Technology, Stock Assessment, Biology, and CWP-21 and Bycatch. The Scientific Committee will address several data-related tasks at its inaugural and subsequent meetings.
The SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme will play a key role in the scientific work of the Commission during the transitional period (expected to last some three to five years and representing the period between the Convention coming into force and a fully functioning Commission), including data management. An assessment of the costs and benefits of utilising the capabilities of the OFP for providing the data management functions of the Commission during the transitional period and in the long-term will be conducted. As data manager for the Commission, the OFP will be responsible for compiling tuna fisheries data for the Commissions Convention Area, also shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. The Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) area established for statistical purposes by the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish, and the Convention Area of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPCA)
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)
61. SEAFDEC has been providing assistance to the ASEAN Member Countries in the implementation of the Resolution and Plan of Action adopted at the Millennium Conference in 2001 on the priority issues on the necessity to improve fishery statistics and information systems as a tool for planning and management of fisheries as an important basis and prerequisite to tackle the various problems toward the sustainable fisheries and food security.
62. During 2003 to February 2005, activities and achievements on fishery statistics and information have been promoted in the Southeast Asian Region by SEAFDEC in collaboration with the Member Countries as follows:
New Geographical Coverage of "SEAFDEC Fishery Statistical Bulletin for the Southeast Asian Region" to cover all ASEAN Member Countries and revised framework in harmonization with FAO as well as classifications and definitions of fishery statistics to be consistent with international standards.
Partnership to FIRMS.
Membership to CWP.
Establishment of SEAFDEC National Focal Points on Fishery Statistics.
Implementation of the Project on "Improvement of Fishery Statistical Systems and Mechanisms" - Component 1 "Capacity Building for the Improvement of the Fishery Statistical System in the ASEAN Region". Several activities were conducted, starting from the First ASEAN-SEAFDEC Regional Technical Consultation (RTC) on Fishery Statistics, the National Workshop on Fishery Statistics and Two On-site Trainings in each CLMV Countries.
Development of the Standard Training Package on Fishery Statistics.
Development of the Regional Handbook on Collecting Fishery Statistics for Inland and Coastal Fisheries.
Implementation of the Project on "Improvement of Fishery Statistical Systems and Mechanisms" - Component 2 "Improvement of Fishery Statistical Systems and Mechanisms in the ASEAN Region". The Core Expert Meeting on Fishery Statistics was organized with objectives to discuss and develop the draft Minimum Requirements and Framework of the New SEAFDEC Bulletin, the new Draft of the Regional Guidelines on Fishery Statistics in Southeast Asia.
The FAO-SEAFDEC Regional Workshop on the Improvement of Fishery Data and Information Collection Systems. The joint workshop was co-organized with the view to achieve the ultimate goal for the improvement of national fishery statistical systems as a tool for fishery planning and management, which in line with the Resolution and Plan of Action and the promotion of the implementation of the Strategy - STF. The Workshop made the following conclusions:
Recommendations for future implementation of the FAO FishCode - STF Project.
Follow-up actions for finalization of the Minimum Requirements and Framework of the Fishery Statistical Bulletin for the Southeast Asian Region.
Draft Regional Guidelines on Fishery Statistics in Southeast Asia for further finalization in consultation with the Member Countries.
Agreed Proposal on Streamline Reporting of Fishery Statistics of fishery statistics by the Southeast Asian countries to FAO and SEAFDEC and the follow-up actions to be proceeded for further streamline reporting of fishery statistics from the Member Countries to SEAFDEC and FAO.
63. SEAFDEC informed the CWP21 on the new proposed project on "Improvement of Statistics and Information for Planning and Management of Fisheries in the ASEAN Region" that was agreed at the ASEAN-SAEFDEC Regional Planning Meeting organized in February 2005, to be implemented under the Special 5-year Program on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the ASEAN Region from 2006 - 2010. This is to continue providing assistance to the ASEAN Member Countries in the implementation of the Resolution and Plan of Action adopted at the Millennium Conference in 2001 on the necessity to improve fishery statistics and information systems as a tool for planning and management of fisheries. SEAFDEC would like to invite and welcome cooperation from the CWP and the RFBs Members in the implementation of activities under the new project.
64. There is an issue proposed for consideration and seeking advice from the CWP-21 on the process and requirement regarding the proposed adjustment of Geographical Areas for Fishery Statistics Reporting under the new Framework of SEAFDEC Bulletin. This matter will be further formalized after seeking formal confirmation from Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet Nam on the proposed adjustment of the demarcation line in between Areas 71 and 57 for the Malaysian waters in the Malacca Strait by using demarcation of east and west coast Peninsular Malaysia as well as Areas 71 and 61 for the Tonkin Gulf by using the Vietnam-China boundaries.
Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat)
65. The main developments in Eurostats programme of work since CWP-21 have been:
the major policy change under which Eurostats data are disseminated free-of-charge and the subsequent access to its databases by the general public through its Web site;
the development of the Eurostat/ICES Partnership Agreement under which Eurostat processes all the catch statistics for the NE Atlantic, maintains the single data-base of such data, data are exchanged between the two organizations in the FISHSTAT Plus format, the two organizations collaborate in mutually beneficial projects (e.g. the computerization of ICESs extensive hard-copy archived catch statistics) and the organizations hold joint sessions of their respective statistical working groups;
in collaboration with ICES, NEAFC and IBSFC, the introduction of new Community legislation improving the statistical breakdown of the fishing areas for the NE Atlantic;
the introduction of a new trial questionnaire on employment in the fisheries sector;
a study of the feasibility of establishing supply balance sheets for fishery products using existing data available to Eurostat;
a relaxation in the rules of confidentiality facilitating the dissemination of the contents of Eurostats Statistical Register of Fishing Vessels.
66. Eurostat advised the meeting that a new fish species database is under development. The database will contain the official names of all species mentioned in EU fisheries legislation in all official EU languages. The objective of the database is to promote harmonization of the use of species names in legal and other official documents. On this issue, OECD informed the meeting that they also are in the process of updating and computerising the OECD's Multilingual Dictionary for Fish and Fish Products. The OECD's dictionary is designed for commercial purposes and is hence structured in a different way from the one being developed by Eurostat. Many meeting participants are actively using dictionaries in their work and the usefulness of these tools was acknowledged.
(Agenda item 5d; Document CWP-21/4)
67. The meeting discussed the progress made with regard to the recommendations of the Twentieth CWP Session by reviewing the document CWP-21/4 in which the relevant paragraphs from the CWP-20 report are replicated together with comments on progress.
68. On the issue of the preparation of more field guides for the identification of elasmobranches (para. 30), it was noted that FAO has published two guides, one for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and one for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. A total of 111 fact sheets on elasmobranch species have also been made available by SIDP on the FAO/FIGIS Web site.
69. The proposal to harmonize FAO and SEAFDEC statistical reporting in the Southeast Asia region (para. 38) was discussed in the FAO-SEAFDEC workshop in Bali in February 2005. The suggestion was welcomed by the ASEAN-SEAFDEC member countries and the aim is to introduce harmonized reporting systems as of 2006.
70. The recommended work on comparing the characteristics of general purpose fishery data systems in use or under development by RFBs has not yet been undertaken due to shortage of funds. CWP believes it would be useful to carry out the activity and it may be possible to hold a workshop on the matter under the FishCode - STF Project.
71. On the issue of submission of trade document information to RFBs (para. 57), it was agreed that the recommendation should be retained by the CWP-21. ICCAT and IATTC informed the meeting that they do receive export/import information in a summarized form and that work is in process to improve trade reporting. In relation to this matter, CCAMLR, ICCAT and IATTC reported that systems are in place requiring catch documentation for producers to obtain permission to trade products. ICCAT also informed the meeting that the organization will hold a workshop in April 2005 in Tokyo, Japan, to review the statistical monitoring programs. All tuna RFBs are invited to participate in the meeting.
72. The clarification of certain statistical terms (para. 63) has been addressed in the CWP Handbook of Statistical Standards by including the term "gross removals" in the Catch Concepts diagram and the term Gross Catch in the relevant text.
73. With regard to the change of boundary lines of statistical areas (para. 78), two changes were discussed (in addition to the modifications in the ICES areas discussed in paragraph 40 above) and the conclusions below were reached. It was noted that the changes would require adjustments of historical data sets.
The modification of the border between areas 47 and 51 is expected to be discussed in the first meeting of the SEAFOs Scientific Committee (likely to be held in 2005).
Following the discussion in the recent FAO-SEAFDEC Workshop, changes are proposed to the boundaries of major fishing areas 61 and 71 and between 57 and 71. The meeting advised SEAFDEC to confirm the acceptance of the proposed change with the concerned member countries and to submit a formal request for modification to the next CWP meeting.
74. Concerning the dissemination of the CWP Handbook (para. 87), the meeting was informed that the document has been revised since CWP-20 and that it is now available on the FAO/FIGIS Web site. Only a limited number of copies have been printed for the CWP-21 meeting and it is not the intention of FAO to distribute hard copies. Also, due to budget constraints, the handbook will initially only be available in English.
75. The meeting decided that the remaining action paragraphs from the CWP-20 report included in the document CWP-21/4 would be discussed in connection with other related agenda items.
(Agenda item 5c)
76. As a follow-up to discussions in CWP-20, the question of whether CWP should assume a more active advocacy role was considered again. The agreement in CWP-20 was that while CWP should promote improvements in fishery statistics, a more pro-active approach was not felt to be appropriate. This sentiment was reconfirmed and it was agreed CWP should continue to seize opportunities and use them judicially to exercise influence and give advice as appropriate. It was also agreed that a CWP statement should be prepared for the FAO COFI meeting by the vice-chairperson and that CWP should be represented at COFI and the RFB meetings by the vice-chairperson (see Appendix 5).
(Agenda item 5e)
77. A project is underway to develop a new version of the FAO FISHSTAT software. A preliminary version of FISHSTAT 3.0 was presented to CWP-20. However, most CWP member users are satisfied with FISHSTAT 2.3 even though the programme has some weaknesses, i.e. problems of installation on new Windows platforms and difficulties when setting up new datasets. If and when a new version is developed, the meeting recommended that the user interface should not be changed substantially and that the new software should be thoroughly tested before being distributed.
78. The meeting was asked about the usefulness of the different functions available in FISHSTAT 2.3. A group of meeting participants reviewed this question in more detail and arrived at the following conclusions:
The data extraction handling facilities constitute the most useful feature of FishStat. The standard groups and customized groupings are deemed very useful as is the copy-paste facility into Excel. In addition to the grand total, sub-totals could be added. The averaging function is episodically used. Flag symbols are used together with filtering and sorting functions, both very useful for extraction.
Regarding usability aspects, the user interface is generally highly rated. The various features such as visual assistance for species group definition and item selection, or for exploration of long time series on the screen, as well as multiple ways to handle commands (menu, short key, right click) are much appreciated noticeably for switching instantaneously from species common names to scientific names.
The embedded graphing facility appears not be used.
Some problems were highlighted: the custom settings (groups, views) unfortunately disappear each time data sets are updated. The users should be encouraged to read dataset notes since this is the place where data set peculiarities (such as "there is no overlap of data between Canada/Maritime, Canada/Quebec, and Canada/Maritime and Quebec") are documented.
Routine dataset updates are handled by a very restricted set of people and do not pose any problem. Adding new datasets with similar structure to those existing or updating the existing structure may require some time (Eurostat recently added the NewCronos database). Adding new datasets may prove to be impossible without the assistance of a skilled developer. Plans for new datasets are: IATTC intends to disseminate its capture statistics through Fishstat; FIDI would like to add the FAO food balance sheet time series.
(Agenda item 5b; Document Minutes of FIRMS Steering Committee meeting)
79. The Second Session of the FIRMS Steering Committee (FSC2) took place on 25-26 February 2005. The FIRMS Secretariat, five Partner agencies (IATTC, ICES, ICCAT, SEAFDEC, and NAFO), and one observer agency (CCAMLR) were represented. Two new Partners, NAFO and SEAFDEC, signed the agreement during the inter-session thus bringing the current Partnership to 8 members. CCAMLR and Eurostat are in the final stages of signing the FIRMS Partnership Arrangement. IWC informed the meeting that the organization is considering joining FIRMS.
80. The summary minutes of the meeting are included in Appendix 6 herein.
81. Referring to the recommendation in paragraph 75 of the CWP-20 report on the distinction between the roles of the CWP and the FIRMS Steering Committee (FSC), it was noted that the CWP and FSC are trying to ensure that these distinct roles are maintained.
 Instead of using datasets
held by individual members.|
 The stock fact sheet is based upon a summary stock status report that CCSBT produced for the first time in 2004 to provide to other RFMOs with an interest in SBF. This will be updated on an annual basis.