General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Working Group on Stock Assessment of Demersal Species (WGSAD)

Mon, Dec, 2019, 9am - Sat, Dec, 2019, 5am


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The Working Group on Stock Assessment of Demersal Species (WGSAD) was held at FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, from 9 to 14 December 2019. The main objectives of the meeting were to review the status of the priority fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea and continue with the benchmark session for the assessment of Blackspot seabream (Pagellus bogaraveo) in the Strait of Gibraltar. In addition, the results of a dedicated benchmark session for European hake (Merluccius merluccius) were presented and briefly discussed. The group, jointly with the Working Group on Stock Assessment of Small Pelagic Species (WGSASP), also discussed the future functioning of the Working Groups on Stock Assessment (WGSAs) and in particular a proposed terms of reference for the revision of the framework for the provision of advice, as requested by the last session of the  Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) and endorsed by the annual session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). 

The WGSAD reviewed 40 assessments, 35 of which were accepted with quantitative advice and four with qualitative, while one assessment was considered as preliminary and no advice was provided. Of the 39 accepted assessments, seven indicated sustainable exploitation: deep-water rose shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris) in geographical subareas (GSAs) 9–11 (jointly), red mullet (Mullus barbatus) in GSAs 16, 20, and 22, common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) in GSA 17, common pandora (Pagellus erythrinus) in GSA 25 and spot-tail mantis shrimp (Squilla mantisin GSA 18. All other 32 assessments ndicated some level of overexploitation.