General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Report of the Working Group on Red Coral (WGREDCORAL)

Mon, Feb, 2022, 9am - Tue, Mar, 2022, 5am


Download the report (available only in English): PDF


The Working group on Red Coral (WGREDCORAL) was held online from 28 February to 1 March 2022. It was attended by 53 participants from national administrations, fishers’ associations, the private sector and research institutes of Algeria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia, as well as by participants from the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) and the GFCM Secretariat. In order to provide advice to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) on Mediterranean red coral, the main objectives of the WGREDCORAL were to: i) provide and update the state of red coral fisheries up to 2020 (fishing effort, annual catch, percentage of undersized colonies, etc.); ii) review the technical measures implemented by contracting parties and cooperating non-contracting parties (CPCs) in response to Recommendation GFCM/43/2019/4 on a management plan for the sustainable exploitation of red coral in the Mediterranean Sea, including national management plans addressing conservation measures, fleet management and control and enforcement measures; iii) review the state of implementation of the catch documentation scheme for red coral by CPCs, including through a pilot phase; and iv) review the progress of the GFCM research programme on red coral (2020–2022). Despite the fragmented information made available through the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) (e.g. average diameter of colonies and percentage of undersized colonies) and on the basis of precautionary principles, the working group convened that populations of red coral in the Mediterranean could be in a situation of overexploitation with some signs of deterioration (decrease in average size of colonies) in two of the main producers.Regarding conservationmeasures established to implement Recommendation GFCM/43/2019/4, most of the countries adopted a national management plan for the red coral fishery, including effort and catch limits. The progress of the research programme on red coral (which started in 2020) was presented to the meeting with an overview of the background work done to establish a network of Mediterranean experts. The research programme’s five actions and the work being carried out for each of them was presented to the meeting with a focus on the national scale.