Report of the Workshop to compile and refine catch and landings of elasmobranchs (WKSHARK2)
WKSHARK2 met in Lisbon, Portugal, 19–22 January 2016, to examine the management of landings data of elasmobranchs (sharks and skates). ICES provides advice for 55 elasmobranch stocks (18% of all ICES stocks) and 16 ICES countries catch elasmobranchs. To complicate matters further, over 150 generic or species-specific codes may be used for submission of national data. Uniquely in ICES, the elasmobranch landings data provided by country must be by species rather than stock, with the responsibility for deciding on the allocations required to compile stock data resting with the expert group. The logistical challenge for the ICES Working Group on Elasmobranch Fish (WGEF) and for ACOM Advice Drafting Group for Elasmobranch Fish (ADGEF) is considerable. The procedures for managing these landings data were established when ICES only provided advice for six elasmobranchs stocks. WKSHARK2 proposes some revisions. A single landings data coordinator will continue to handle all the data from national providers. WKSHARK2 has developed a decision rule to allow the landings data coordinator to compile stock-specific data for the newly established individual stock coordinators. At present the landings data coordinator is a member of WGEF. However WKSHARK2 encourages WGEF to investigate, with the ICES Secretariat, whether this role might better be performed within the secretariat. WKSHARK2 benefitted from a very good input from ICCAT and some procedures were developed on how ICES and ICCAT should interact with regards to reporting and compilation of elasmobranch landings data. WKSHARK2 also reviewed initiatives to refine national landings data by means of reference fleets and new work towards traceability of shark products in international trade. These initiatives are expected to lead to better quality landings data in future.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee