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Report of the Secretariat – Activities in support of the IOTC science process in 2013









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    Meeting
    Report of the Ninth Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch 2013
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    The Ninth Session of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission‘s (IOTC) Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB) was held in La Reunion, France, from 12 to 16 September 2013. A total of 32 participants (48 in 2012) attended the Session. The meeting was opened by Mr Ludovic Courtois, Secrétaire général du Comité régiol des pêches maritimes et des élevages marins (CRPMEM) de La Réunion, who welcomed participants to La Reunion and formally opened the Ninth Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch. The Chair, Dr. Charles Anderson also subsequently welcomed participants to La Reunion, including the Invited Expert, Dr. Ronel Nel, from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Employment of a Fisheries Officer NOTING the rapidly increasing scientific workload at the IOTC Secretariat, including a wide range of additiol duties on ecosystems and bycatch assigned to it by the SC and the Commission, and that the new Fishery Officer (Science) supporting the IOTC scientific activities has not been given a mandate by the Commission to work on ecosystems and bycatch matters, the WPEB strongly RECOMMENDED that the Commission approve the hiring of a Fishery Officer (Bycatch) to work on bycatch matters in support of the scientific process. (para.12) Regiol observer scheme The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Compliance Committee and Commission consider how to address the lack of implementation of regiol observer schemes by CPCs for their fleets and reporti ng to the IOTC Secretariat as per the provision of Resolution 11/04 on a Regiol Observer Scheme, noting the update provided in Appendix VI. (para.35) The WPEB RECOMMENDED that as a priority, the IOTC Secretariat should immediately commence work with CPCs that are yet to develop and implement a Regiol Observer Scheme that would meet the requirements contained in Resolution 11/04, and provide an update at the next session of the WPEB. (para.37) Training for CPCs having gillnet fleets on species id entification, bycatch mitigation and data collection methods and also to identify other potential sources of assistance – Development of plans of action The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Commission allocate funds in its 2014 and 2015 budgets for the IOTC Secretariat to carry out training for CPCs having gillnet fleets on bycatch mitigation methods, species identification, and data collection methods (budget estimate: Table 4). (para.64) Ecological Risk Assessment: review of current knowledge and pot ential magement implications The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Commission note the list of the 10 most vulnerable shark species to longline gear (Table 7) and purse seine gear (Table 8) in the Indian Ocean, as determined by a productivity susceptibility alysis, compared to the list of shark species/groups required to be recorded for each gear, contained in Resolution 13/03 on the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence. At the next revision to Resolution 13/03 , the Commission may wish to add the missing species/groups of sharks and rays. (para.123) Review of data needs and way forward for the evaluation of shark stocks NOTING that Resolution 10/02 mandatory statistical requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties (CPC's), makes provision for data to be reported to the IOTC on ?the most commonly caught shark species and, where possible, to the less common shark species?, without giving any list defining the most common and le ss common species, and recognising the general lack of shark data being recorded and reported to the IOTC Secretariat, the WPEB RECOMMENDED that Resolution 10/02 is revised in order to include the list of most commonly caught elasmobranch species (Table 10) for which nomil catch data shall be reported as part of the statistical requirement for IOTC CPCs. (para.138) Review of Resolution 12/04 on the conservation of marine turtles The WPEB RECOMMENDED that at the next revision of IOTC Resolution 1 2/04 on the conservation of marine turtles, the measure is strengthened to ensure that where possible, CPCs report annually on the total estimated level of incidental catches of marine turtles, by species, as provided at Table 12. (para.168) Resolution 10/02 Mandatory statistical [reporting] requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties (CPCs) NOTING that Resolution 10/02 does not make provisions for data to be reported to the IOTC on marine turtles, the WPEB RECOMMENDED that Resolution 10/02 is revised in order to make the reporting requirements coherent with those stated in Resolution 12/04 on the conservation of marine turtles and Resolution 13/03 on On the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence. (para.169) Format of future WPEB Sessions The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the following: (para.253) ? The WPEB DISCUSSED the future format in order to focus the efforts of scientists working on different groups of bycat ch species to address more efficiently, the mandate of the group. ? The WPEB CONSIDERED a range of options which the SC is asked to consider: o Option 1: The current WPEB be split into two; A dedicated Working Party on Sharks (WPS) and a Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB). o Option 2: Retaining the WPEB in its current form, with alterting focus of sharks in one year, followed by other ecosystem and bycatch issues in the next year. o Option 3: Maintaining the WPEB with clear guideline s to deal with sharks every year, as well as other issues and bycatch groups in alterte years or as required. ? The WPEB AGREED that shark issues were important to address on a yearly basis. Election of a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the next biennium The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the new Chairperson, Dr. Rui Coelho (EU,Portugal) and Vice- Chairperson, Dr. Evgeny Romanov (La Réunion), of the WPEB for the next biennium. (para.263) Report of the Ninth Session of the Working Party o n Ecosystems and Bycatch The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Scientific Committee consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from WPEB09, provided at Appendix XXI, as well as the magement advice provided in the draft resource stock status summary for each of the seven shark species, as well of those for marine turtles and seabirds: (para.265) Sharks o Blue sharks (Prioce glauca) – Appendix X o Oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) – Appendix XI o Scalloped hammerhead sharks ( Sphyr lewini) – Appendix XII o Shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) – Appendix XIII o Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) – Appendix XIV o Bigeye thresher sharks (Alopias superciliosus) – Appendix XV o Pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) – Appendix XVI Other species/groups o Marine turtles – Appendix XVII o Seabirds – Appendix XVIII A summary of the stock status for some of the most commonly caught shark species caught in association with IOTC fisheries for tu and tu-like species is provided in Table 1.
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    Comprehensive Report IOTC-OFCF Project (Phase III) (June 2010 ~ March 2013) 2014
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    The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IOTC and the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF) was initiated in April 2002, with providing technical guidance for Projects to assist developing countries in the Indian Ocean region to improve the data collection and quality of fisheries statistics. Phases I (April 2002 - March 2007) and II (June 2007 -March 2010) of the Project ran for eight consecutive years. The success of Phase I and II of the Project, the OFCF agreed to support the implementation of a new phase (Phase III) for a maximum of three years from 2010 to 2012. The Terms of Reference of Phase III focus on support of IOTC coastal countries in the strengthening of activities related to the Regiol Observer Scheme, specially focusing on artisal fisheries in IOTC Resolution 11/04, 4. The number of the artisal fishing vessels landings shall also be monitored at the landing place by field samplers. The indicative level of the coverage of the artisal fishing v essels should progressively increase towards 5% of the total levels of vessel activity (i.e. total number of vessel trips or total number of vessels active). A new MOU between the IOTC and the OFCF was signed in June 15th 2010 including the provision of funds and detachment of an OFCF Expert to the IOTC Secretariat in June 30th to coordite the activities of the Project, along with the IOTC Data Coorditor and other staff from the Secretariat, as required. The duration of Phase III of the Project is three years, until March 2013, with funds committed for each year and extension of the Project agreed through exchange of letters between the IOTC and the OFCF. The Project keeps the following three main principles since 2002: ? The activities undertaken under the Project follow the recommendations of the Commission and its relevant subsidiary bodies: the Working Parties and the Scientific Committee. ? There will be no direct fincial implications for IOTC Member countries. ? The activities of the Project should be directed towards reinforcing the statistical systems of developing countries from the region. The present comprehensive report covers the activities of the IOTC-OFCF Project from June 2010 to March 2013, and also includes an overview of the activities implemented through Phase I and Phase II. The following activities were implemented by the Project during Phase III: 1. Comoros: The Project carried out frame survey and Census during January and May 2011, and July and Septem ber 2012 in line with the port sampling activities funded by IOTC and EU, and also provided the training course on catch estimation based on the data collected from the frame and census survey and port sampling activities. Prelimiry estimates of catch and effort were made by the Project. Port sampling scheme used this program showed possibility of 5% coverage of vessels activities 2. Indonesia: The Project held a workshop on the Indonesia catch estimation in March 2012, with the collaboration of the Indonesian Directorate General of Capture Fisheries and other tiol and intertiol organizations including non-government. The Project also published workshop reports in English ad Indonesia in September 2012. 3. Sri Lanka: The Project carried out upgrading the Centralized Database Magement System. This System was in place in the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Fisheries Resource Development in March 2012. The Project also assisted to improve port sampling from November 2012 to February 201 3. The improved sampling aims to cover at least 5% of vessels activities around Sri Lanka 4. Iran: The Project carried out upgrading the Centralized Database Magement System through technical advices including provision of equipment. This System was in place in the Ministry of Fisheries 5. Mauritius: The Project sent a mission to assess and evaluate the collection and processing system of local fisheries including foreign fresh-tu longline fisheries, especially focusing on Albacore, following a recommendation made by the working party on Temperate Tus in August 2012. The Project contributed to improving the quality and quantity of the statistics available at the IOTC, including better catch and effort and size data in conjunction with port sampling activities under the Observer scheme. In addition, the Project addressed recommendations for future cooperation with OFCF which may lead to significant improvements in the area of data collection, processing and reporting. On numerous occasi ons, the IOTC Scientific Committee and other IOTC technical bodies stressed the importance of the activities initiated by the Project, noting that the information collected is of key importance for the assessments of some of the main IOTC stocks.
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    Meeting
    Report of the Eleventh Session of the IOTC Working Party on Billfish 2013
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    The Eleventh Session of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission?s (IOTC) Working Party on Billfish (WPB) was held in La Réunion, France, from 18 to 22 September 2013. A total of 24 (23 in 2012) participants attended the Session, including one invited expert, Dr. Humber Andrade, from the Universidade Federal Rural de Permbuco, Brazil. The meeting was opened on 18 September, 2013 by the Chair, Dr Jérôme Bourjea (La Réunion, France), who welcomed participants to La Réunion, France. Catch, Catch-and-effort, Size data The WPB RECOMMENDED that all CPCs assess and improve the status of catch-and-effort data for marlins (by species) and sailfish, noting that improvements to the data for the EU fleets and its provision to the IOTC Secretariat, would be most beneficial to the work of the WPB. (para. 25) Effect of piracy on billfish fisheries The WPB NOTED that, although no specific alysis of the impacts of piracy on fisheries in the Indian Ocean were presented at this meeting, paper IOTC–2013–WPB11–07 Re v_1 indicated that there has been a substantial displacement of catch (Fig. 1) and effort eastward (Fig. 2). Since 2004, annual catches have declined steadily, largely due to the continued decline in the number of active Taiwan,Chi longliners in the Indian Ocean (Fig. 3). In recent years, the proportion of fishing effort of the Japanese longline fleet sharply decreased in the north-western Indian Ocean (off the Somalia coastline), while fishing effort increased in the area south of 25°S, especia lly off western Australia. (para. 40) The WPB NOTED that the relative number of active longline vessels in the IOTC area of competence have declined substantially since 2008 (Fig. 3), and AGREED that this was likely due to the impact of piracy activities in the western Indian Ocean. Since 2011, there has been an increase in the relative number of active longline vessels in the Indian Ocean for Japan (68 in 2011 to 98 in 2012), Chi (10 in 2011 to 32 in 2012) and the Philippines (2 in 2011 to 14 i n 2012) (Fig. 3). (Para. 41) Pakistan gillnet fishery RECALLING IOTC Resolution 12/12 to prohibit the use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas in the IOTC area, paragraph 1, which states: “1. The use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas within the IOTC area of competence shall be prohibited.” “Large-scale driftnets” are defined as gillnets or other nets or a combition of nets that are more than 2.5 kilometers in length whose purpose is to enmesh, entrap, or entangle fish by drifting on the surface of, or in, the water column.”, the WPB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the findings of the study that gillnets in excess of the 2.5 km limit are being used by the gillnet fleets of Pakistan on the high seas, in contravention of Resolution 12/12. (para. 44) Revision of the WPB workplan The WPB RECOMMENDED that the SC consider and endorse the workplan and assessment schedule for the WPB for 2014, and tentatively for future years, as provided at Appendix XII and Appendix XIII, respectivel y. (para 192) Consolidated recommendations of the Eleventh Session of the Working Party on Billfish The WPB RECOMMENDED that the Scientific Committee consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from WPB11, provided at Appendix XIV, as well as the magement advice provided in the draft resource stock status summary for each of the billfish species under the IOTC mandate: (para 205) o Black marlin (Makaira indica) – Appendix VII o Blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) – Appendix VIII o Strip ed marlin (Tetrapturus audax) – Appendix IX o Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) – Appendix X o Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) – Appendix XI ???????????????????A summary of the stock status for billfish species under the IOTC mandate is provided in Table 1.

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