Updated 13 August 2003

BACKGROUND

At its second session in Madang, in February 2002, the Preparatory Conference, acting on the recommendation of Working Group II, decided to establish a Scientific Coordinating Group (SCG) to assist Working Group II in carrying out those parts of its terms of reference which require special scientific and technical considerations. The SCG acts as a sub-group of WG.II and is to report to both WG.II and the Preparatory Conference. The terms of reference of the SCG are here.

The inaugural meeting of the SCG took place at the East-West Center, Honolulu, from 29-31 July 2002, immediately following the 15th meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish [SCTB15].  The meeting was chaired by the Chairman of WG.II, Mr John Kalish (Australia). Further information concerning SCTB15, including the reports tendered to SCTB, is available at the SOEST Hawaii link and at the SPC link

PrepCon III (Manila, November 2002) decided that, subject to funding availability, the second meeting of the SCG should take place from 17 to 19 July 2003, in Mooloolaba, Australia immediately following the 16th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish. WG.II agreed that the next meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group should focus on data issues and the development of updated statements on stock status of the four main tuna species.  The Conference also decided to appoint Dr Yuji Uozumi (Japan) as chairman of the SCG.

Work plan for SCG 2

During PrepCon IV, WG.II met informally in order to receive a briefing and have an exchange of views on the progress of intersessional work required for SCG 2 and PrepCon V and to review its work plan for future meetings. The Working Group agreed on a draft work plan for WG.II and for the SCG, including necessary intersessional activities, to be circulated to all participants through the chairman of the Working Group and the secretariat. It was noted that the work plan was intended to be flexible and would be subject to periodic review and adjustment.

According to the work plan, the second meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group would focus on developing the long-term data needs of the Commission, identifying research priorities and research planning and coordination and on updating the summary stock status statements for the major target species (bigeye, yellowfin, skipjack, South Pacific albacore). At PrepCon V, WG.II would aim to finalize the structure for the scientific functions of the Commission, review the role of existing regional organizations in obtaining the best available scientific and other fisheries-related information and consider the special requirements of developing States in relation to data requirements and technical capacity. In addition, if time permits, WG.II would consider approaches to ecosystem and bycatch issues based on the study contained in WCPFC/PrepCon/WP.9.

Report of the Scientific Coordinating Group

The seconde meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group took place from 17 to 19 July 2003, in Mooloolaba, Australia immediately following the 16th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish.

The report of the meeting has been published under symbol WCPFC/PrepCon/28 and also available under the Documents Listing Page.

Documents from SCTB16 are also now all available in electronic format (pdf) format via the SCTB16 web pages on the OFP website.

A copy of the SCTB16 Executive Summary is also available online and can be downloaded here. In the summary, the relevant excerpts for SCG are:

Skipjack, pages 6-13
Yellowfin, pages 14-20
Bigeye, pages 21-27
South Pacific albacore, pages 28-33

Also as announced at the recent SCTB16 in Mooloolaba, the official MULTIFAN-CL website has been recently launched. The website allows interested scientists to register and download the MULTIFAN-CL executable software for either Linux or Windows (after agreeing to the license conditions), users manual, graphic utilities and test files. The software users manual and website itself are still evolving, but we hope that they are sufficiently developed to allow others to use them.

Links to other Documents used to assist discussions at SCG 2

WCPFC/SCG2/xx

01 Report of: Statistics Working Group, Interim Scientific Committee for tuna and tuna-like species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC). January 28-30, 2002, Nagasaki Japan p1-11
02 An excerpt from UNFSA: Annex I and Annex II
03 Data requirements of the SPC Oceanic Fisheries Program and Status of data (Lawson et al, 2002). OFP Internal Report No 47. 51 p.
04 An excerpt from: A review of the impacts of fish aggregating devices (FADs) on tuna fisheries (Bromheat et al) A Bureau of Rural Sciences Report. pp 1-5 and 54-55.
05 Figures and Tables extracted from SCTB16 report: YFT-1 (YFT-1 Hampton, J & Kleiber, P. Stock assessment of yellowfin tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean. and BET-1 Hampton, J. & Kleiber, P. & Maunder & Takeuchi & Sun. Stock assessment of bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
06 Outline of a proposed initiative to characterise Indonesia's tuna catch in the Pacific Ocean. Draft 2 page proposal tabled by John Gunn (Australia)
WCPFC/PreCon/WP.xx
15 An investigation of technical capabilities and data security and confidentiality policies for the Western and Central Pacific Region. MRAG Report dated June 2003. 39 p. 
16 Data standards, technical capabilities and data sharing policies for the western and central Pacific Ocean region. MRAG Report dated June 2003. 47 p.

SCTB16 Stock Status Summaries

Given the length of the SCTB16 Executive Summary it is not attached to this (SCG 2) report

 

SCIENTIFIC COORDINATING GROUP: TERMS OF REFERENCE

Resolution I of the WCPFC Convention sets forth various provisions for PrepCon to address in preparation for the Convention entering into force.  For science needs, they include, inter alia: (1) provisional scientific advice on status of stocks (yellowfin, skipjack, bigeye and south Pacific albacore) and, if warranted, recommendations for conservation and management; and (2) recommendations for implementing the functions of the Scientific Committee and for scientific services, including procedures for data collection and reporting.

The Scientific Coordinating Group (SCG) is established to assist Working Group II in carrying out those terms of reference which require special scientific and technical considerations.  The SCG would be a sub-group of WG.II and would report to both WG.II and the PrepCon.  The SCG would be open to participation by scientific and technical representation of all PrepCon participants, as well as representatives of OFP, SCTB, IATTC and ISC.

Funding to promote broad participation in the SCG, organize its meetings, and to facilitate its work  (e.g., through consultancies or contracts) will be provided through voluntary contributions.

Meetings of the SCG will be held in conjunction with the meetings of the SCTB, taking into account the need for encouraging maximum participation of scientific and technical experts and cost-effectiveness.

The SCG would begin its work as soon as practicable.  To facilitate its work prior to its first meeting, the WCFPC interim secretariat will work with the WG.II Chairman to establish points of contact among participating PrepCon members and relevant regional bodies.

The WG.II Chairman would act in the capacity of the SCG Chair or appoint a Chairperson in consultation with the PrepCon Chairman.  

The tasks of the SCG include:

Provision of interim scientific advice

1.            Providing advice to PrepCon on stock condition and, when requested by PrepCon, provisional conservation and management actions.  Information and related conclusions on stock condition produced by existing bodies, including, but not limited to, the SPC OFP, IATTC, SCTB and ISC, will be reviewed and assembled into a convenient format suitable for advising PrepCon on the status of the four primary tuna stocks; and

2.            Prioritizing fisheries and scientific data needs in the interim period and providing recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on procedures to obtain such data.

Procedures for scientific functions

1.            Providing recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on longer term data needs, requirements for data collection, verification, analysis and dissemination, and confidentiality;

2.            Preparation of draft guidelines and a reporting format for WG.II and the PrepCon for determining and advising on the status of stocks and other key variables and eventually for providing advice to the Commission; 

3.            Undertaking a review of the available scientific and fishery management data that would include validating and analyzing these existing data in order to provide recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on the appropriateness and applicability of these data to the future work of the Commission; and 

4.            Performing other tasks that may be assigned by WG.II and the PrepCon.


 

7 May 2003

 Draft Work Plan for Working Group II and the SCG
This draft work program will be re-evaluated on a periodic basis

 

Scientific Coordinating Group (Meeting 2, July 2003)

         Development of long-term data needs for the Commission

o        Collection

o        Verification

o        Analysis 

o        Dissemination

o        Confidentiality

         Update of stock status statements for the major target species (bigeye, yellowfin, skipjack, South Pacific albocore)

         Research priorities and research planning and coordination

 

Working Group II (PrepCon5)

         Review and accept, as appropriate, the Report of the 2nd meeting of the Scientific Coordinating Group

         Finalise structure for scientific functions (using Annex II from the WCPFC/PrepCon/15 as a starting point for discussions)

         Role of existing regional organisations in obtaining the best available scientific and other fisheries-related information

         Special requirements of developing States in relation to data requirements and technical capacity (using document prepared by the Interim Secretariat as a starting point)

         Consideration of approaches to ecosystem and bycatch issues based on review paper WCPFC/PrepCon/WP.9

 Intersessional activities of the Interim Secretariat

         Review of development and application of reference points for stocks of skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, southern albacore and northern albacore

         Further networks to strengthen data collection (improved catch, efforts and size composition data) from the Indonesian and Philippine domestic fisheries as recommended by the Scientific Coordinating Group and Working Group II.

         Additions to reports of stock status as discussed at PrepCon3 WGII report paragraph 6)

 Working Group II (PrepCon 6)

         Draft rules of procedure, standing agendas and initial work programs for the Scientific Committee and scientific working groups

         Research priorities and research planning and coordination

 

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