European

Commission

Italian Ministry
of agriculture
food and forestry policies


Regione
Siciliana


ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING
OF THE FISHERY RESOURCES AND THE ECOSYSTEMS
IN THE STRAITS OF SICILY

 
  Citation:

FAO-MedSudMed project. © FAO MedSudMed project - Web site. [online]. Rome. Updated. [Cited ].

 
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ACTIVITIES

 

  Activities

During the 1st meeting of the MedSudMed Coordination Committee, a general outline of research and the activities to be implemented by the Project were discussed by the participants. A preliminary plan was presented for research activities aimed at improving information resources for fisheries management, biodiversity protection, and ecosystem preservation in the area covered by the Project. It was focused on four main proposals: (i) Spatial distribution of demersal resources according to environment and fishery characteristics; (ii) Stock identification of small pelagic fish and oceanographic processes influencing their abundance and distribution; (iii) Marine Protected Areas and Fisheries Management; (iv) Implementation of a regional Database and Information System.

The MedSudMed Project, for each one of these research topics, organized Expert Consultations (ECs), Working Groups (WGs) and workshops in order to provide an overview of available knowledge on fishery ecology in the region. The ECs and workshops consist of regional and extra-regional experts and provide an overview of available knowledge on the addressed issues. The aims of the ECs, WGs and workshops are the technical discussion and definition of a work program for the activities to be implemented on the basis of common methodology and the proposition of pilot study cases. They also aim at performing joint data analysis, discussing on likely consequences of different management options and at fuelling the harmonization process of fisheries management strategies in the Project area. Furthermore the ECs and WGs should also identify needs in national and regional expertise and are the opportunity to define criteria for the data collection and identify a task leader who will coordinate the program of work.

Research activities deal with fisheries ecology and concentrate on issues regarding different components of the ecosystems.

  • Spatial distribution of demersal resources is studied in relation with environmental parameters and fishery characteristics. Several life stages of the main target species are considered, according to biotic and abiotic descriptors of the area. The EC related to this issue was held in Malta on 10- 12 December 2002.

  • Use of marine protected areas as a tool for fisheries management is discussed and evaluated, with particular attention to Mediterranean areas where this experience is being implemented. Comparative studies will be conducted to assess effects of fishing closure. The EC related to this issue was recently held in Salammbô, Tunisia on 14-16 April 2003

  • Oceanographic processes influencing abundance and distribution of small pelagics will be studied in order to improve knowledge on reproduction and concentration zones, transport of eggs and larvae, and ultimately presence and abundance of fish stocks. The EC took place in Salammbô, Tunisia on 1-3 October 2003.

  • The implementation of the research activities are supported by a Regional Database and Information System for the storage, analysis and representation of data related to fish stocks, fisheries and environmental parameters. An EC will also be organized on this issue in Mazara del Vallo (date still to be defined). This issue will synthesize issues related to data use and management that have been addressed during all the previous Expert Consultations.

  Expert Consultation on Small Pelagics: stock identification and oceanographic processes influencing their abundance and distribution
1-3 October 2003, Tunisia
  Workshop on the Standardization of trawl surveys protocol in the MedSudMed project area
5-9 May 2003, Italy
  Expert Consultation on Marine Protected Areas and fishery management
14-16 April 2003, Tunisia
  Expert Consultation on Spatial distribution of demersal resources
10-12 December 2002, Malta
 
 
 

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