|dc.description.abstract||The 12th RCM North Atlantic was held in Hamburg (Germany) 14-18 September 2015. The main purpose of the RCM is to coordinate the National Programmes (NP) of the Member States (MS) in the North Atlantic region. National Programmes for 2011-2013 have been rolled over for the period 2014-2016. Therefore, the main focus at this year was to improve regional data collection, analysis and storage and the evolution towards Regional Coordination Groups (RCG).The impact of the introduction of the landing obligation and preparations for its implementation was also discussed taking into account possible changes in scientific sampling schemes. The participation of four National Correspondents make possible to address National administration issues related to the oncoming EU MAP.
A data call was launched by the chairs of the RCM NA, RCM Baltic and RCM NS&EA where MS were requested to upload data for 2014 in the regional database (RDB Fishframe) hosted by ICES. All MS except France and Northern Ireland complied with this request on landings and effort data. All MS except France uploaded sample data for 2014. French data were available for the meeting using a web base interface. Evaluation of the data call for submission data to the RDB revealed the numbers of species in landings and sample data and the numbers of metiers in effort data are in general data stable. RCM NA see big improvements in the work MS are doing regarding data calls coming from a situation where some countries didn´t provide any data to a new scenario where everyone is providing data; at the same time the overall quality has significantly improved, which is a large step forward.
Regional data collection, analysis, storage and the evolution towards Regional Coordination Groups (RCG).
Optimizing and harmonizing fisheries management across MS is dependent on improving regional coordination. The group discussed various needs and aspects relevant for facilitating future work of the RCM. Future tasks for the RCM don’t differ much from the current tasks. The discussion was focused on the structure of the RCGs, funding and short term needs to address tasks in an efficient way in the future.
Regional coordination encompasses many different aspects, ranging from regional cooperation, sampling design, quality control procedures, data storage and analysis to the actual coordination, reporting and accountancy. Current task sharing and coordination procedures as well as future mechanisms are partially covered under the current MARE study 2014/19 (FISHPI). The project and its progress were presented to the group. The outcomes of this study will demonstrate future procedures based on case studies.
As substantial effort and costs are involved to facilitate the process of regional coordination, the group highlighted the importance to access to budgets to cover these costs. Development of the RDB is also crucial for future work of the RCGs; funds are needed for the development.
Additionally, RCM NA identified 4 supra regional topics where work can be done intersesionally in cooperation with the rest of RCMs: (1) Cost sharing of funding surveys; (2) Impact of landing obligation; (3) reviewing the ICES list of data needs ; and (4) review and follow up on RDB upload logs.
Due to the importance to moving to a regional catch sampling scheme, an exercise was realised using the distribution of landings by harbour and fleet segment as a proxy of sampling frames that could hypothetically operate in a regional probability based design. The exercise was based on landing weight, for the simple reason that this was the only complete variable that was available for all the various national data sets. A regional sampling design can however be optimized in any number of ways (e.g. by landings value, by métier diversity, by species diversity, by number of fishing trips). The aims and aspirations of the end users need to be defined to ascertain which is most appropriate. It is one of the overriding advantages of a regional sampling design (as opposed to the aggregation of national designs) that the overall coverage can be set out to achieve regional goals.
The RCM NA analyzed and discussed the main achievements of WKISCON2. It was clear that concurrent sampling at-sea is a long-established practice in most MS and that, where it was applied, concurrent sampling of fishing trips on-shore resulted in substantial increases in species collected without jeopardizing the main uses of data. Stock assessment and discard estimation and management are the major current uses of concurrent sampling data. Concurrent sampling has also been providing other benefits than its initial reason, such as advice to local, national and international authorities, research on MSFD descriptors, mixed fisheries and gear interactions and on mortality of rare species, data-poor stocks and PETS.
It was clear that concurrent sampling being a statistically valid method for species selection which has proven to fulfil different end-users needs, implementation constraints hinder concurrent sampling on-shore. Thus, in order to meet end-users needs and to overcome the constraints that may arise from the implementation of concurrent sampling in some countries, particularly on-shore, RCM NA considers that different statistically sound approaches other than concurrent sampling must be developed to be tested in the field, so they may provide useful alternatives.
Introduction of the landing obligation and its impact in the implementation in scientific sampling schemes.
In terms of evaluating the impact of the introduction of the Landing Obligation (LO) regulation on data collection, there is only limited experience as the current implementation only covers Pelagic and Industrial fisheries in this region but MS have or are preparing for the implementation where they can.
It is currently perceived that this year is a transition period for the pelagic fisheries and that these fisheries and control agencies are not fully implementing the LO (managing but not enforcing). As a result MS did not have a lot of comments on the current year and are in general preparing for next year. During the meeting it was decided to gather further information to address this issue by getting member states who were present to fill in a table on “Monitoring the impact of the landing obligation on data collection in the North Atlantic region” outlining the current state of play.
This table could be considered as a live document which should be filled in year by year as the Landing Obligation is phased in. This table will then serve to provide an historical record as countries can document the changes year by year and will also provide guidance and act as a learning tool to all member states on how other countries are implementing the LO.
The group discussed the proposal for task sharing and criteria for joint surveys. RCM NS&EA and RCM NA 2014 discussed a cost model for the present joint MS financed surveys and for future joint surveys. In addition to this model, the RCM NA 2015 highlighted that four categories of surveys should be considered in relation to task sharing and criteria for joint surveys.
In the light of cost sharing, the group commented that the current DCF recast proposal refers to ‘exploitation of stocks’ rather than EU TAC or landings. Given the relative stability, EU TAC shares are the preferred basis for sharing costs. The exploitation of stocks shall be interpreted as EU-TAC share as a default. In specific cases, RCGs can in the future agree on different interpretation where needed and feasible.
Fully agreement among the group was concerning to the engagement and participation of National Correspondent (NC) in this meeting. The future role of the NCs in the RCG context was discussed, indicating a formal role for the NCs in the RCG process to approve and agree on regional arrangements. However, the current recast of the DCF doesn’t include the formal involvement of the NCs in the coordination procedures and meetings. RCM NA highlights this as potentially problematic for the foreseen formal role of the NCs.
Other items on the agenda were the consideration of the follow up of relevant recommendations made last years by Liaison Meeting and presentations and relevant development from ICES, EC and SC-RDB.||es_ES