General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) - 12th session

25 January 2010 - 29 January 2010

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) held its twelfth session in Budva, Montenegro, from 25 to 29 January 2010. The Session was attended by delegates from nineteen Members of the Commission. The Committee reviewed the activities and results obtained by its subsidiary bodies along with the proposals of the Coordinating Meeting of the Sub-Committees (CMSC), as well as the achievements by the FAO regional projects in support to the GFCM activities. It reflected on the management advice drawn up by the Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment on the basis of thirty-one stock assessments and agreed that the existing scientific evidence sufficed to support that the Commission takes relevant management measures notably to establish a regional logbook and to monitor the fishing capacity in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The SAC suggested that, in future, management advice on small pelagic fisheries should benefit more from the development of biological Reference Points for Biomass. It further discussed several important topics including recreational fisheries, improvement of gear selectivity and reduction of bycatch, the impact of climate change, the impact of alien species on fisheries and other issues such as the exploitation of red corals, the status of elasmobranch species and the follow-up on fisheries-restricted areas. The Committee appraised the data exchange protocols and related electronic tools developed by the Secretariat for the submission of Task 1 data. It also proposed that the criteria to identify sensitive habitats should be revisited and amended. Furthermore, the Committee acknowledged the proposal on the new functioning of the SCSA working groups on stock assessments, on the progress made on the updating of the SAC glossary and on updating of the reference frame of SAC and the establishment of a future strategic workplan. Finally, the SAC agreed upon its workplan for 2010 and renewed the mandate of the bureau for another two-year term and nominated a new coordinator for each of its four Sub-Committees.