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General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) - 15th session

08 April 2013 - 11 April 2013

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) held its fifteenth session in Rome, from 8 to 11 April 2013. The session was attended by delegates from 20 Members of the GFCM as well as 12 observers and representatives of the FAO including regional projects. The Committee reviewed the issues addressed at the eight technical meetings, including the four sessions of its subcommittees, and at the workshops held during the 2012–2013 intersession. It examined actions carried out within the first phase of the GFCM Framework Programme (FWP). The main issues addressed included: i) scientific advice on the status of stocks, ii) a draft proposal for a regional management plan of red coral (RMP-RC), iii) the conservation status of species of special interest; iv) data collection schemes, including data compliance, and ongoing activities to prepare a GFCM data collection reference framework and v) research programmes among GFCM Members. The Committee also discussed technical issues in connection with the use of area-based measures, IUU fishing, VMS data and management related to bycatch and discards of commercial and non-commercial species. Furthermore, it endorsed the organization of a Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea by the end of 2013. Priority actions in the Black Sea were examined and the Committee welcomed the creation of a Mediterranean and Black Sea database of experts and institutions as well as of a Black Sea subregional group on stock assessment. The Committee endorsed a revised standard format for national reports and a proposal for a biennial report on the status of fisheries in the GFCM area. The Committee was informed about progress achieved within the process of amendment of the GFCM legal and institutional framework and welcomed the adoption of a subregional approach, in particular with respect to multiannual management plans. To facilitate this approach, the Committee expressed its support to the creation of subregional working groups and welcomed the proposal to establish a support mechanism to the decision-making process. Finally, it agreed upon its work plan for 2012–2013, endorsed the nomination of coordinators for its subcommittees and decided to submit the issue of the election of its Bureau to the next GFCM session.