General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Report of the benchmark session for the assessment of sardine and anchovy in GSAs 17-18

Mon, Jun, 2020, 1am - Fri, Dec, 2020, 1am


Download the report (available only in English): PDF



The Working Group on Stock Assessment of Small Pelagic Species (WGSASP) benchmark session for the assessment of sardine (Sardina pilchardus) and anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in the Adriatic Sea – geographical subareas (GSAs) 17 and 18 – was held in different sessions over a two year period. A first session in-person was held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (Rome, May 2019), while the second session consisted of a series of virtual online meetings held between June and December 2020. Overall, the benchmark session was attended by 26 experts, including from all the Adriatic countries involved in the fishery and from the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG-MARE), three external experts, an external reviewer and technical staff from the regional projects of the FAO and the Secretariat of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). The sessions followed the agreed Terms of Reference for benchmark sessions, and in particular addressed the various issues and shortcomings of the assessment of these stocks, as identified by previous sessions of WGSASP. These  included issues related to the input data and assumptions, in particular on the time series of input data, biological parameters including growth, mortality, length–weight relationship and maturity, and issues related to the configuration of assessment models to be used. Experts agreed on a proposed benchmark assessment for anchovy, based on the previously used SAM model and using a time series of input data between 2000 and 2019. Reference points were also updated and short-term forecast for this fishery was provided. For sardine, and due to a number of uncertainties in the assessment, particularly in the catch at age matrix, experts provided an assessment of stock status, but considered this assessment not benchmarked and did not provide short-term forecast, requesting further work to be carried out in the near future.