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35th session of the CGPM (Rome, Italy, 9 - 14 May 2011)



RAC/SPA participates to the Thirty-fifth Session of the GFCM

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) held its thirty-fifth session as well as the second session of the Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the fifth session of the Compliance Committee (CoC) at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 9 to 14 May 2011. It was attended by delegates from 22 Members of the Commission, as well as observers from non GFCM Member Nations, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as well as from intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations: the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), the International Confederation of Sport Fishing (CIPS), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), OCEANA, the Mediterranean Regional Advisory Council (RACMED), and UNEP-MAP RAC/SPA.

Important issues concerning RAC/SPA contributions to GFCM Activities were discussed, such as bycatch mitigation, measures for the conservation of elasmobranches, fisheries restricted areas, governance application of EC Maritime strategy, implementation of those activities, and next workshops to be included in GFCM calendar related to fisheries conservation issues.

During the meeting, the main results of the work undertaken by the Scientific Advisory Committee technical meetings, where RAC/SPA contributes, were summarized. The main activities include:

  • The Transversal Workshop on red coral.
  • The Expert Meeting on the status of elasmobranches in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea
  • The Transversal Workshop on European Eel.
  • The Transversal Workshop on Fishing Capacity.
  • The Workshop on data collection methods in relation to the Task 1 framework.
  • The Workshop on algal and jelly fish blooms.
  • The Workshop on monitoring recreational fisheries.
  • The Transversal Workshop on selectivity.
  • The Workshop on alien species.
  • The Sub-Committee on Statistics and Information (SCSI).
  • The Sub-Committee on Economics and Social Sciences (SCESS).
  • The Sub-Committee on the Marine Environment and Ecosystems (SCMEE).
  • The Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment (SCSA).

After reviewing the main results of each activity, future recommendations were made.


Programme of work and meetings of the Scientific Advisory Committee (only activities of relevance for RAC/SPA or other UNEP RACs are depicted herein)

Marine Environment and Ecosystems

  • Continue with the implementation of the medium term programme on elasmobranchs;
  • Prepare and disseminate educational material (posters, leaflets, brochures, etc.) for informing the public in the Mediterranean and Black Sea countries about harmful species and jellyfish;
  • Prepare a new version of the TECHNOMED selectivity protocol as a standard document, including the collection of socio-economic data. The methodology of the statistical analysis should be improved and completed;
  • Carry out, jointly with the SCSA, assessments on selected Mediterranean and Black Sea elasmobranchs stocks;
  • Undertake a regional medium-term research programme on red coral;
  • Improve the knowledge on the topographic description of seamount areas, as well as the structure and functioning of canyons and deep-sea habitats;
  • Continue conducting pilot studies on the effects of implementing the new codend meshes;
  • Implement the reporting of data on by-catch of elasmobranchs within the framework of Task 1.

Economic and Social Sciences

  • Conduct regional studies to provide an overview of recreational fishing activities (gears, techniques, target species, etc.);
  • Elaborate a Code of Practice / Technical Guidelines on recreational fisheries in the GFCM Competence Area;
  • Proceed with the analysis of socio-economic data collected through the Task 1 framework;
  • Undertake studies related to ecolabelling socio-economic impacts.

Next Meetings:



Expert meeting on Fisheries legislation within the framework of the LaMed Project (3 days)

Beirut (Lebanon) / 21-23 Sept. 2011

Session of the SCSA (4 days)

Rome (Italy) / Nov.-Dec. 2011

Working Group on stock assessment of Demersal Species (6 days)

Greece / TBD*

Working Group on stock assessment of Small Pelagic Species (6 days)

Greece / TBD*

Transversal Workshop (SCSA/SCMEE/SCESS) on Spatial Based Fishery Management (3 days)


Stock assessment of selected species of elasmobranchs (5days)

Brussels (Belgium) / TBD*

Session of the SCESS (4 days)

Rome (Italy) / Nov.-Dec. 2011

Workshop on the processing and analysis of Task 1.3 data (backto-back with the SCESS Session)

Rome (Italy) / Nov.-Dec. 2011

14th Session of the SAC (5 days)

Varna (Bulgaria) / February 2012

 *       TBD = To Be Defined