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General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)


Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC)


Established in 1997, the SAC mandate is to provide independent advice on the technical and scientific basis for decisions related to fisheries conservation and management, including biological, social and economic aspects, and in particular:

  • assess the information provided by members and relevant fisheries organizations or programmes on catches and fishing effort as well as other data relevant to the conservation and management of fisheries;
  • formulate advice to the Commission on the conservation and management of fisheries;
  • identify cooperative research programmes and coordinate their implementation;
  • undertake such other functions or responsibilities as may be conferred by the Commission.



The SAC operates through its five subsidiary bodies

1. Coordination Meeting of the Subcommittees (CMSC)

2. Subcommittee on Economic and Social Sciences (SCESS)

  • Undertake economic and social analysis to identify management options and to evaluate management measures;
  • Identify and collect effort, social and economic data and analyse related indicators;
  • Promote bio-economic and legal research on fisheries and develop analytical and methodological support;
  • Strengthen networks of social sciences expertise in the region;
  • Formulate terms of reference for its ad hoc working groups as requested by the SAC;
  • Define working arrangements for SCESS meetings and networks;
  • Report to the SAC on the above

 3. Subcommittee on Marine Environment and Ecosystems (SCMEE)

  • Create links with existing regional bodies concerned with studies on the relationship/interactions between environment and marine ecosystems;
  • Analyse ecosystems trends and environmental conditions of fishery resources, biodiversity and genetic resources;
  • Evaluate impacts of human action on marine ecosystems, including on fisheries;
  • Assess the relevance of international agreements on conservation and environment protection for the management of Mediterranean fishery resources;

 4. Subcommittee on Stock Assessment (SCSA)

  • Organize working groups to carry out the assessment of specific stocks;
  • Review and analyse the assessments performed by its working groups, including the joint GFCM/ICCAT Working Group on large pelagic species;
  • Provide the SAC with annotated summaries of the assessments;
  • Review and analyse assessment methods.

 5. Subcommittee on Statistics and Information (SCSI)

  • Update and maintain regional databases concerning GFCM as a whole;
  • Update and maintain any other database including geographical information systems (GIS) relevant to the SAC;
  • Ensure the liaison with other national and international organizations and institutions concerned with fisheries statistics, data and information as well as with FAO/FIGIS;
  • Support the other SAC subcommittees in the field of statistical methodologies, databases conceptualization, design, harmonization and analysis.