General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Report on the WGSAD benchmark session for red mullet in the Adriatic Sea (geographical subareas 17and 18)

13 March, 2023 -16 March, 2023

Download the report (available only in English): PDF


The Working Group on Stock Assessment of Demersal Species (WGSAD) held a session towards the finalization of the benchmark session for the assessment of red mullet (Mullus barbatus) in geographical subareas (GSA) 17-18 at FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, in hybrid modality, on 13–16 March 2023. The objective of the session was to complete the work and finalize the benchmark. Taking into account the impressive amount of work done towards benchmarking this stock but considering the time constraints that did not allow to more thoroughly evaluate further aspects of model stability, specifics of seasonal configurations and time-varying process, the group agreed that the analysed stock synthesis model was sufficiently robust to provide quantitative advice with short term forecasts, but that more work was required towards benchmarking the stock, and proposed a roadmap for its finalisation through inter-sessional work to be completed prior to the 2023 meeting of the WGSAD. In light of this and considering the current GFCM framework for the provision of advice as well as general practice within the WGSAs, the group proposed a unique fishing mortality and biomass reference points for quantitative advice relative to the reference year 2021. Stock status was considered to be sustainably exploited with an associated advice to evaluate potential fishing opportunities. A roadmap was drafted towards the finalization of the benchmark during the next intersession.