Report of the Workshop on Deep-sea Species Identification, Rome, 2–4 December 2009

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 947

Report of the Workshop on Deep-sea Species Identification
Rome, 2–4 December 2009

Download Full Report pdf file -1Mb

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Report of the Workshop on Deep-sea Species Identification, Rome, 2–4 December 2009.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 947. Rome, FAO. 2011. 209pp.

A Workshop on Deep-sea Species Identification was organized by FAO in Rome, Italy, from 2 to 4 December 2009. The meeting was organized in response to the need for a strategy for the development of appropriate deep-sea species identification tools for fishery purposes, in particular, to address the broadened requirements for reporting on not only target species, but also associated species following recent international developments with respect to fisheries management guidance and biodiversity conservation. The Workshop included an overview of relevant FAO programmes. The overview was followed by presentations and discussions on current knowledge and key issues to be addressed to improve knowledge of vulnerable deep-sea species groups such as chondrichthyes, corals, sponges and other selected deep-sea groups through the development of a database and appropriate identification tools to facilitate reporting on these species groups by fishery operators. Part 1 of the report includes these discussions as well as the conclusions and recommendations agreed upon by participants. Harmonized versions of the three background documents drafted for the Workshop are included in Part 2 of the report.

Table of Contents

Preparation of this document


Abbreviations and acronyms







Relevant FAO Programmes


Discussion on chondrichthyes, corals and sponges


Discussion on vulnerable deep-sea or bycatch fish species


Deep-sea species identification guides for vulnerable species


Discussion on ways forward for the development of guides
for vulnerable deep-sea species


Conclusions and recommendations



Appendix 1: List of participants


Appendix 2: Agenda



Information to assist preparation of a deep-sea species identification guide – sharks, batoids and chimaeras (class Chondrichthyes)
by Peter M. Kyne and Colin A. Simpfendorfer


Global list of cold-water corals (order Scleractinia; sub-order Filifera; subclass Octocorallia, order Antipatharia) from waters deeper than 200 m, vulnerable species, and draft recommendations for the production of identification guides
by Marcelo Visentini Kitahara


Towards the development of an identification guide for vulnerable deep-sea sponges
by Joana R. Xavier and Rob W.M. van Soest

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.
The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106985-1

All rights reserved. FAO encourages reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Non-commercial uses will be authorized free of charge, upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications for permission to reproduce or disseminate FAO copyright materials, and all other queries concerning rights and licences, should be addressed by e-mail to:

Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension - FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to:

© FAO 2012