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RCG-LP Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Data Management & Observer Coordination ISSG Meeting

The Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Data Management & Observer Coordination ISSG meeting took place in a hybrid format, with the participation of 37 people (20 in-person and 17 online). Among the participants were representatives from the Spanish institutes IEO and AZTI, the French institute IRD, DG MARE, ICCAT (end-user), Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) providers, and third countries involved in the sampling, such as Seychelles and Senegal. In addition, this year for the first time, industry representatives (Orthongel) also attended.  

The main objective of the group is the coordination of the data collection and monitoring of the tropical purse seine fleet operating in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the joint preparation of the EU data provision to ICCAT and IOTC.

The first three days were devoted to the onshore data collection and associated treatment. Each MS presented preliminary results for the catch by species and size distribution after applying the Tropical Tuna Treatment (T3). Enhancement actions regarding the data quality and fishing indicators were validated by the group. The possibility of expanding the current sampling to bycatch species of interest and biological variables, through the DCF and the BAOBAB project, was raised. The implementation of the new version of the T3 method (T3R package) was also presented and discussed. This new methodology will be applied to the historical catch series to ensure its consistency and will be presented at the corresponding meetings of each RFMO.

The last two days were dedicated to the coordination of the onboard observer programs. Among other topics, an update of the achieved observer coverage was presented by MS, new species identification guidelines and the last version of the common database (ObServe V9) were presented. Several quality indicators and R tools for data cleaning were also proposed. This year for the first time, fishing industry representatives also attended and presented a global overview of their EMS and observers’ programs, which are complementary and share the same methodology as the DCF program. Finally, the need to implement an action plan for observers’ safety was considered.

Key Details of the workshop:

Name of event:  RCG-LP PS DM & observer coordination ISSG

Dates: 24th to 26th April (DM restitution meeting) & 27th to 28th April (observers’ coordination)

Location: Pasaia (Spain)

Organized by: AZTI.

Chairs: Antoine Duparc (IRD), Jon Ruiz (AZTI), Philippe Sabarros (IRD)

Details on/ number of participants, MS, end-users: 37 people (20 in-person and 17 online).