We are excited to announce the release of the RCG LDF 2023 REPORT, offering a deep dive into the dynamics of long-distance fisheries data collection. This report is now accessible for consultation and download, providing valuable insights into the state of the art and latest developments in this important activity..
Exploring the RCG LDF 2023 Technical Meeting
The 2023 RCG LDF annual meeting convened in Palanga, Lithuania, from July 3rd to 6th. During this physical gathering, the group meticulously reviewed progress in regional coordination since 2022, the outcomes of the 19th Liaison Meeting, and valuable feedback from end-users.
The focus extended to the evaluation of Long Distance Fisheries activity by MS across multiple areas, including CECAF, SPRFMO, NAFO, and more. This assessment was made possible by the updated 2022 data contributed by Member States through the Regional Database (RDB), hosted by ICES in support of RCG’s collaborative efforts.
Addressing Data Gaps in Outermost Regions
Notably, the report underscores a data gap concerning the outermost regions, specifically EU waters around French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe islands (FAO area 31), and EU waters around Mayotte and La Réunion islands (FAO area 51). The RCG LDF will tackle this issue during the 2023 Liaison Meeting, aiming to establish designated bodies for these regions and emphasize data delivery in response to the 2024 data call, ensuring a comprehensive overview of fisheries in these areas.
Continued Exploration of NAFO Area
In 2023, the RCG LDF continued its exploration of the NAFO area, aligning with a decision made in 2021 to bring this region under its competence. This ongoing effort seeks to enhance familiarity with NAFO procedures and Member States’ activities in the NAFO area.
Sustainable Growth and EU Accession to NPFC
The report also reflects at the EU’s accession to the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) and its potential implications for the RCG LDF. While this expansion could introduce new fishing areas to the group’s mandate, currently, there is no need for additional data collection efforts, as the EU fleet awaits authorization for operations in the NPFC area.
Harmonization of Rules
The RCG LDF explored the possibility of aligning its Rules of Procedure (RoP) with common RoP established in 2021 for RCG NANSEA and RCG Baltic. This move aims to avoid conflicts for Member States that are part of multiple RCGs, ensuring consistency in operational rules.
Continued Work on SPRFMO Observer Programme Accreditation
The ISSG SPRFMO-OP continued its dedicated work in 2023 by addressing the newly required SPRFMO observer programme accreditation procedure. This preparation is essential for data collection in the SPRFMO area beyond 2024.
Recommendations and Future Outlook
While no specific recommendations were proposed by the RCG LDF in 2023, the report highlights ongoing discussions about reporting achievements under multilateral agreements, emphasizing clarity and avoiding multiple counting of samples.
The extension of the CECAF and SPRFMO Multilateral Agreements, will be dealt with by the relevant National Correspondents (NCs) during the RCGs Decision Meeting in September 2023.
Furthermore, the RCG LDF welcomed a new chair, Maksims Kovsars (LVA), unanimously elected during the meeting. This appointment is pending formal approval by relevant NCs in September 2023.
Access the Full Report
We invite end-users, experts, and stakeholders to explore the RCG LDF 2023 REPORT for a comprehensive understanding of long-distance fisheries data collection dynamics.