Report of the Workshop on Sexual Maturity Staging of Elasmobranchs (WKMSEL)
The European Union requires member states to collect maturity data under the Data Collection Framework (DCF) but there is no international agreement on the maturity scales to be applied to elasmobranchs. Therefore, this workshop was proposed by the Planning Group on Commercial Catches, Discards and Biological Sampling and the Planning group for the Mediterranean (PGCCDBS & PGMed 2009) as part of ongoing ICES and DCF work to improve data collection, methodology and quality assurance. The objectives were to agree on a common maturity scale for elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays), oviparous and viviparous species, across laboratories and compare existing scales and standardize maturity determination criteria. A system was developed to convert the current scales being used in various laboratories into the proposed maturity scales developed during this workshop. The proposed macroscopic maturity scale was validated by examining results from microscopic determinations. Guidelines were developed in order to propose an optimal sampling strategy to esti-mate accurately the maturity ogives for elasmobranchs.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee