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General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

Workshop on red coral (WKREDCORAL)

Mon, Apr, 2019, 9am - Tue, Apr, 2019, 5pm


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Workshop on red coral (WKREDCORAL) organized by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) was held from 15 to 16 April 2019 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters, Rome, Italy. It was attended by 39 participants from national administrations, fishers associations, private sector and research institutes of Algeria, Albania, Croatia, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia, as well as by participants from the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE), the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Mediterranean Advisory Council (MEDAC), and the GFCM Secretariat. In order to comply with the request made to the SAC by Recommendation GFCM/41/2017/5 on the establishment of a regional adaptive management plan for the exploitation of red coral in the Mediterranean Sea, the WKREDCORAL 2019 objectives were to: i) obtain an updated picture on the state of red coral fisheries up to 2018 (fishing effort, annual catch, percentage of undersized colonies, etc.); ii) review Countries’ system of daily and/or annual catch limitations, permanent spatio-temporal closures, and precautionary closures; and iii) review other scientific information compiled in relation to research programmes, including through the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Advice on the status of red coral populations was discussed on the basis of precautionary principles, as the data transmitted by Countries to the GFCM Secretariat from 2013 to 2017 was fragmented. Regarding conservation measures established to implement Recommendation GFCM/41/2017/5, most of countries adopted a system of daily or annual catch limitations (quotas), including seasonal closures. The contents of the GFCM concept note for a research program on red coral were revised and inputs to update its contents were provided by the experts. A roadmap for the programme implementation was agreed upon by the meeting.