General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

First meeting of the Working Group on Small-Scale and Recreational fisheries (WGSSF)

Tue, Sep, 2017, 9am - Wed, Sep, 2017, 5pm

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The Working Group on Small-Scale and Recreational Fisheries (WGSSF) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) was held on 12 13 September 2017 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy. The meeting reviewed progress in the implementation of the mid-term strategy (2017–2020) towards the sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries, with a view to providing technical advice on small-scale and recreational fisheries, including the development of elements to be included within a regional management plan on small-scale fisheries. In this respect, the working group reviewed ongoing work to develop indicators to characterize small-scale fisheries and reviewed the proposed methodology for the regional socio-economic survey for all fleet segments including small-scale fisheries. With a view to moving towards an assessment of recreational fisheries in the GFCM area of application, the working group also reviewed a proposed roadmap to pilot recreational fisheries assessments towards the development of a harmonized regional methodology. To support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, the working group reviewed progress made to map small-scale fisheries (SSF) organizations and perform a capacity needs assessment, and approved a roadmap towards enhancing engagement of SSF organizations. Furthermore, progress towards enhancing monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) for small-scale fisheries was discussed and potential collaboration on this issue with SSF organizations was identified. In discussing the future of the WGSSF, it was determined that, considering the separate characteristics and challenges of small-scale and recreational fisheries, and the importance of accelerating the provision of advice on these topics, a different expert group should be created for recreational fisheries (WGRF), with a mechanism for also holding joint sessions to discuss common issues, if needed. Finally participants agreed on a workplan in support of the provision of advice on SSF, including actions to assess the biological, technical, spatial and socio-economic characteristics of SSF towards the preparation of technical elements to support discussions on the management of this sector. Regarding recreational fisheries it was agreed that the WGRF would proceed with the development and piloting of a harmonized methodology towards assessing recreational fisheries, with a view to ultimately improving available data on recreational fisheries and facilitating their integration into stock assessments.