(Agenda item 8; Document CWP-21/Inf 2)
91. IATTC introduced the topic of length as a measurement of vessel size. Length, together with tonnage and horsepower, are the common elements of a vessel description. Each of these measurements can be defined in different ways and the definitions vary considerably according to the administrations requesting the information from vessel owners and builders. International conventions are also using different measurements.
92. The meeting discussed the various aspects of the different measurements. It was concluded that length was a commonly used measurement for smaller vessels and also an easier measurement than tonnage for larger vessels. FAO had recently changed its reporting requirements to include length instead of tonnage for vessel data since information on length is generally more readily available. However, the meeting made no recommendation as to which measurement - length, tonnage or horsepower - should be used generally.
93. CWP agreed to accept the proposal made by IATTC that when length is used, the measurement should be "length overall" (LOA) according to the following definition:
Length overall is defined as the distance measured in metres in a straight line on a line parallel to the design waterline between the foremost point of the bow and the aftermost point of the stern. For the purpose of this definition:
a) the bow is taken to include the watertight hull structure, the forecastle, stem and forward bulwark, if fitted, but not to include bowsprits and safety rail.
b) the stern is taken to include the watertight hull structure, transom, poop, trawl ramp and bulwark, but does not include safety rails, bumkins, propulsion machinery, rudders and steering gear, and divers ladders and platforms.
94. On the issue of vessel classifications, FAO presented a new proposal on the outstanding issue of multipurpose vessels based on earlier proposals discussed by the CWP. After discussing several alternatives, CWP agreed to use the following vessel categories:
This is the final step of the revision initiated at CWP-19 and the meeting agreed that the proposal, together with those already endorsed by CWP-19 and CWP-20, become the new International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Vessels (ISSCFV - 2005). This new classification will be updated in the "CWP Handbook of fishery statistical standards", and a parallel revision and reprint of the FAO Fisheries Technical Paper number 267 "Definition and Classification of fishery vessel types" will be required.
95. It was noted that classification of vessels according to gear used can be difficult. In particular smaller vessels, i.e. under 24 metres, tend to be multipurpose and are reported as such.