The first meeting of the AdriaMed Working Group (WG) on the Definition of Priority Topics Related to Small Pelagic Resources of the Adriatic Sea was held in Split, Croatia on the 12th and 13th October 2000. The meeting was attended by experts from Albania, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. In line with the Project aim of strengthening joint research and regional management of shared stocks of the Adriatic Sea, the WG focused on small pelagic resources by identifying the most relevant issues and consequently proposing and formulating specific activities to be implemented within the cooperative framework of the AdriaMed Project. The first objective was the evaluation of current knowledge on shared small pelagic fish stocks including the distribution pattern of the species, the state of fishery exploitation and how much information is at present available on these resources. The WG agreed on the role of the analysis of the genetic structure of fish and invertebrate populations in providing information on geographical limits of stocks and gene flow among sub-populations. Following the discussion the list of small pelagic species whose stocks are shared was prepared on the basis of the WG participants experience and was based on bio-economic considerations. The need for the joint preparation of a synopsis on current knowledge on the main commercial small pelagic species of the Adriatic was evaluated. The utility and importance of an up-to-date biological synopsis, reviewing current knowledge on the species concerned, was recognised with priority being given to E. encrasicolus and S. pilchardus.
The WG was briefed on the existing knowledge available in each Adriatic country concerning relationships between small pelagics and environment: the need of identifing the relationships between life cycles of small pelagic species and environmental characteristics of the Adriatic Sea system was discussed. Nine support papers were discussed and are included in this report.