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REPORT OF THE 2007 MEETING OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON ECOSYSTEMS (Madrid, Spain

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Title: REPORT OF THE 2007 MEETING OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON ECOSYSTEMS (Madrid, Spain


1
REPORT OF THE 2007 MEETING OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE
ON ECOSYSTEMS (Madrid, Spain September 29,
2007)
2
2. Review of progress made towards a sea bird
assessment
  • - New information was presented on incidental
    catch of albatrosses by the Uruguayan surface
    longline fishery and on the Brazilian National
    Plan of Action for the Conservation of
    Albatrosses and Petrels.
  • Updates on seabird bycath rates, distribution,
    population status and demography were provided.
  • The risk prioritization exercise was also updated.

3
Species Breeding island group Breeds in Atlantic /Migrant IUCN status Population Status Overlap with ICCAT Behavioural susceptibility to capture Life-history strategy Median age at first breeding Risk score 1 Risk score2 Risk score3
Sooty albatross Phoebetria fusca Tristan da Cunha B 3 3 3 ? 3 10 3.0 3 4.24
Tristan albatross Diomedea dabbenena Tristan da Cunha B 3 3 3 3 3 9.7 3.0 3 4.24
Wandering albatross Diomedea exulans South Georgia B 2 3 3 3 3 9 3.0 3 4.24
Grey-headed albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma South Georgia B 2 3 3 3 3 10 2.8 3 4.24
Black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophrys South Georgia B 3 3 3 3 2 9 2.8 2.75 3.91
Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos Tristan da Cunha B 3 3 3 3 2 9 2.8 2.75 3.91
Black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophrys Falklands (Islas Malvinas) B 3 2 3 3 2 9 2.6 2.5 3.91
Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauritanicus Balearics B 3 3 3 3 2 6 2.8 2.75 3.61
White-chinned petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis South Georgia B 2 3 3 3 2 6.5 2.6 2.75 3.61
Southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus Chile B 1 ? 3? 3 2 7 2.4 2.75 3.61
Grey petrel1 Procellaria cinerea Prince Edward M? 1 ? ? 3 2 7 2.4 2.75 3.61
Grey petrel1 Procellaria cinerea Crozet M? 1 ? ? 3 2 7 2.4 2.75 3.61
Grey petrel1 Procellaria cinerea Kerguelen M? 1 ? ? 3 2 7 2.4 2.75 3.61
Grey petrel1 Procellaria cinerea Tristan da Cunha B 1 ? 3 3 2 7 2.4 2.75 3.61
Corys shearwater Calonectris diomedea Mediterranean B 0 3 3 3 2 6.5 2.2 2.75 3.61
Cape Verde Shearwater1 Calonectris edwardsii Cape Verdes B 1 1? 3 ? 2 6.5 2.4 2.75 3.61
Great shearwater1 Puffinus gravis Tristan da Cunha B 0 ? 3 3 2 6 2.2 2.75 3.61
Grey-headed albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma Indian Ocean M? 2 3 1 3 3 10 2.4 2.5 3.61
Wandering albatross Diomedea exulans Crozet M 2 2 1 3 3 9 2.2 2.25 3.61
Sooty albatross Phoebetria fusca Indian Ocean M 3 3 1 ? 3 10 2.6 2.5 3.61
4
2. Review of progress made towards a sea bird
assessment
  • - Update Stages 2 and 3 (distribution and
    overlap) new information on seabird distribution
    will be available 2008, and the analysis will
    involve some assumptions such as proportion of
    population not breeding, and distribution of
    juvenile birds.

5
2. Review of progress made towards a sea bird
assessment
  • - The meeting also noted there may be seabird
    species identified as high priority for which
    very few bycatch or distribution data currently
    exist. The Commission should consider
    precautionary management measures in these cases.

6
2. Review of progress made towards a sea bird
assessment
  • The method that will be used to calculate total
    seabird bycatch in the ICCAT area was discussed.
    In essence, appropriate area/time/fishery strata
    will be defined, and both effort and bycatch
    estimates will be applied to each strata.
  • The group noted that since there is a lack of
    seabird bycatch data for some fisheries or years,
    estimates and approximations will be necessary.
  • Beyond that, the group recognised that accurate
    measures of seabird and turtle bycatch, which are
    relatively rare and highly variable events,
    requires high levels of observer coverage.

7
DraftTable 2. Relative nominal longline effort in the ICCAT Convention area by flag for the period 2000-2005 and an indication of the available estimates of bird bycatch from those fleets and if an observer program is believed to be active. DraftTable 2. Relative nominal longline effort in the ICCAT Convention area by flag for the period 2000-2005 and an indication of the available estimates of bird bycatch from those fleets and if an observer program is believed to be active. DraftTable 2. Relative nominal longline effort in the ICCAT Convention area by flag for the period 2000-2005 and an indication of the available estimates of bird bycatch from those fleets and if an observer program is believed to be active. DraftTable 2. Relative nominal longline effort in the ICCAT Convention area by flag for the period 2000-2005 and an indication of the available estimates of bird bycatch from those fleets and if an observer program is believed to be active. DraftTable 2. Relative nominal longline effort in the ICCAT Convention area by flag for the period 2000-2005 and an indication of the available estimates of bird bycatch from those fleets and if an observer program is believed to be active.
Flag 2000-2005 Average Bird Bycatch Estimates? Observer Program  
Chinese Taipei 34.9 No Yes  
Japan 20.0 No Yes  
EC.España 11.3 Yes Yes  
Brasil 5.6 Yes Yes  
China P.R. 3.5 No Yes  
EC.Greece 3.1 No ?  
EC.Portugal 3.1 No Sporadic  
EC.Italy 2.7 No ?  
NEI 2.4 No No  
USA 2.3 Yes Yes  
St. Vincent and Grenadines 2.1 No No  
Mexico 1.5 No No  
Namibia 1.3 No ?  
Canada 0.7 Yes Yes  
Uruguay 0.7 Yes Yes  
Venezuela 0.7 No Yes  
Maroc 0.6 No No  
Korea 0.5 No ?  
Philippines 0.5 No No  
Libya 0.4 No No  
South Africa 0.4 Yes Yes  
Grenada 0.2 No No  
Tunisie 0.2 No No  
Vanuatu 0.2 No No  
EC.Malta 0.2 No ?  
Algerie 0.2 No No  
Trinidad and Tobago 0.1 No No  
Cuba 0.1 No No  
EC.Cyprus 0.1 No ?  
Barbados 0.1 No No  
Norway 0.1 No ?  
Others1 0.2 No Maybe  
1Others include Panama, Turkey, EC.France, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Belize, EC.Ireland, FR.St Pierre et Miquelon, Faroe Islands, EC.United Kingdom, UK.Bermuda, Angola, UK.Sta Helena, Argentina, Croatia, UK.British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Russian Federation, Iceland and the Falkland Islands. 1Others include Panama, Turkey, EC.France, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Belize, EC.Ireland, FR.St Pierre et Miquelon, Faroe Islands, EC.United Kingdom, UK.Bermuda, Angola, UK.Sta Helena, Argentina, Croatia, UK.British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Russian Federation, Iceland and the Falkland Islands. 1Others include Panama, Turkey, EC.France, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Belize, EC.Ireland, FR.St Pierre et Miquelon, Faroe Islands, EC.United Kingdom, UK.Bermuda, Angola, UK.Sta Helena, Argentina, Croatia, UK.British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Russian Federation, Iceland and the Falkland Islands. 1Others include Panama, Turkey, EC.France, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Belize, EC.Ireland, FR.St Pierre et Miquelon, Faroe Islands, EC.United Kingdom, UK.Bermuda, Angola, UK.Sta Helena, Argentina, Croatia, UK.British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Russian Federation, Iceland and the Falkland Islands. 1Others include Panama, Turkey, EC.France, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Belize, EC.Ireland, FR.St Pierre et Miquelon, Faroe Islands, EC.United Kingdom, UK.Bermuda, Angola, UK.Sta Helena, Argentina, Croatia, UK.British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Russian Federation, Iceland and the Falkland Islands.
8
2. Review of progress made towards a sea bird
assessment
  • More than 70 of the total longline fishing
    effort has no associated information about bird
    bycatch levels.
  • The Sub-Committee recommends that observer
    programs be analyzed and seabird bycatch rates
    provided by the next meeting.
  • On the other hand, the Commission should consider
    the merits of instituting an ICCAT scientific
    observer program to collect and make available
    the needed data.

9
3. Review of progress made on circle hook impact
studies
- Review table circultated and one document was
presented - The committee reviewed the work
conducted in February in the light of the new
information provided, and agreed that, the effect
of circle hooks on catch rates of target and
bycatch species is far from being settled and
much research is needed. Issues to take into
consideration are the shape and degree of offset
of the circle hooks and bait type used, which
make comparing result of different experiments
and drawing general conclusions a difficult task.
10
4. Review of new information concerning
ecosystems
- A document presented information on
interactions and depredation rates between
Spanish longliners targeting swordfish and false
killer whales. The estimated total depredation
for the Atlantic was about 1.1-1.8 of the annual
catch. The group encouraged this type of analysis
for other fleets be conducted and reported to the
SCRS, so as to be able to estimate the magnitude
of the importance of the depredation issue in the
Atlantic. - Other documents presented
information on interaction between tuna fleets
operating in the south western Atlantic and
marine mamals and turtles, as well as the results
of genetic analyses on Caretta caretta on that
area.
11
4. Review of new information concerning
ecosystems
- A proposal to build a metadatabase of observer
programs was presented. The proposal suggested
some data fields for the metadatabase, divided
into four sections i) information on observer
program extent ii) information on what type of
data the program records iii) sampling strategies
iv) summary data from the programs. - The
metadatabase may be of interest to other groups
within the SCRS, so the exact content of the
questionnaire needs to be agreed with the
secretariat and chairs of the different species
groups, as well as the SC Statistics.
12
Table 3. Suggestions for data fields for ICCAT
metadatabase on observer programs
(i) Observer program data
Year Minimum by year (preferably divide by month or year quarter)
Flag of vessels
Gear type (longline, trawl, pole and line etc)
Target species
Range of vessel size? Some observer programs may stratify their programs e.g. by vessel size, so may need an option to record additional factors. Suggestions by which fleets may be stratified are in FAO Technical paper 414. (Purse seine observer programs may be stratified e.g. by use of FADs)
Source of observer data (i.e. name of observer program)
Years of operation of observer program How long has the observer program been running?
Bibliographic reference (if any)
Coverage (vessel/trips with observers onboard) Target coverage Number of vessels/trips with observer onboard Number of vessels/trips in fishery coverage
Coverage (amount of effort observed) Fishing effort observed (e.g. hooks for LL, sets for PS) Total fishing effort in fishery coverage
Area covered FAO area/sub-areas, or min/max latitude and longitude
(ii) What data are recorded by program? May be easiest to include these as tick boxes for what the program records (ii) What data are recorded by program? May be easiest to include these as tick boxes for what the program records
Oceanographic/meteorological SST, Wind, swell, cloud
Vessel data Tonnage, horsepower, gear mensuration devices that are used, data describing the electronics used by the vessel (types of depth sounders etc..), skipper name
Gear and Effort data Time of set, Time of retrieval, Setting speed, Main line length and materials, branchline length and materials, number of hooks, hook spacing, number of hooks between buoys, hook type, hook size, gear depth (how is depth calculated?), bottom depth, bait type, bait condition (e.g. live/frozen/thawed), line weights, use of light sticks, use of wire trace
Catch data Number of each species, weight of each species, fate, condition
Discard data total catch ( landingsdiscards), number of tones, how discards are calculated,main discard species, reason for discarding,

13
5. Workplan for 2008
  • Review the progress made towards a seabird
    assessment, with special emphasis on the
    assessment of the degree of overlap between
    fishing effort and bird spatial distribution
    (stage 3 in the assessment framework), review of
    catch rate estimates (stage 4), estimation of
    total number of birds caught in ICCAT fisheries
    (stage 5) and effect of the bird bycatch
    mortality on seabird populations (stage 6).
  • Review the new information concerning ecosystems
  • Review the observer data availability and
    progress towards building the observer
    metadatabase.

14
6. Recommendations
  • Observer and logbook programs to quantify total
    catch (including bycatch) composition and
    disposition. Consider an ICCAT scientific
    observer program.
  • Construct a metadatabase describing the different
    national observer programs carried out in the
    past. Evaluate consistency in information.
  • Future observer data collection be based on ICCAT
    best practice procedure for collecting data on
    by-catch.
  • Hiring a bycatch coordinator and include experts
    in seabird and turtle biology in the different
    delegations.
  • Develop educational materials identifying
    conservation issues and easily implemented
    mitigation measures.
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