The online workshop, organized by FAO Fisheries Division in collaboration with FAO Regional Projects, compared and analyzed selected experiences with the implementation of EAF-like approaches to fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea. The final objective of the action is to contribute to global efforts by FAO to identify lessons regarding enabling factors and main challenges to strengthen EAF implementation. The workshop discussed 10 case study fisheries from different sub-regions of the Mediterranean, selected for their recognized attempts to change management practices in line with some of the basic principles of EAF, including participatory and adaptive fisheries management. Participants agreed on a roadmap to the preparation of a technical report that will document the case studies and the main lessons emerging form their comparative analysis.
The SSF - University DAY was a single day event organized by the FAO Mediterranean Projects AdriaMed, EastMed, CopeMed, MedSudMed and the FAO GFCM BlackSea4Fish Project in collaboration with several national partner organizations. The event was part of the Small Scale Fisheries University launched by the FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (FAO – GFCM) in the framework of the Regional Plan of Action for a Small Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The initiative has been conceived as an event to take place simultaneously throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The Day foresaw national workshops to address common regional SSF issues such as collaborative science and the valorization of fishers knowledge, thus including participatory data collection, local ecological knowledge (LEK), perception on climate change and environmental impacts of fishing.
The event was an opportunity to give voice to fishers and to promote a proactive dialogue among them, scientists and national administration. The SSF University DAY was held virtually in 13 different localities at the same time involving 20 institutions and more than 200 connected participants.
The FAO Mediterranean Projects AdriaMed, CopeMed, EastMed and MedsudMed organized, in collaboration with the FAO-Fisheries Division, thethe Online course/Workshop on Empirical Indicators for Fisheries Management Advice (Zoom, 19-23 October 2020)). The course was attended by 27 participants, mainly senior scientists from 13 Mediterranean countries involved in the Projects activities. The course focused on Empirical Management Procedures and particularly on the development, selection, and use of empirical indicators to provide operational fisheries management advice. Its starting point was the set of basic requirements of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries applied to Fisheries Management Processes. During the workshop most of the time was dedicated to discussing the process and criteria for selecting, validating, using and communicating empirical indicators, and also on how to run a peer-validation process for improving the credibility and legitimacy of the indicators and their use in management. A pool of indicators was selected and real data exercises on two stocks formally assessed respectively as over- and under- exploited in the Mediterranean were completed. The results were discussed to highlight properties of indicators and to compare the indicator findings with the outcomes of model based assessment.
The FAO Mediterranean Projects AdriaMed, CopeMed and MedsudMed organized, in collaboration with the FAO-Fisheries Division and the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the the Online Training Workshop on Introduction to integrated stock assessment using Stock Synthesis (Zoom, 05-09 October 2020)). The course was delivered by a team of lecturers from FAO, NOAA and JRC, including the main developers of the Stock Synthesis model. It was attended by 15 participants and 8 observers from 8 countries in the Western-Central Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea where integrated assessment models are currently being used as part of the benchmark process for hake and blackspot seabream. The course aimed at understanding concepts of integrated assessment models as well as on getting acquainted with the integrated assessment package Stock Synthesis. The first half of the workshop focused on the overview of the program and detailed setups of data and parameters. The second half, consisted on theoretical and practical sessions, during which students applied the model to datasets provided by the trainers, and could examine model outputs, retrospective analysis and sensitivity tests for a full model diagnostics and provision of advice.
The live webinar on "Local Ecological Knowledge" (LEK) was organized by the four FAO Mediterranean Projects, AdriaMed CopeMed, EastMed and MedSudMed on 11th June 2020 via ZOOM. The webinar was organized with the cooperation of the MPA-ENGAGE project ‘Engaging Mediterranean key actors in Ecosystem Approach to manage Marine Protected Areas (MPA) to face Climate change’. Mr Joaquim Garrabou ICM-CSIC, Barcelona Spain acted as moderator and Mr Ernesto Azzurro IRBIM-CNR, Italy as main speaker. The webinar focused on approaches and methods to engage local experts, such as fishers and divers, and value their knowledge for scientific studies Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) is generating new grounds for marine research, while stimulating awareness among marine services users and education (CBD articles 7 and 13). More than 80 experts from 14 Mediterranean countries participated in the event.
The eighth session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources (WG-DEM) was dedicated to the Vulnerability Assessment (VA) of Adriatic fisheries to climate change. The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 8th June 2020. Following the presentation of the methodology for the implementation of the VA to climate change on the small pelagic fish and demersal fisheries in the Adriatic in the WG-DEM in October 2019, the team working on this task launched an online survey to engage with national experts in the assessment to receive feedback on the process. The preliminary results were discussed during the meeting and next steps agreed upon.
The seventh session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Stock assessment of priority and non priority species". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 5th June 2020. The WG i) revised the analysis done on the exchange of Solea solea otoliths; ii) discussed on the possible consequences that the ageing revision could bring to the estimation of the age length keys to be used in the next stock assessment of Solea solea; iii) recalled the problem, still existent, of species misinterpretation between S. solea and S. egyptiaca; iv) progressed on the compilation of information on the critic area so called "Solea Sanctuary" in the North Adriatic Sea.
The sixth session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the Stock assessment of priority and non priority species. The meeting focused on Solea soleaand was held virtually on Skype on 3rd June 2020 in the framework of the AdriaMed Study Group on intercalibration of demersal fish otolith reading (SG-OTH-DEM). The SG-OTH aimed at discussing the results of the exchange exercise of a common set of otoliths of Solea solea launched in November 2019. The experts agreed to progress the discussion in the following weeks in additional virtual meetings.
The fifth session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Stock assessment of priority and non priority species". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 28th May 2020 and focused on: i) the update of the MEDITS survey in GSA 18 (South Central Adriatic Sea) and ii) the preliminary stock assessment of Mullus barbatus, Parapenaeus longirostris and Eledone cirrhosa in the Adriatic Sea. The experts agreed on a roadmap to further progress and finalize the evaluation of these three stocks.
The fourth session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Progresses in the monitoring plan on Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on the 26th May 2020 and focused on preliminary stock assessment of Merluccius merluccius; Lophius spp.; Illex coindetii. A roadmap to further proceed to the update assessment of M. merluccius as well as the preparation of the assessment on data limited stock like Lophius spp. and Illex coindetii in the area was agreed upon.
The third session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Progresses in the monitoring plan on Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 22nd May 2020 and focused on the analysis of the MEDITS surveys data collected in the FRA. Besides the summer MEDITS survey, particular attention was given to the analysis of the winter surveys carried out at the beginning of March 2019 and 2020 in the Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA.
The second session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Progresses in the monitoring plan on Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 20th May 2020, and focused on the analysis of AIS data taken in the area. The intensity of fishing activities by zones in the Jabuka/Pomo pit FRA as derived by AIS data were illustrated. The experts agreed to further progress and refine the analysis for understanding the possible displacement of fishing effort in and around the FRA.
The decision to convene the AdriaMed Working Group on Demersal Fisheries Resources in the Adriatic Sea through virtual meetings was taken to cope with the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall aim of the meetings was to address problems related to the cancellation or postponement of field research activities and/or meetings planned. The meetings, given the virtual nature of the consultation, were organized over several sessions in the period 18 May-8 June 2020. Overall eight (8) sessions were organized and each session was devoted to a specific topic: Progress in the monitoring plan on Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA (session 1-4) session 1) UnderWater Television surveys; session 2) AIS data analysis; session 3) MEDITS surveys in GSA 17; session 4) Stock Assessment of Merluccius merluccius; Lophius spp.; Illex coindetii; Stock assessment of priority and non priority species (session 5-7) session 5) Stock Assessment (roadmap forr Mullus barbatus; Parapenaeus longirostris; Eledone cirrhosa); session 6) roadmap for Solea 1 (otolith exchange results)** reserved to the Study Group on Solea otoliths; session 7) roadmap for Solea 2: towards the benchmark assessment of Solea solea; Vulnerability Assessment of Adriatic fisheries to climate change session 8) Vulnerability Assessment of Adriatic fisheries to climate change and Introduction to the SSF University Day initiative.
The first session of the virtual AdriaMed Working Group of Demersal Fisheries Resources was dedicated to the "Progresses in the monitoring plan on Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA". The meeting was held virtually on Skype on 18th May 2020 and focused on the UnderWater Television surveys (UWTV). The UWTV survey is one of the methods included in the GFCM Monitoring plan (2018-2020) for the Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA. During the session, an outline of the UWTV surveys performed, as well as of data available so far was provided. An update on the progresses and trials towards the stock assessment of Nephrops norvegicus was also given.
The AdriaMed - GFCM skype meeting on progresses towards the benchmark of small pelagics in the Adriatic Sea was held virtually via SKYPE on 21 April 2020. The group i) revised the progresses made on the pending issues emerging from the 3rd joint AdriaMed-GFCM data preparation meeting (February 2020); ii) agreed to continue to work on line; iii) agreed to the possibility that, due to the current situation, also the final steps of the benchmark will have to be conducted on line.
The project organized and supported the second winter bottom trawl survey in the Jabuka/Pomo Pit area (early March 2020). The survey was part of the monitoring plan for the Jabuka/Pomo Pit fisheries restricted area (FRA) approved by the 20th SAC session and the 42nd GFCM session. The survey was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Split (Croatia), the University of Bologna- of Marine Biology Laboratory of Fano (Italy), and GFCM Secretariat. The sampling at sea was carried out by the R/V Bios Dva (Croatia) and the M/P Andrea (Italy). Sampling stations (hauls) were performed according to the MEDITS protocol inside the FRA (no-take zone), and outside, in the buffer zone. Preliminary results were illustrated at the AdriaMed Working Group on Demersal Fisheries Resources (May 2020).
The 3rd Joint AdriaMed-GFCM Meeting on data preparation for the benchmark of small pelagics in the Adriatic Sea was held at FAO HQs on 4-6 February 2020. The overall objective of these meetings was to prepare the input data in view of the benchmark stock assessment on anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardine (Sardina pilchardus) of the Adriatic Sea organised in the framework of the GFCM - Working Group of Stock Assessment of Small Pelagic Species.
The Project progressed, with the cooperation of ISPRA (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), with the Vulnerability Assessment (VA) to climate change on the small pelagic fish and demersal fisheries in the Adriatic. National experts from all the Adriatic Sea were engaged by the Project in the assessment to provide feedback on the process. The methodology and some preliminary results on the Adriatic and Mediterranean in general were presented at the "2020 International Forum on the Effects of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture" (FAO-HQs, 25-26 February 2020.)