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The Third Session of the CECAF Working Party on Resource Evaluation (Rome, 9-13 February 1976) reviewed the state of the fish stocks, including sardine, Sardina pilchardus, in the CECAF area. It concluded that although the available evidence suggested that at least part of the sardine resources were fairly heavily exploited, the information was insufficient to make reliable estimates of the state of exploitation of these stocks.

The Working Party therefore recommended that better and more complete data on effort or catch per unit of effort should be collected for all fleets participating in the sardine fishery other than the Morocco fleet for which detailed information was already available. The Working Party further recommended several other research activities intended to improve the understanding of the fishery.

Accordingly, the CECAF Project initiated action to assemble all relevant data existing in institutes and offices in countries fishing the sardine resources in this area (CECAF areas 34.1.1, 34.1.2, 34.1.3 and 34.3.1) and organized this meeting of the Ad hoc Working Group.

The Group met under the chairmanship of Dr. H. Belveze at the “Institut scientifique des pêches maritimes” in Casablanca, Morocco, from 13 to 17 December 1977. The meeting was opened by Mr. M. Azzou, Director of the Institute, who welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of scientific cooperation. The agenda for the meeting is attached as Annex I, the list of participants is given in Annex II.

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