General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

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Data Collection Reference Framework

All fisheries-related data in the GFCM area of application, as required by applicable GFCM Recommendations, are collected and transmitted by CPCs through the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF).

The DCRF plays an instrumental role to play in achieving an efficient data collection programme throughout the region, and in integrating data collection with subregional multiannual management plans. It is regular​ly reviewed by GFCM subsidiary bodies in light of any new requirements or recommendations from the GFCM.

The DCRF manual guides CPCs through the correct processes for collecting fisheries data and submitting them in a standardized way to the GFCM through the DCRF online platform. This manual is updated and published by the GFCM Secretariat at least once a year.

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(2018 Data Collection Reference Framework, DCRF, manual v. 23.2)



The DCRF manual is divided into two main sections:

Data collection structure

  • T1 – Global figures of national fisheries
  • T2 – Catch
  • T3 – Incidental catch of vulnerable species
  • T4 – Fleet
  • T5 – Effort
  • T6 – Socio-economics
  • T7 – Biological information


Common practices in data collection

  • Sampling overview
  • Acquisition of landing and effort data 
  • Acquisition of socio-economic data
  • Acquisition of biological data 
  • Shared stocks
  • Data quality
  • Data confidentiality and access policy
  • Data submissions


Main characteristics of the DCRF

The DCRF aims to optimize GFCM fisheries data collection through: 

  • Clear identification of the main thematic areas of the data collection (defined as “tasks”) together with the definition of their purposes in line with the objectives of the GFCM
  • Detailed description of all data variables
  • Simplified data aggregation for requested variables
  • More flexible and easier fleet segmentation scheme 
  • Simpler measures of fishing effort
  • New concept of priority species group, whereby species are identified at the GFCM subregional level (Western Mediterranean Sea, Central Mediterranean, Adriatic Sea, Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea)
  • Well-defined data collection practices
  • Improved online data submission procedures.