General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) - 17th session

24 March 2015 - 27 March 2015

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) held its seventeenth session at the FAO headquarters, Rome, from 24 to 27 March 2015. The session was attended by 19 Contracting Parties, 10 observers, representatives of the FAO regional projects and the GFCM Secretariat. The Committee reviewed the work carried out during the 2014–2015 intersession, including within its subsidiary bodies and formulated advice in relation to the following aspects: i) status of the main commercial stocks and proposed management measures for selected fisheries, ii) measures to mitigate bycatch of elasmobranchs and iii) methods to integrate socioeconomic information into scientific advice. In addition, the Committee adopted its Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) due to be submitted to the Commission at its thirty-ninth session for endorsement and to be used as a basis for discussions on potential decisions related to data collection. Delegates were also informed about the progress made in the elaboration of the first biennial report on the status of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries, prepared upon the request made by the Commission at its thirty-eighth session and proposed to be published in 2015. Furthermore, the Committee reviewed the technical contents of a proposal for the establishment of a new fisheries restricted area (FRA) in the northern sector of the Strait of Sicily, to be submitted to the Commission for discussion at its thirty-ninth session. Against the backdrop of the recent amendment of the GFCM legal framework, the Committee proposed a new reference framework and formulated suggestions regarding its future functioning and structure; these should be further discussed by the Commission on the occasion of its next session. Finally, the Committee agreed upon its work plan for 2015–2016, including a list of proposed activities and meetings.