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Year 2016 TOP

4-7 December, Cairo, Egypt. EAF workshop to present the draft fisheries management plan for the demersal fisheries and to review the data collected in 2016 and to plan the program of work for 2017.

The Project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from the 4th to the 7th of December to review the data collection on catch effort, socio-economic and biological information in 2016, to plan for the work of 2017 and co-Lead the meeting to present the draft demersal fisheries management plan to the stakeholders. The mission reviewed the data collected in 2016 and addressed any problems which were encountered and proposing solutions. Several problems with the Samac catch and effort data collection system were discussed. In order to better understand the problems with the Samac system and provide alternative solutions, the group agreed to prepare a technical paper assessing the assumptions, constrains and potential problems with the data collection system. The program of work for 2017 was discussed which was an improvement of the previous years and will also onboard observations on the trawl and purse seine fishery for the collection of information on discards, by-catches and incidental catches. It will also include sampling of hard structures for age reading and genetic samples for the delimitation of stocks. With respect to the EAF meeting various stakeholders were invited including the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD), the fishermen`s associations, representatives of wholesalers, traders, scientists, the environmental ministry and coast guard. During the stakeholder meeting the draft EAF management plan for the demersal fisheries was officially presented to the stakeholders. An opening speech was delivered by the President of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD), which pointed to the importance of managing and organizing demersal fisheries in the Mediterranean due to its impacts on the aquatic environment. In this respect he praised the role of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) represented by EastMed. The chairman of the Cooperative Union for fishermen, also spoke and pointed out the importance of the participation of fishermen representatives’ in the various stages of the decision making process, in order to ensure the implementation of the management plan. All of the stakeholders mentioned the importance of the process and the workshops that were held, since they could express their opinion. Especially the fishers stakeholders wanted to continue their involvement in the decision making process after the finalization of the plan. It was decided that in order to refine the management measures a specific workshop would be held early next year, before the management plan is endorsed by the Minister of Agriculture.

14-18 November, Beirut, Lebanon. EAF workshop on developing a management system for the Purse seine Fisheries management plan, to review the data collected in 2016 and to plan the program of work for 2017.

The Project travelled to Beirut, Lebanon from the 14th to the 18th of November to i) review the data collection on catch, effort, socio-economic and biological data in 2016 and to plan for the 2017 activities; ii) to hold an EAF training workshop on developing a management system for the purse seine fishery iii) to co-lead the fourth EAF stakeholder workshop and iv) to work with FAOLB to finalize a draft of the TCP on the assessment of the seafood market in Lebanon. For the data collection activities, after the meeting, a draft LoA was drawn up supporting the continuation of the data collection activities for 2017 and assisting the Lebanese fisheries administration in any problems they may encounter during the implementation of the fisheries data collection program. During the EAF workshop, further steps were taken to develop a management plan for the purse seine fishery based on the ecosystem approach. The workshop resulted in a draft management system which included operational objectives, indicators, reference points and management measures. The next step will be to draw up the management plan based on the results of the four workshops, which will then be presented in an official high level meeting, during the first quarter of 2017. New potential areas of collaboration with FAOLB and MoA were identified and further discussed, including the seafood market assessment and the design of a fisher’s registry. The first was identified as a priority in the Country Programming Framework 2016 to 2019, while the second was a recommended action by FAO to facilitate the access of small farmers and fishers to existing social protection services in the country. Both areas of work have strong overlap with the ongoing work of Eastmed to support the consideration of socioeconomic issues in fisheries monitoring and management plans.

17-19 October, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. To present the results of the Mediterranean on the EAF case studies to the EAF Forum in Africa.

The Project went to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to contribute to discussions at the EAF Project Forum which was held from the 17-19 October 2016. The Forum was attended by around 90 participants from 28 partner countries, 3 RFBs, the BCC, partner projects (e.g. CCLME, SWIOFish), the AU-IBAR, the Marine Stewardship Council, Norwegian partners and FAO. The Forum was opened by the Minister of Animal and Fishery Resources of Côte d’Ivoire. The FAO Representative’s welcome address was read on his behalf by Mr. Fadiga Souleymane of the FAO Representation in Abidjan. The theme for the forum was “Fisheries management - concept, options and practice”. There were two keynote addresses on fisheries management experiences in Norway and Namibia. On the experience in Norway, Mr Aksel Eikemo of the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate, Bergen indicated that lessons learnt from two major crises where important stocks were severely overfished have helped to shape the fisheries management regime in the country. He also noted gradual change in Norwegian fishery policy objectives, shift in management perspective and main issues considered and tasks undertaken in the management of the fisheries as having contributed to the success. On Namibia, Dr Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent Secretary of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources informed the Forum that following Namibian Independence in 1990, the stringent fisheries management policy put in place included a quota management system involving only authorized fishing right holders, and establishment and enforcement of a total allowable catch for each commercially caught species that was set annually based on scientific research. He noted Norway’s support in putting this management system in place. Participants felt that generally, the presentations and discussions had been of high standard and the Forum was extremely useful. In the JMRSCs, participants requested the EAF-Nansen Project to provide technical and financial support to the countries to help them in the implementation of the management plans developed with support of the project.

26-29 September, Cairo, Egypt. EAF stakeholders’ workshop on developing a management system for the demersal fisheries in Egypt.

The project travelled to Cairo, from the 26th to the 29th of September to co-lead the EAF workshop in order to set up the operational objectives, indicators, reference points and management measures for the most important and pressing issues of the demersal fisheries management plan. The mission was split into two days, which started with a preparatory day before meeting with the stakeholders. During the first day a workshop was held for the EAF project team in order to better understand the different steps of the methodology and the best means to apply it during the workshop. During the EAF project team workshop the project went through all the steps to develop the management system, including defining the operational objectives for each issue with a high priority. Based on the operational objectives, the indicators to measure the operational objective was determined followed by the performance measures or reference points and the data required to measure such an indicator. For the particular issue the current management measure in force was described, followed by the future management measures in order to solve the problems associated with the particular issue. For Egypt the main practical management measures that could be implemented included a strict control and freezing of the fishing licenses (which is in place), and fishing capacity which is currently open. Several discussions were held on how to properly regulate, freeze and reduce the number of fishing licenses and more importantly the fishing capacity which is at the moment still increasing in Egypt. Other potential management measures which were discussed included the reduction of the total number days of fishing, either through a closed season or limiting the total amount fishing days a vessel can fish per month. Enforcing the minimum distance from the coast for fishing by towed gears was also discussed. These methods were then applied by the EAF project team during the second day at the stakeholders’ workshop which was attended by various stakeholders. However the fisher stakeholders found it extremely difficult to focus on the process at hand by completing the operational objectives, etc, for every issue as the fishers tended to switch from one issue into another without following the specific scheme. Eventually as the day progressed the fishers calmed down and the participants managed to start proposing management measures in order to address the issues. The workshop has resulted in a draft management system which included operational objectives, indicators, reference points and management measures, which however will be improved by GAFRD in collaboration with FAO. The next step will be to draw up the management plan based on the results of the four workshops, which will then be presented in an official high level meeting, around the middle of December 2016.

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26-29 July, Beirut, Lebanon. Issue Identification and Risk Assessment Workshops as part of the development of the Purse seine fisheries management plan.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the University of Balamand in collaboration with the project organized the issue identification and risk assessment workshop in Lebanon as part of the EAF process to develop a fisheries management plan for the purse seine fishery. In Lebanon it was decided to hold the two workshops in one day. However this entailed proper preparation and hence prior to the issue identification and risk assessment workshops, a two day meeting for the EAF project team took place in order to better understand the different steps of the methodology and the best means to apply it during the workshop followed by a preparation of predefined components lists, which would then be completed by stakeholders at the workshop. Furthermore during the stakeholders workshop round tables were prepared for each EAF component. This speeded up the process in identifying the issues and assigning the priorities by EAF component. The workshops have resulted in a complete set of EAF issues categorized into ecological assets, social and economic outcomes, governance systems and the threats, drivers and impacts relevant to the fishery. Moreover, the relative level of risk and priority of each of the issues were prepared. The next step is to organize the 4th workshop to develop a management system using operational objectives, indicators, performance measures, data requirements, current management practices and future management measures. The workshop in Lebanon will be held in mid-November.

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22-25 July, Alexandria, Egypt. Issue Identification and Risk Assessment Workshops as part of the development of the demersal fisheries management plan.

GAFRD in collaboration with the project organized the issue identification and risk assessment workshop in Egypt as part of the EAF process to develop a fisheries management plan for the demersal fishery in Egypt. The workshop was attended by various stakeholders including the heads of the fishermen associations of Rosetta and Damietta, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), the Coast Guard and the organizing body, the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD). The workshop started with a brief presentation on the second step of the EAF planning process and the procedure to be followed in day one of the workshop to identify the relevant issues (assets, outcomes, systems and drivers) associated with the fishery across each of the EAF components (ecological wellbeing, human wellbeing and ability to achieve). During the second day the prioritization process for each of the identified issues was described. The participants agreed that the qualitative risk analysis (consequence x likelihood) was the most appropriate risk assessment method to be used when considering the level of available information and knowledge of the participants. The risk assessment process was done by the participants who went through each of the issues that were identified the day before, and conducted the prioritization process for each of the identified issues. The workshop has resulted in a complete set of EAF issues categorized into ecological assets, social and economic outcomes, governance systems and the threats, drivers and impacts relevant to the fishery. Moreover, the relative level of risk and priority of each of the issues were prepared. The next step is to organize the 4th workshop to develop a management system using operational objectives, indicators, performance measures, data requirements, current management practices and future management measures. The workshop in Egypt is planned to be held at the end of September.

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13-15 July, Rome, Italy. Training course on the processing of socio-economic data to the experts in Palestine (Gaza Strip).

The course was conducted remotely by the FAO EastMed project as held in FAO Headquarters, Rome, Itay, from the 13-15 of July. The training course was intended for those already familiar with sample-based socio-economic data collection. The training course started with an explanation of the basic concepts in sample-based data collection for socio-economic variables, with a description of the sampling design, the setting up of the fleet and segmentation scheme and the population and sample size. A presentation was given on how to classify the fishing fleet according to the GFCM TASK I using the definitions of fishing gears, size classes and fleet segments. Random sample selection was then described with a simple excel function, describing how an unbiased random selection of individuals is important so that the sample represents the population. An excel exercise was shown to the participants focused on how to classify a fleet and randomly select the sample, how to make the quality checks and the treatment of the. Following the basic statistical principles, such as the normal distribution, mean, variance, precision, accuracy and quality indicators such as standard error (S.E.) and co-efficient of variation (C.V) were described and practically applied. After the parameters were calculated it was demonstrated how to raise the sample data to the total fleet (statistical inference) by each fleet segment and how the final estimates should be presented. A follow-up of the course is foreseen after the next data collection is finalised.

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30 May - 3 June, St Julian’s, Malta. 40th session of the FAO General Fishery Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

The project attended the 40th session of the FAO General Fishery Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the 7th session of its Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the 10th session of its Compliance Committee (CoC). At the 40th GFCM session the project presented a synthesis of activities carried out during the GFCM inter-sessional period by the FAO Regional Projects AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed and MedSudMed. During the 40th GFCM, proposals for specific fisheries management measures were endorsed as binding recommendations. The importance of the projects and their fundamental role in the Mediterranean for the development of national capacity, fostering cooperation and supporting the development of fisheries management was widely acknowledged by national delegations. The GFCM approved the Programme of work of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and of the Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) for the next period.

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19-20 May, Beirut, Lebanon. Seventh meeting of the Co-ordination Committee of the FAO EastMed project.

The project organized the seventh meeting of the Co-ordination Committee of the FAO EastMed sub-regional Project which was held in Beirut, Lebanon, from the 19th to 20th May 2016. The co-ordination meeting was attended by delegations from areas participating in the project, representatives of the FAO and GFCM. After the opening of the meeting and election of the chairperson, the activities during the 6th year of the project were presented, followed by the workplan of activities for the next period. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the project and thanked both the staff of the project and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the next period includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities at implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in specific case studies and activities in promoting regional participation and cooperation. The tasks of the project will be the follow up of the activities which had started in the previous years’.

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18 May, Beirut, Lebanon. 2nd EAF stakeholder meeting to review the baseline report for the development of the Purse Seine fisheries management plan in Lebanon.

The project participated at the EAF stakeholder`s meeting to discuss the baseline report of the purse seine fishery in Lebanon which was held on the 18th of May. During the stakeholders workshop as part of the EAF process to develop a Purse seine fisheries management plan about 25 stakeholders attended the meeting ranging from fishermen`s associations, representatives of wholesalers, traders, scientists, UNEP, environmental NGOs and the coast guard. The EAF baseline report for the purse seine fisheries was presented and the stakeholders were given the opportunity to give feedback on the report. Various issues were discussed include the problem of catch statistics, pollution, safety at sea and enforcement. All those present agreed that the fruitful cooperation between all stakeholders is a necessity for the successful development of a management plan based on the ecosystem approach. The next step will now be to finalize the EAF baseline report following the feedback received from the various stakeholders. After that the issue identification and risk assessment workshops should be organized, that will be done tentatively at the end of July 2016.

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10-11 May, Chiogga, Italy. Workshop on the assessment, exploitation and conservation of Elasmobranches.

The project participated at the workshop on the assessment, exploitation and conservation of Elasmobranches, which was organized by the Italian Association of Marine Biology in Chiogga, Italy from the 10th to the 11th of May 2016 to. The objectives of the workshop were to review the most recent advances in the knowledge, taxonomy, state of exploitation, management, and the future priorities and research perspectives on elasmobranches. Several presentations were made on various aspects of elasmobranches biology and fisheries. The outcomes of the workshop showed that the Mediterranean elasmobranches are mostly not targeted directly by a specific fishery. However they constitute an important component of the by-catch. The Western part of the Mediterranean shows the most critical situation with high exploitation rates. In some cases, the stocks are considered highly overexploited, although some research programmes, such as the EU Data Collection Framework, are showing an improvement of the situation with a significant increase in terms of biomass, especially for some demersal stocks. Based on the knowledge obtained, a program of work on elasmobranches by-catch will be proposed to be implemented in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the support of EastMed project and in close coordination with the GFCM.

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28 April, Alexandria, Egypt. 2nd EAF stakeholder meeting to review the baseline report for the development of a demersal fisheries management plan on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

The project travelled to Alexandria, Egypt from the 26th to the 29th of April 2016 to co-organize the 2nd stakeholder meeting to review the baseline report as part of the EAF process to develop a fisheries management plan for the demersal fisheries in Egypt. The workshop was attended by various stakeholders including the heads of the fishermen associations of Rosetta and Damietta, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), the Coast Guard and the organizing body, the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD). The meeting was opened by the Director of the fisheries department which briefed the participants about the outcomes of the first stakeholder`s workshop which included the identification of stakeholders, the general objectives of the EAF process and the proposed scheduled for the development and implementation of the management plan. The EAF baseline report for the demersal fisheries of the Mediterranean coast of Egypt was presented and the stakeholders were given the opportunity to give feedback on the report. Various issues were discussed include the exploited resources, environmental aspects, the socio-economic aspects, the legal framework and the current management system. All stakeholders agreed that the generated EAF baseline report that had been discussed, in addition to the detailed comments which were presented during the workshop, describe well the available information on the demersal fisheries of the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The next step will now be to organize the issue identification and risk assessment workshops that should be organized over a 2 day period, that will be done tentatively at the end of July 2016.

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15 March, Beirut, Lebanon. 1st EAF Stakeholder meeting for the development of a Purse seine fisheries management plan in Lebanon.

The Project travelled to Beirut, Lebanon from the 14th to the 16th of March 2016 to attend the 1st stakeholder meeting as part of the EAF process to develop a Purse seine fisheries management plan. In Lebanon the EAF process has been started with a training workshop, after which FAO developed and signed a Letter of Agreement with the University of Balamand, in order to implement the EAF activities in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO. The meeting was organised in the Ministry of Agriculture, and about 90 stakeholders attended the workshop ranging from fishermen`s associations, representatives of wholesalers, traders, scientists, UNEP, environmental NGOs and the coast guard. The meeting was opened by the Director General responsible for Fisheries, who pointed out how important it is for the Ministry to involve the stakeholders in the management process. The project then briefly described the objectives of the EastMed project and that the development of fisheries management plans, is a sub-regional activity that has been started by FAO in counties covered by the project. Furthermore this was also an initial step, as the aim of FAO is to assist the region to develop management plans for all its fisheries, and build also the countries’ capacities for the implementation of the management plans. The stakeholders were very eager to provide some input, and raised several issues and the Ministry explained that future workshops will be held with representatives of the fishermen from different regions of Lebanon in order for them to raise the problems they face and try to find a way on how to solve them. The next step will be to prepare the EAF baseline report which will be discussed in a 2nd stakeholder meeting that will be held on the 17-18 of May 2016. In general there was a great interest from the various parties to develop a management plan which was seen by the stakeholders as a big gap in the management of the fisheries in Lebanon. The attendees agreed that a huge effort must be undertaken by the different stakeholders to have better collaboration, regular meetings and participatory approaches, which are needed for a sustainable use of fisheries resources and the wellbeing of the fishermen.

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7-9 March, Algiers, Algeria. GFCM Regional Conference on “Building a future for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea”.

The project travelled to, Algiers, Algeria from 7-9 March 2016 to participate and present results of the FAO Mediterranean projects at the GFCM Regional Conference on “Building a future for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea”. The conference enjoyed the attendance of over 200 participants, which included policy-makers, scientists, practitioners, fishers representatives, fish workers, civil society organizations, NGOs, research institutions, international organizations and more. This Regional Conference was conceived as a practical response to the outcomes of the First Regional Symposium on Small-Scale Fisheries (Malta 2013), seeking to capitalize on the momentum already generated in order to offer a tangible strategy for the future sustainable development of this sector. Concrete case studies were carried out, which further explored key themes identified through the Symposium, and their results were presented in a format that deliberately sought to promote discussions, express opinions and share experiences in order to better grasp priorities and opportunities for this sector. The FAO Mediterranean Regional Projects AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed and MedSudMed participated in the organization of the conference and provided support to scientists from the Mediterranean in presenting specific case studies on small scale fisheries. The Projects supported the preparation of a case studies for Panel I "Supporting the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea under the Blue Growth perspective". The case studies addressed key questions in the 1st Panel which included aspects on the importance of small scale fisheries within the national context and gaps in information on the key parameters of SSF. Furthermore final conclusions of the Regional Conference were drawn up in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which, among other issues, stress the importance of providing access for small-scale artisanal fisheries to marine resources and markets. Widespread support was expressed by conference participants for the conference objectives to raise awareness, share knowledge, and devise future strategy to promote this crucial fishing sector.

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27 February, Cairo, Egypt. 1st EAF Stakeholder meeting for the development of a trawl fisheries management plan in Egypt.

The project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from the 26 to the 28 of February 2016 to attend the 1st stakeholder meeting as part of the EAF process to develop a trawl fisheries management plan. Various stakeholders were invited to the meeting including the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD), the fishermen`s associations, representatives of wholesalers, traders, scientists, the environmental ministry and coast guard. During the stakeholder meeting the EAF process for the development of a trawl management plan in Egypt was officially launched by the Vice-Chair of GAFRD. During the workshop the basic concepts of EAF were presented, together with the steps for the implementation of the EAF process followed by a description of the trawl fishery. During the meeting time was also allotted for the stakeholders to give their initial input. The chairman of the Cooperative Union for fishermen which represents all the fisheries co-operatives in Egypt pointed out the importance of the participation of fishermen representatives’ in the various stages of the decision making process, in order to ensure the implementation of the management plan. The Vice-Chair of GAFRD, highlighted the importance and technical role that FAO plays in the development of the plan. Overall there was a great interest from the various stakeholders to develop a management plan not just for the trawl fishery, but for all the fisheries in Egypt. All those present agreed that the fruitful cooperation between all stakeholders is a necessity for the successful development of a management plan based on the ecosystem approach. The next step will now be to elaborate and consolidate the EAF Baseline report and after that organize a 2nd stakeholder workshop to discuss the baseline report that will be done tentatively at the end of April 2016.

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19-21 February, Antalya, Gökova, Turkey. 1st meeting of the stakeholders to develop an EAF management plan for the small scale fishery in Gökova Bay, Turkey.

The project travelled to Antalya, Gökova, from the 19th to the 21st of February 2016 to co-lead the 1st meeting of the stakeholders to develop an EAF management plan for the small scale fishery in Gӧkova Bay, Turkey. The mission on the application of EAF in Turkey started with a project team meeting to discuss the implementation of the EAF process. After the meeting in Antalya, the group travelled to Gökova Bay by car to attend an information meeting with the local stakeholders in the MPA. A total 15 representatives from various stakeholders attended the meeting where the EastMed project was introduced, and a brief introduction of the EAF process was made. It was highlighted that the EAF process promotes strong stakeholder participation in all the steps of the fisheries planning and implementation process. During the meeting the stakeholders also expressed their concerns and problems that are currently being faced in the MPA including its management. The participants also asked several questions about the role the EAF process will have in the management of the MPA and it was clarified that the EAF is basically a management planning process rooted in the principles of sustainable development and using risk assessment methodologies. After the meeting, field trips were conducted to visit the two fisheries co-operatives in the area, and two of the six No Fishing Zones (NFZs). During the visits the aim of the EAF case study was introduced and discussions were held with the fishers about their main problems and expectations from the EAF planning process. The next step will now be to elaborate and consolidate the EAF Baseline report and after that organize a 2nd stakeholder workshop to discuss the baseline report that will be done tentatively at the end of May 2016. The EastMed project will follow up closely the implementation of the EAF process in Turkey and through the mechanisms of the pilot study on EAF, the project is expected to contribute in developing the capacity of Turkey to prepare and implement fisheries management plans in line with the principles of responsible fisheries.

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4-5 February, St Julian's, Malta. Conference on Economic Advice in Fisheries Management.

The project travelled to Malta from the 4 to 5 of February 2016 to present the results of the study, the macroeconomic context of the Eastern Mediterranean Fisheries at the Conference on Economic Advice in Fisheries Management organized by the European Commission. In the Eastern Mediterranean, with the support of the project, socio-economic data has been collected throughout the sub-region. In November 2015, the project organized a Working Group were experts from the countries analyzed national socio-economic data in a standard way after which a sub-regional analysis was conducted. The aim of the analysis was to support the economic advice in the Eastern Mediterranean and to contribute to the inclusion of socio-economic considerations when new management measures are being developed. The experts from the countries used data from the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip, Greece, Italy (Ionian Sea), Lebanon and Turkey. The economic performance of a total of 25 fleet segments from the seven areas mentioned above were analyzed and compared for the year 2012. According to the data presented, the value added generated by fisheries made up 0.05% of the total GDP generated in the region, employing less than 1% of the labour force. However, in the coastal communities of the region it represented an important source of employment, income and a highly valuable source of animal protein. In terms of profitability, the best performances were showed in Egypt, Lebanon and Italy, while the worst in Gaza where the activity was not profitable. The salary per fisher compared to the minimum wage of the manufacturing sector, showed a completely negative value in Gaza and Lebanon, and an almost entirely positive value in Egypt. The small-scale fleet, as it is in its nature, was the most labour-intensive with the salaries absorbing about a half of the total operating costs, with the exceptions of Gaza and Turkey where the labour costs were below 20%. The analysis adds to the understanding of the socio-economic situation, including the harvesting cost structure and the constrains that the fleets are faced with. From the outcomes of the study presented in this conference, the project will publish a technical document to be distributed among all the Mediterranean countries.

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27-29 January, Beirut, Lebanon. Review of the Licensing database, the fisheries data collection system, and to hold an EAF project team meeting.

The project travelled to Beirut, Lebanon from the 26 to the 29 of January 2016 to review the fisheries licensing system that was developed by the FAO EastMed project; to review the data collection on catch, effort, socio-economic and biological parameters in 2015 and to plan for the 2016 activities; to hold an EAF project team meeting in order to plan for the 1st stakeholder workshop for the development of a management plan for the Purse seine fishery. The meeting first started with a presentation of the fisheries licensing system. The system has been tested in 2015 and will be implemented in 2016. Although the system is now operational the Ministry would like to make some changes to the software and a maintenance contract for the system will be supported by FAO. The following day the meeting continued with a presentation and review of the catch and effort data collection system, the Flouka Web, which was developed in the past through the support of the project. Several discussions were held in order to address problems that were encountered in the data collection system. Following the review of the three components of the data collection, a discussion was developed on the sustainability of the data collection system implemented by EastMed, and how the system can be sustained in the future with the Lebanese own resources. The Ministry mentioned that for the year 2017, for the catch and effort this survey could be conducted without financial support by EastMed, however it would still require funding for the socio-economic survey. For the biological sampling the CNRS would still need financial support from the project. An EAF project team meeting was held, between the fisheries administration, local scientists and FAO. It was agreed that the first stakeholder workshop in order to introduce the EAF approach will be held in Beirut on the 15th of February. Various stakeholders will be invited. Through the mechanisms of the pilot study on EAF, the project is expected to contribute in developing the capacity of Lebanon to prepare and implement fisheries management plans in line with the principles of responsible fisheries.

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5-8 January, Cairo, Egypt. Fisheries data collection system in Egypt, Finalization of the Market Value Chain Analysis, & EAF project team meeting.

The project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from the 4th to the 7th of January 2016 to review the data collection on catch, effort, socio-economic and biological information in 2015, to review and finalize the survey on the market value chain analysis as part of the development of the clam fishery and to hold an EAF project team meeting in order to plan for the 1st stakeholder workshop. The meeting first started with a review of the data collected in 2015 and addressing any problems which were encountered and finding solutions. After the review the sampling strategy and sampling design for the implementation of a fisheries data collection system in 2016 was agreed. Furthermore a discussion was developed on the sustainability of the data collection system implemented by EastMed, and how the system can be sustained in the future with the Fisheries administration`s own resources. The administration mentioned that from 2017 the catch, effort and socio-economic surveys could be conducted without financial support by EastMed. For the biological sampling they would take care of the human resources and equipment, however they would still need financial support for purchasing the biological samples. With respect to the market chain analysis, the surveys were completed and the project will review the data, process it and together with the fisheries administration produce a report, which will assist in developing a roadmap on how to progress on the development of the clam fishery in Egypt. An EAF project team meeting was held, between the fisheries administration, local scientists and FAO. It was agreed that the first stakeholder workshop in order to introduce the EAF approach will be held in Cairo, tentatively on the 27-28th of February. Various stakeholders will be invited. Through the mechanisms of the pilot study on EAF, the project is expected to contribute in developing the capacity of Egypt to prepare and implement fisheries management plans in line with the principles of responsible fisheries.

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Year 2015 TOP
   

23-27 November, Rome, Italy. GFCM Working Group on Stock Assessment.

The project participated in the Working Group on stock assessment for Demersal and small pelagic species to support experts from the Eastern Mediterranean to present stock assessments from the region. Several stock assessments were presented in the Working Group, most of which were produced during the EastMed Working Group on fisheries data analysis (Athens, Greece, Nov, 2015) and included Saurida undosquamus (GSA 26), Mullus surmuletus (GSA 26), Metapenaeus stebbingi (GSA 26), Sardinella aurita (GSA 27), Sardinella aurita (GSA 26 & 27), Mullus barbatus (GSA 25) and Boops boops (GSA 25). All of the stock assessments show that the stocks are in overexploitation.

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10-11 November, Balamand, Lebanon. Workshop on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF).

The workshop was held in Balamand, Lebanon from the 10th to the 11th of November 2015, and was hosted by the University of Balamand. About 30 participants from different stakeholder groups, including fisheries administration, academia, research institutes, fishermen co-operatives and NGOs, attended the workshop. The first day dealt with an introduction to fisheries management, showing its history up to the present situation as well as most of the problems the current fisheries management practices are faced with. After that the principles of the Ecosystem Approach were described followed by a very short description of the steps of the EAF process, i.e. the Initiation and Scope, Assets and Issue Identification, Risk Assessment, the operational objectives, the indicators and management measures and the implementation, monitoring and performance review. The second day was dedicated to decide on a pilot case study for the implementation of the EAF in Lebanon. An exercise was given to the participants to fill out a table which would describe the basic contents of a concept note for a typical fishery. The participants proposed to implement the EAF approach on the purse seine fishery. Finally, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, the University of Balamd, and the FAO representation in Lebanon, discussions were held on how to implement the EAF approach for the development of a fisheries management plan for the purse seine fishery in Lebanon. An EAF project team was set up and the roadmap discussed and finalised. A draft Letter of Agreement by which FAO will support the pilot case study on the application of EAF was discussed with the University of Balamand together with the Ministry.

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2-6 November, Athens, Greece. Working Group on Fisheries Data Analysis.

The WG was conducted from the 2-6 of November in Athens, Greece. It was attended by participants from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza strip and West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey. The aim of the working group was to understand stock assessments and to conduct a socio-economic analysis of the fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the start of the meeting a presentation of the available data was given. The most appropriate methodology that was going to be used for each of the analysis was discussed. The participants then divided themselves into two sub-groups, one to conduct Stock Assessments, and the other to conduct Socio-Economic analysis. During the stock assessment sub-group, stock assessments were run for Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip, Lebanon as well as a sub-regional assessment of Round Sardinella (Sardinella aurita), in the Eastern Mediterranean. During the WG, assistance was given to run stock assessment models to many of the participants and in this respect the WG served also as a training forum. After the finalization of the stock assessments a presentation was given on how to fill in the GFCM stock assessment forms. The participants then filled in the forms and submitted them for the formal reviewing process of the GFCM working groups on stock assessment. In the socio-economic sub-group a presentation was first given on the type of analysis that would be conducted. The analysis focused on the production of a basic description of the economic performance of the national fleets and each GFCM fleet segment for the year 2012. Information was prepared on the cost structure and socio-economic indicators with their performance or percentage change from the previous year, when information was available. The final document containing all the information will be published as an EastMed technical document.

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27-30 October, Athens, Greece. Training course on the processing of socio-economic data.

The course was conducted from the 27-30 of October in Athens Greece. The training course started with an explanation of the basic concepts in sample based data collection for socio-economic variables, with a description of the sampling design, the stratification and segmentation scheme, the geographical stratum, the temporal stratum, the vessel and gear strata, the population and sample size. A presentation was given on how to classify the fishing fleet according to the GFCM TASK I using the definitions of fishing gears, size classes and fleet segments. Random sample selection was then described with a simple excel function, describing how an unbiased random selection of individuals is important so that the sample represents the population. A excel exercise was given to the participants to classify a fleet and randomly select the sample. Following this a description was given on how to make the quality checks that could be conducted on the data, for example to compare the gear and costs, check for missing values, estimate roughly the costs an revenue, etc. The participants were first given a data set with errors and then the task to correct the data. Following this basic statistical principles, such as the normal distribution, mean, variance, precision, accuracy and quality indicators such as standard error (S.E.) and co-efficient of variation (C.V) were described. This was important so that the participants could apprehend the calculation of the main socio-economic variables and the S.E and C.V per variable. After this, from the example dataset the participants estimated the mean socio-economic variables by fleet segment. This involved explanation on how to group certain raw data, such as costs and formulas to estimate socio-economic indicators. After the parameters were calculated it was demonstrated how to raise the sample data to the total fleet by each fleet segment. The raising procedure and results of every participants were reviewed altogether. After that, it was demonstrated how to estimate the C.V and the group was instructed to estimate the C.V. for each variable per fleet segment.

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12-15 October, Alexandria, Egypt. Workshop on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF).

A training workshop on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) was conducted, in Alexandria, Egypt from the 12th to the 15th of October 2015, which was hosted by the Arabic Academy for Science and Technology. Fifteen participants from different Egyptian institutions attended the workshop, including GAFRD, AAST, University of Alexandria, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) and two fisherman’s co-operatives. The main objectives of the training workshop were to improve the understanding of EAF and the processes involved in the preparation and implementation of fisheries management plans and develop a concept note for the application of EAF in Egypt. The training workshop was composed of lectures with a practical hands-on approach. After an initial introduction to fisheries management and the principles of the Ecosystem Approach by the FAO experts, the training workshop proceeded as a sequence of short presentations of a technical nature, followed by exercises, where the different groups presented and contrasted their approaches and solutions. In terms of acquired knowledge, the group assimilated the basic concepts of the EAF and of some practical tools for its implementation. An agreement was reached to conduct a case study on the development of the EAF process for the trawl fishery in the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. A concept note was developed after the workshop which was endorsed by the respective authorities. The concept note was developed into a Letter of Agreement by which FAO will support the pilot case study on the application of EAF in Egypt.

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28–30 July, Antalya, Turkey. FAO EastMed Working Group on Fisheries Data Analysis.

The EastMed WG on Fisheries Data Analysis was held in Mediterranean Fisheries Research and Production Institute (MFRPI), Antalya, Turkey from 28 to 30 July 2015. The objective of the meeting was to evaluate the biological and socioeconomic datasets available in the region and to elaborate a plan of work for the assessment of stocks and the socioeconomic analysis of fisheries. The meeting was attended by experts from Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey. The WG identified 17 stocks with available data for stock assessment in GSAs 25, 26 and 27 and agreed on the organization of a meeting of WG in October 2015 for the assessment of these stocks. The meeting also agreed on a set of socioeconomic indicators and analysis to be performed on a regular basis in dedicated meetings of the WG. The first meeting was tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2016. In addition, two specific actions were proposed to be implemented by the project in Turkey with the support of the MFRPI: the collection biological data to support the assessment of selected priority stocks; and the implementation of a case study on EAF.

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21-22 May, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy. 6th EastMed Coordination Committee Meeting.

The sixth Co-ordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed Project was held in FAO HQ, Rome, Italy from the 21st to 22nd May 2015. The meeting was attended by delegations from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as staff from FAO HQ, FAO Mediterranean sub-regional projects and the GFCM. After the opening of the meeting and election of the chairperson, the activities during the 5th year of the project were presented, followed by the workplan of activities for the next period. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the project and thanked both the staff of the project and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the next period includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities at implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in specific case studies and activities in promoting regional participation and cooperation. The tasks of the project will be the follow up of the activities which had started in the previous years’ such as activities in fisheries data collection and analysis, in institutional strengthening and capacity building, as well as new activities which are more focused on the EAF and regional co-operation between the countries such as the Working Group on fisheries data analysis. EastMed, finally, will continue to support the participation of experts from the project’s area at the meetings of the FAO-GFCM and other relevant regional/international organizations. The EastMed Project, in close cooperation with the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects, will continue to find synergies among the various activities in the region.

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24-27 March, Rome, Italy. 17th session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

The project participated to the 17th session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and to ad hoc coordination meetings with Projects’ participating countries to plan future joint and cooperative activities. The SAC was held in FAO HQ, Rome from 24 to 27 March 2015. The meeting was attended by delegates from contracting parties, by observers from non GFCM Member Nations, from intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations: ACCOBAMS, OCEANA, CIHEAM and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). The main activities carried out by the FAO FIRF Projects operating in the Mediterranean Sea (i.e. AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed, MedSea-LME and MedSudMed) were presented and contributed to the discussion for the development and approval of multi-annual fisheries management plans, as well as on the definition of the annual work plan for the SAC and its subsidiary bodies. Taking advantage of the simultaneous presence of most of the focal points and counterparts of the FAO Projects, the some parallel meetings with these representatives were held, thereby contributing to the development of the respective activities of the project. The SAC acknowledged the support received from the FAO Projects, in particular in relation to the progress fostered in capacity development, standardization of methodologies, assessment of shared stocks, development of harmonised fisheries management strategies.

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16 - 20 March, Antalya, Turkey. Training course on stock assessment methods using catch and effort data.

The project organised a training course on stock assessment methods using catch and effort data which was held in Antalya, Turkey, from the 16 to 20 March 2015, and was hosted by the Mediterranean Fisheries Research, Production and Training Institute. Twenty participants attended the course. The main objective of the course was to provide instruction, demonstration, and exercises in stock assessment methods using catch and effort data, as applied to fishery resources. It included theoretical classes, generally during the morning, and practical afternoon exercise sessions using the computer. The exercises focused on the application of different surplus production models in excel, R and the FAO CEDA software. The participants were supplied with lectures, software and data and were generally satisfied with the quality of the training. To allow the participants to assimilate the methods taught and increase their skills in data manipulation and analyses the lecturers recommend to provide new training opportunities and the organisation of working groups where participants can work on their own data if possible with the support and feedback of experts.

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8 - 13 March, Alexandria, Cairo, Egypt. Market Value Chain Analysis as part of the development of the clam fishery.

The project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from the 8 to the 13 of March 2015 to assist Egypt in conducting the market value chain as part of the development of the clam fishery, which is being done in order to diversify the existing overcapacity of the trawling fleet. Clams in general are found in the local market in Egypt, however the clam C. gallina is not known. The aim of the mission was to train local staff in conducting the survey, to follow them during the initial phase and have a preliminary understanding of the market dynamics in Egypt. The study was going to be focused on key areas where seafood consumption is important, namely Alexandria and Cairo. The goal of the value chain analysis is to better understand the existing bivalves market in Egypt. During the initial meeting it was explained that it was important to focus on mapping the flows of bivalves throughout the different stages of the value chain, from the producers to the consumers. This will serve to develop strategies that will allow the marketing of the new bivalve species Chamelea gallina. Questionnaires were prepared in order to collect data from producers, wholesalers/traders, restaurant owners and retailers. Field visits were then conducted in Alexandria and Cairo in order to test the questionnaires and obtain a preliminary picture of the situation. The field visits involved the collection of volumes and values of production and other information from wholesalers, restaurant owners, retailers, fish market traders. The preliminary investigations show that the bivalve market in Egypt is managed by few key wholesalers, which move the product throughout the whole country. One important aspect is that the demand far exceeds the supply, providing several opportunities for the introduction of C. gallina in the local market. The EastMed project will continue supporting Egypt in this activity and follow up closely any improvements which are achieved, especially from the fisheries management perspective.

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4-6 February, Rome, Italy. 16th Session of the GFCM Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment (SCSA)

The project participated at the annual meeting of the GFCM Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment (SCSA) and the Sub-Committee on Economic and Social Sciences (SCESS), which was held at the GFCM HQ in Rome, Italy, on 4-6 February 2015. The SCSA revised a total of 44 stocks from the Mediterranean and Black Sea – 27 demersal, 16 pelagic and 1 benthic stocks - providing advice for 39 of them. Overall 5 stocks were found to be sustainably exploited, while all other stocks were found to be in overexploitation, overexploited or ecologically unbalanced. New methodologies in order to improve stock assessments especially to test possible management scenarios, including potential harvest control rules were discussed. Several recommendations were made to the experts groups on stock assessment in order to pay special attention to several issues such as in the estimation of reference points and stock boundaries. During the SCSA, parallel meetings were held with Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey in order to coordinate the ongoing activities of the project. Furthermore meetings were also held with colleagues in HQ both from the other FAO regional projects and the Regular program staff to plan the ongoing activities of the Mediterranean regional projects.

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19-22 January, Beirut, Lebanon. Implementation of the new GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) in Lebanon.

The project travelled to Beirut, Lebanon from the 19 to the 22 of January 2015 to assist Lebanon in implementing the new GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) which aims to be instrumental in achieving a more efficient data collection programme at sub-regional level, and to better integrate data collection and sub-regional multiannual management plans. The meeting started by describing the outcomes of the GFCM Workshop on the implementation of the DCRF. This was done in steps, describing each module of the DCRF and discussing and reviewing the existing data collection systems, most of which have been supported by the FAO EastMed project, addressing any problems which exist, and then adapting it to the new GFCM DCRF. One important issue that was discussed was the current licensing system in Lebanon and it was agreed that the project will support Lebanon to populate the database with the licenses of 2014, and then the Ministry will take charge to update it regularly every year, without the support of the project. After the meeting a proposal was drawn up for the implementation of a fisheries data collection system in 2015. Agreements will also be sought by FAO with the support of FAO Lebanon in order to implement the data collection activities. For the biological sampling a Letter of Agreement will be done with the national marine research centre. This will assist Lebanon in continuing the data collection, so that it could assess better the status of the fisheries resources. Furthermore FAO EastMed will continue to assist technically the Lebanese fisheries administration in any problems they may encounter during the implementation of the fisheries data collection program.

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13-16 January, Cairo, Egypt. Implementation of the new GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) in Egypt.

The project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from the 13 to the 16 of January 2015 to assist Egypt in implementing the new GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) which aims to be instrumental in achieving a more efficient data collection programme at sub-regional level, and to better integrate data collection and sub-regional multiannual management plans. The meeting started by describing the outcomes of the GFCM Workshop on the implementation of the DCRF. This was done in steps, describing each module of the DCRF and discussing and reviewing the existing data collection systems, most of which have been supported by the FAO EastMed project, addressing any problems which exist, and then adapting it to the new GFCM DCRF. After the meeting the sampling strategy and sampling design for the implementation of a fisheries data collection system in 2015 was agreed. After the meeting a Letter of Agreement was drawn up in which project will support the implementation of the DCRF in Egypt. This will assist Egypt in continuing the data collection, so that it could assess better the status of the fisheries resources. Furthermore FAO EastMed will continue to assist technically the Egyptian fisheries administration in any problems they may encounter during the implementation of the fisheries data collection program.

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Year 2014 TOP

15-16 December, Madrid, Spain. GFCM Workshop on the implementation of the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

The project participated at the GFCM Workshop on the implementation of the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) in the Mediterranean and Black Sea which was conducted as a concrete response to the need to strengthen the GFCM framework for the collection and processing of data on fisheries. The aim of this workshop was to perform a final review and validation of the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) as well as to outline the course of action for its implementation, including identifying necessary tools to support data submission as per GFCM requirements. During the meeting several presentations were conducted on the various aspects of the DCRF documents prepared by the GFCM secretariat. All the components of the data collection system were presented and then discussed. On the basis of the discussions at the workshop, several conclusions concerning the GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF) and its implementation were reached. The GFCM proposed a road on the implementation of the DCRF. Following the final adoption by the Commission, the DCRF should be progressively implemented, by member countries by submitting data of different components progressively throughout the year starting from May 2016 and continuing through November 2016. The FAO EastMed project should assist the countries participating in the project in submitting the relevant data as proposed by the GFCM.

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24-27 November, Rome, Italy. GFCM working Group on Stock assessment.

The project participated at the GFCM Working group on stock assessment which was held in the GFCM HQ, Rome Italy, from the 24 to 27 of November 2014. There were several participants from many different Mediterranean countries representatives of FAO, FAO EastMed Project, and FAO MedSudMed Project, and from the GFCM Secretariat. From the area covered by the project, stock assessments were present by Italy in GSA 19, stock assessment of giant red shrimp, Aristaeomorpha foliacea; by Cyprus in GSA 25 stock assessment of red mullet, Mullus barbatus; by Turkey in GSA 24, for red mullet, Mullus barbatus; and by Egypt in GSA 26 for striped red mullet, Mullus surmuletus and brush tooth lizard fish, Saurida undosquamis. All the results in the Eastern Mediterranean show that the stocks are in overexploitation. One stock assessment related work was presented from Egypt on the Venus clam Chamelea gallina, using data from a hydraulic dredge survey, which showed the stock structure of a prestine, un-fished population. Many technical issues were discussed during the meeting which will surely improve future stock assessments. Furthermore several informal discussions were held with participants from the Eastern Mediterranean in order to discuss future activities on stock assessment such as the training courses and activities sin data collection.

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8-12 September, Antalya, Turkey. Training Workshop on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries..

A training workshop on EAF from the 8th to 12th of September 2014, and was hosted by the Mediterranean Fisheries Research, Production and Training Institute, was conducted in Antalya Turkey. Seventeen researchers and managers from four countries (Italy, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey) attended the workshop. The main objectives of the training workshop were to improve the understanding of EAF and the processes involved in the preparation and implementation of fisheries management plans. After an initial introduction to fisheries management and the principles of the Ecosystem Approach by the FAO experts, the training workshop proceeded as a sequence of short presentations of a technical nature, followed by actual group work and plenary discussion, where the different groups presented and contrasted their approaches and solutions. These kind of workshops are essential since in the Mediterranean, management plans are lacking, and most of the management measures in place only marginally consider the main principles of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.

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6-7 May, FAO-HQ Rome, Italy. 5th EastMed Coordination Committee Meeting.

The fifth Coordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed Project which was held in FAO HQ, Rome, Italy from 6 to 7 May 2014. The meeting was attended by delegations from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as staff from FAO HQ, FAO Mediterranean sub-regional projects and the GFCM. After the opening of the meeting and election of the chairperson, the activities during the 4th year of the project were presented, followed by the workplan of activities for the next period. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the project and thanked both the staff of the project and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the next period includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities aiming in strengthening stakeholders’ awareness and activities in promoting regional participation and cooperation. The tasks of the project will be the follow up of the activities which had started in the previous years’ such as activities in fisheries data collection and analysis, in institutional strengthening and capacity building, as well as new activities which are focused more on the regional co-operation between the countries such as the permanent Working Group on Stock Assessment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the workshop on Lagocephalus sceleratus. EastMed, finally, will continue to support the participation of experts from the project’s area at the meetings of the FAO-GFCM and other relevant regional/international organizations. The EastMed Project, in close cooperation with the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects, will continue to find synergies among the various activities in the region.

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14-18 April. Assessment of the beach seines in Lebanon.

An assessment of beach seines was conducted in Lebanon from the 14th to the 18th of April. The mission was conducted by an expert fishing gear technologist and an expert on fisheries resources together with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon and the FAO representation in Lebanon. The focus of the mission was to visit the main landing ports where beach seines are used (Daura, Ouzai and Aabdi), and conduct interviews with fishers. Discussions with officers from the Ministry of Agriculture were held to gather some background information on beach seines in the country. In order to obtain information on the use of beach seines in Lebanon several interviews were conducted with beach seine fishers, in the fishing ports, with a pre-structured questionnaire. The aim of the interviews was to obtain information on the fishing activity, the effort, the spatial and temporal distribution of effort, catch in quantity and value, which species the fishers target, what is the market demand for such species, what are the discards, what is the fishers᾽ perception of the environmental impacts of beach seines, and to make a semi-qualitative evaluation of such catches and impacts. Interviews were also conducted to understand the economic profile of the fishery, with information on the employment and social impacts of replacing the beach seines, and to determine conflicts with other fishers.

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17-21 March 2014, St. Julian, Malta. Participation at the 16th session of the GFCM SAC.

The project participated to the 16th session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and to ad hoc coordination meetings with Projects’ participating countries to plan future joint and cooperative activities. The SAC was held in St.Julian, Malta, from 17 to 21 March 2014. The meeting was attended by delegates from 15 Mediterranean Countries, by observers from non GFCM Member Nations, from intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations: ACCOBAMS, OCEANA, CIHEAM and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). The Mediterranean projects illustrated the main activities carried out by the FAO FIRF Projects operating in the Mediterranean Sea (i.e. AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed, MedSea-LME and MedSudMed) and contributed to the discussion for the development and approval of multi-annual fisheries management plans, as well as on the definition of the annual work plan for the SAC and its subsidiary bodies. Taking advantage of the simultaneous presence of most of the focal points and counterparts of the FAO Projects, the staff of the project organised also some parallel meetings with these representatives, thereby contributing to the development of the respective projects. The SAC acknowledged the support received from the FAO Projects, in particular in relation to the progress fostered in capacity development, standardization of methodologies, assessment of shared stocks, development of harmonised fisheries management strategies.

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3-6 March 2014, Rome, Italy. Second Symposium on Fishery-Dependent Information.

The Project took part at the 2nd International Symposium on fishery-dependent information hosted by the FAO in its headquarters in Rome from the 3 to 6 March 2014. A comparative analysis of the socio economic data collected in some Mediterranean countries was presented. The methods used so far by the FAO Projects to support the collection of fisheries socio-economic data in the Mediterranean was provided as well as a description of the main difficulties and strengths encountered, with a view of providing directions for the future collection of socio-economic data in Mediterranean. The chosen approach is intended to widen the classical bio-ecological approach to fisheries studies, or target resource-oriented management.

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28 January to 5 February 2014, Bar, Montenegro. GFCM WGs on stock assessment, SAC Sub Committees.

The project participated in the Working Group on Demersals of the Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment (SCSA) to support experts from the area of the. The first day of the meeting was devoted to the definition and estimation of the reference points, while the review of the assessments started the next day. Several stock assessments were presented in the Working Group, four of which were a result of the EastMed Working Group on Stock assessment (Kavala, Greece, Sep, 2013) and included Saurida undosquamus (GSA 26), Mullus surmuletus (GSA 26), Mullus barbatus (GSA 19) and Spicara smaris (GSA 25).
The project was also appointed to moderate the Working Group of the Sub-Committee on Economic and Social Sciences (SCESS) on a common methodology to carry out socio-economic analysis, that was held on the 3rd of February and was attended by nine experts from GFCM Members, FAO Regional Projects and the GFCM Secretariat. The methodology to collect the socio-economic data in the FAO Regional projects was presented as well as a comparative study focused on the economic constraints faced by some Mediterranean fisheries. The following two days the project also took part to the SCESS meeting.

Year 2013 TOP

27-30 November 2013, St Julian’s, Malta. First Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Under the coordination of the GFCM and the support of the Malta Fisheries Administration, co-sponsored by the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, the FAO Sub-regional Projects AdriaMed, CopeMed II, MedSudMed and EastMed, CIHEAM, WWF and MedPAN, over 170 participants from all fisheries actors of the Mediterranean and Black Sea met in Malta to share experiences and make steps towards a sustainable future for small-scale fisheries in the region. Discussions have laid the groundwork for a regional project fostering knowledge of all the components linked to small-scale fisheries and involving all interested stakeholders and have led to a collaboration agreement signed between fishers from the Northern and Southern Mediterranean coasts. It is the first time ever that such a platform is created to enable cooperation between fishers from both sides of the Mediterranean. The EastMed staff, other FAO staff from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, the FAO Sub regional Office in Tunis and the FAO Office in Ankara and staff of the other FAO Mediterranean projects participated in this historical event.
Ms Nicole Franz represented FAO ADG Fisheries and Aquaculture and chaired Session V and Juan A. Camiñas on behalf of the FAO sub-regional projects chaired Session I of the Symposium. EastMed staff gave two presentations during session I and two in session IV. Copies of documents and posters on artisanal fisheries produced by EastMed were displayed and distributed to the participants.

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22-23 November 2013, FAO Headquarters, Rome. Coordination with donors and presentation of a joint Mediterranean-wide Concept Note concerning the future of FAO Fishery Projects in the Mediterranean.

The Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Resource Use and Conservation Division, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the FAO, Mr Indroyono Soesilo called to a consultation meeting the traditional donors (EU DG-Mare, Spain, Italy and Greece) and the Permanent Representatives to FAO of the Mediterranean countries on the 23th of November to presenting the Concept Note on a Mediterranean-wide project that should substitute the four current FAO sub-regional projects AdriaMed, CopeMed, EastMed and MedSudMed. A coordination meeting with the donors was held the on the 22nd in anticipation to the presentation of the Concept Note. Representatives from the EU, Greece, Italy and Spain were participating.

The general meeting on Nov 23, was opened by Mr Arni Mathiesen, ADG of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (FI). It was attended by representatives from countries, donors, the GFCM Secretariat and officers from the FI and the FAO subregional projects AdriaMed, CopeMed, EastMed and MedSudMed. A presentation was given of the main achievements, shortcomings, lessons learned and challenges for driving sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean as outcomes of the existing regional projects, which was followed by presenting the Concept Note. The participants commented on financial issues as well as the necessity to keep the sub-regionality, however they agreed to proceed with the joint Mediterranean project and to hold a new meeting in February 2014 for discussing the draft document of the new Mediterranean project that will be prepared by FI.

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4-8 November 2013, GFCM Headquarters, Rome. Training course Improving the Analysis of Fisheries Data: An Introduction to R and the Fisheries Library based on R (FLR).

The Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (GFCM) and the FAO Regional Projects AdriaMed, MedSudMed, EastMed and CopeMed organized a 5 days course. The training was held at the GFCM premises, Palazzo Blumenstihl, in Rome. FLR (Fisheries Library in R) is a generic software framework for fisheries biology and assessment, intended to be used to evaluate and develop management strategies for a broad range of biological and economic objectives. Currently the framework is being used (within Europe and farther afield) to develop bio-economic models, multi-annual management plans and fishery independent assessment methods within a variety of fora, including EU research projects, regional fisheries management organisations and national fisheries research institutions. The 24 participants were coming from institutions from Egypt, Italy, Romania, Greece, Tunisia, Montenegro, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus and Morocco, supported by different organizers.

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7–10 October 2013, Tunis, Tunisia. Subregional Technical Workshop on Fisheries Multiannual Management Plans for the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean.

The Workshop was part of an action within the GFCM Framework Programme addressing the following fisheries: i) small pelagics fisheries in the Alborán Sea; ii) rose shrimp and associated species in the Strait of Sicily; iii) deep water red shrimps in central-eastern Mediterranean areas and iv) the fisheries of eel in the Mediterranean. For these case studies, the objectives of the workshop were: i) to assess the technical feasibility of the GFCM guidelines for the development of multiannual management plans, ii) to identify issues and needs for the management of each case study and iii) to progress towards the preparation of documents and strategies supporting management plans. The minimum structure and common criteria upon which multiannual fisheries management plans have to be built for the case studies, were agreed on. In particular for the Deep-water red shrimps in the central- eastern Mediterranean, the following issues and priorities were agreed to be addressed by a regional management plan. i) the sustainability of the resources, which requires a precautionary system that maintains the stocks in exploited areas within safe biological limits and links the progression of fishery development in areas still underexploited to the acquisition of new knowledge; ii) the high rate of discards; iii) the impacts of bottom trawl fisheries on bottom habitats; iv) the limited information about stocks and associated ecosystems; and iv) the allocation and participatory rights of coastal States.
The complete report of the Workshop will be available soon at the
GFCM web site.

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27 September 2013, Izmir, Turkey. GFCM Workshop on Artificial Reefs in the Mediterranean and Black Sea (in collaboration with FAO EastMed Project).

On the occasion of the 10th International Conference on Artificial Reefs and Related Aquatic Habitats (CARAH) which took place from 23-27 September 2013 in Izmir (Turkey), GFCM in collaboration with the EastMed project organized a workshop devoted to the Mediterranean and Black Sea. In particular the Workshop aimed in discussing on the draft guidelines for artificial reefs applications in the context of an integrated maritime approach. During the morning session presentations were made on the objectives of the artificial reefs, on the evidences of increased productivity, functional diversity and effectiveness in enhancing fisheries while reducing conflicts in coastal areas. Finally monitoring strategies and statistical approaches were discussed. During the afternoon session, the draft guidelines were presented and discussed among the participants. General points were found in agreement, while detailed comments should have to be sent to the GFCM Secretariat on due time. The Project, which was represented by the its Coordinator, supported the participation of two colleagues one from Cyprus and the other from Lebanon.

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09-13 September 2013, Kavala, Greece. Second meeting of the Permanent Working Group on Stock Assesement.

The second meeting of the EASTMED Permanent Working Group on Stock Assessment was held in Kavala (Greece), from 9 to 13 September 2013. It was attended by experts from Egypt, Greece, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as FAO staff. The meeting had six main general objectives: i) to identify surveys and fishery-dependent data collection projects carried out in the last 10 years in each country of Eastmed area; ii) to provide advice on how to increase the standardization between surveys carried out in the Eastmed area; iii) to process with the raw data as collected through the pilot activities supported by the project and/or supported by the countries in order to produce stock assessments aiming to be presented in the GFCM WGs on Stock Assessment, iv) to make an effort to define shared stocks in order to be monitored through the GFCM management plans, v) to discuss the possibility of establishing two WGs on stock assessment, one for demersals and one for small pelagics, vi) to define gaps existed in the sampling protocol which is used during the implementation of the pilot activities on data collection and decide on amendments.
During the Working Group five stock assessments were completed including preliminary analyses. The five stocks which were assessed referred to Mullus barbatus in GSAs 19 and 26, Saurida undosquamis and Metapenaeus stebbingi in GSA 26 and Spicara smaris in GSA 25. Except for the case of Speicara smaris, all the stocks were found as overfished. The stock assessments will be presented during the next GFCM WG on demersal.

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2-16 September 2013, Grahamstown, South Africa. Training course for trainers on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF).

The technical officer travelled to Grahamstown South Africa, from the 2nd to the 16th of September 2013 to participate at the training course for trainers on EAF. The training course was organised within the framework of the EAF Nansen project. This ten-day course aimed at improving the understanding of EAF with specific emphasis on the processes involved in the preparation and implementation of Fisheries Management Plans. The training course was run using a practical hands-on approach, and based on specific case studies, participants were requested to actually perform all the steps of the preparation of a Fisheries management plan. After an initial overview of the process by the FAO experts, the course proceeded as a sequence of short presentations of a technical nature. Three groups were formed and during the course, using the EAF toolbox, each group went through the process of EAF, starting by compiling the scoping document from the baseline report, followed by issue identification and prioritization. After the risk assessment, the operational objectives, and relevant indicators and management measures were drawn up. The EAF Toolbox aided in looking for practical solutions that can be applied given the stakeholders᾽ circumstances and resources, and guided the participants in going through all the components of the EAF, including the ecological, socio-economic, governance and external factors. After each session of group work, plenary discussion, where the different groups presented and contrasted their approaches and solutions were held. The knowledge gained will increase the capacity of FAO to carry out training courses on EAF in the Mediterranean, especially in the Eastern part. The FAO EastMed project should continue to follow up closely the EAF process and possibly by implemented some field case studies in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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2 July 2013, Brussels, Belgium. Annual coordination meeting between DG Mare and the FAO- FI Mediterranean Regional Projects.

FAO-FI represented by Gabriela Bianchi and other staff from Rome involved in the implementation and management of the FAO Regional Mediterranean Projects (AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed and MedSudMed) and the three coordinators of the projects met in the headquarters of DG Mare in Brussels with Ms. Monique Pariat, Director of DG-Mare Directorate for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and her team, during the annual meeting for coordination.
The meeting was an opportunity to analyse the main results and achievements of the four FAO projects during 2012, summarising (the projects in numbers) the main activities promoted, supported or carried out by the FAO projects in collaboration with the fisheries research Institutes, national fisheries administrations, the GFCM and the donors. The participants discussed priorities for the next year 2014 and a Concept Note for a new joint Mediterranean-wide project. The main objective of the new proposal is to strengthen regional and country specific efforts to create conditions to develop sustainable fisheries management regimes specifically through the application of the EAF. The two parties agreed in a roadmap for discussions of the Concept Note and the derived project with the projects’ members, the donors (EU, Spain, Italy, Greece and Regione Siciliana) and potential new donors.

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26 June-5 July 2013, Malaga, Spain. FAO-GRMS Training for staff from Malaga DS (Spain) and Athens DS (Greece).

GRMS Deployer Mr. Francesco Carvelli went to FAO Malaga DS to ensure GRMS training to the CopeMed staff and specific actions to Ms. Abla Kadiri on her new obligations and role with GRMS. EastMed staff (DS Greece Athens), Ms Styliani Tampakaki travelled to Malaga from 1 July to 3 July 2013 to join the training.
Thanks to this training, which was a real success, the two projects’ staff can now use and carry out their new GRMS functions and responsibilities.

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10 - 14 June 2013, Rome, Italy. FAO Training workshop on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and to Aquaculture (EAF/EAA).

The staff of the project participated at the training workshop on EAF and supported the participants from the countries. The training workshop was organised within the program of work of the FAO component of the project "Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Large Marine Ecosystem", in cooperation with the FAO-led projects CopeMed II, AdriaMed, MedSudMed, EastMed and EAF-Nansen. This five-day workshop aimed at improving the understanding of EAF and EAA (Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture) and of the processes involved in the preparation and implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Plans by experts from the fisheries management and research institutions of specific countries targeted by the relevant activity of the project. The workshop was run using a practical hands-on approach. Based on specific real case studies from the region, participants were requested to actually perform all the steps of the preparation of a Fisheries management plan. After an initial overview of the process by the FAO experts, the workshop proceeded as a sequence of short presentations of a technical nature, followed by actual group work and plenary discussion, where the different groups presented and contrasted their approaches and solutions. In order to implement the activities of the EAF process two case studies were identified, one on the ''migaviza'' or beach seine fishery in Croatia, and one on the trawl and artisanal demersal fishery in the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia. For each case study a group was formed and during the five days of the workshop using the EAF toolbox, each group went through the process of EAF. After each step both case studies presented their results to all the participants and questions and clarifications were asked on the various issues. The training workshop was quite interesting and useful to the participants since it enhanced the understanding of and familiarity with the EAF/EAA process resulting in an increase in the capacity of their home institutions to carry out the development and implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Plans compatible with EAF/EAA. The FAO EastMed project should continue to follow up closely the EAF process, possibly by implemented some field case studies in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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13-17 May, 2013. Split, Croatia. 37th Session of the GFCM Commission.

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) held its thirty-seventh session as well as the fourth session of its Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the seventh session of its Compliance Committee (CoC) in Split, Croatia, from 13 to 17 May 2013. It was attended by 96 participants from Members, non-Members, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the FAO, the FAO Regional Projects, the Bureaus of the Commission, SAC, CAQ, CoC and CAF and the GFCM Secretariat. FAO was represented by Mr. Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The Coordinator of EastMed took advantage of the meeting to collaborate with the coordinators of the other FAO Mediterranean Regional Projects (AdriaMed, MedSudMed and CopeMed), and discuss the progress and developments of the ongoing and future activities of the projects. She finally met with counterparts for better coordinating activities in the project area.

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10-11 May, 2013. Split, Croatia. Second validation meeting of the Task Force to improve and modernize the legal and institutional framework of the GFCM.

The second meeting on the validation of the outcomes of the Task Force was held in Split attended by 48 participants, including representatives of the GFCM members, the FAO, non-governmental organizations and both the GFCM Bureau and the Secretariat. The Deputy Minister of the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture Mr Markovic, welcomed the participants and Mr Cataudella, GFCM chairperson chaired the meeting. Recommendations were prepared and the report of the meeting was sent for revision to the 37th GFCM meeting. The Coordinators of the FAO Mediterranean projects AdriaMed, CopeMed, EastMed and MedSudMed were participating, providing inputs to the Task Force related with the activities of the projects.

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9-11 May, 2013. Genoa, Italy. Round table on innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in the Near East: the Lebanese case.

The staff of the project travelled to Genoa Italy from the 9th to the 11th of May 2013 to participate at the round table on innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in the Near East: the Lebanese case. The project has been invited to participate in this round table which was organised as one of the activities of the annual Slow Fish conference, which dedicated to the world of fish and marine ecosystems and it brings together several fishers, producers, and consumers and experts in order to share and display fisheries products and have short Workshops on several aspects on sustainable fisheries. The round table was moderated by the co-ordinator of the CANA & Pesca Libano projects, and was paneled by different representatives from the CNRS - Lebanese National Centre for Marine Sciences (NCMS), the Forestry and Natural Resources Department of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, the Italian CNR-Institute for Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC), the Lebanese University, the CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (MAIB) and the FAO EastMed project. The project participated in this round table in order to give the input and work conducted in Lebanon in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. It was highlighted during the round table that in Lebanon, the fishery sector had been severely neglected. This results in fishing communities deeply impoverished and resources over-exploited. Rather than passively accepting this condition, Lebanon started developing innovative solutions also benefiting from experiences and expertise coming from other Mediterranean countries. The management of the marine resources and the development of long-term strategies passes through the creation and the implementation of new tools and good practices to be shared. The round table was fruitful since the project was informed in detail on the activities which are being held in Lebanon. There were many constructive discussions and the link between the FAO EastMed project and the other entities conducting activities in Lebanon was strengthened.

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29 April -1 May, 2013. Beirut, Lebanon. Training course on socio-economic data collection – year 2.

The socio-economic consultant of the EastMed project travelled to Beirut, Lebanon in order to assist the national focal point, Mr. Samir Majdalani, in conducting the training course to the data collectors for the socio-economic data collection.
The training course was envisaged in a three year plan to assisting the country to build up the necessary knowledge to manage independently the collection of the main fisheries socio-economic variables on a routine basis.
Twelve data collectors have been trained, all of them belonging to the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture and most of them were already been trained during the training course year 1.

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22-24 April, 2013. Sliema, Malta. 11th Coordination Committee of the MedSudMed Project.

The Project Coordinators travelled to Sliema, (Malta) to participated at the 11th MedSudMed Coordination Committee meeting (Sliema, Malta, 22-23 April 2013). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Italian Donor (MiPAAF), the countries participating in the Project (Italy, Malta, Libya and Tunisia), the FAO Mediterranean Projects (CopeMed, EastMed and AdriaMed), the GFCM Secretariat and the staff of the FAO MedSudMed Project. The aims of the Coordination Committee included the presentation of the main activities performed by the Project and the outputs achieved during the intersessional period as well as the discussion on the proposed future Project activities. All representatives praised the Project highly and mentioned several achievements that have been made possible by the Project, e.g. the establishment of a scientific network that is continuously fuelled even outside the Project framework. The potential role of MedSudMed to support technical discussion toward the harmonisation of fisheries management strategies in the south-central Mediterranean Sea was also acknowledged. All countries manifested their strong interest and support to the continuation of MedSudMed for a period exceeding the current NTE.

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20-26 April, 2013. Rasheed, Egypt. Main phase of the clam fishery resources survey in Egypt.

The staff of the project travelled to Rasheed, Egypt from the 20th to the 26th of April 2013, in order to start the campaign for the clam fisheries resources survey. The RO was accompanied by a consultant who is an expert on the fishery of clams. During the first day a meeting was held in Rasheed, with the GAFRD officers, Egyptian scientists and the captain of the vessel in order to explain sampling design of the survey, and how in practice sampling would be conducted. The fishing vessel was then inspected in order to check that the modifications which were requested after the mission done in February were done. During the second day of the mission the experts together with officers from the fisheries administration and Egyptian scientists embarked the fishing vessel for the first day at sea.
Unfortunately after making all the necessary preparations, the vessel had to return to port after one hour due to the very bad weather conditions. In the following day the weather was still not suitable and the technical officer took the opportunity to explain to the Egyptian scientists and GAFRD officers how the data should be entered into excel, with separate excel sheets for the haul, catch and biological data. Explanations were also given on the preliminary data analysis, such as the production of survey indices and some GIS applications. The next day the weather was suitable and the team managed to conduct 16 hauls in total. These were sampling sites which were some of the closest to the port of Rasheed. No major problems were encountered, and the scientists gathered enough experience in survey methodology and practice in order to be able to continue the remainder of the survey in subsequent days, weather permitting.

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08-11 April, 2013. Rome, Italy. 15th Session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

The Eastmed project staff participated at the GFCM/SAC session and together with the project’s staff from the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects presented the document GFCM:SAC15/2013/Inf.15 summarising the major activities of the projects during the intercessional period. As in previous SAC meetings, the participation, activities and support of the FAO projects to the member countries and to the GFCM were underlined by most of the participating delegates. The SAC acknowledged the extensive work undertaken by the projects and the valuable scientific contributions provided, especially in developing and implementing common methodologies through organizing joint field training activities, surveys at sea, as well as strengthening the expertise at national level. The EastMed project also supported the participation of Egyptian, Gaza Strip and West bank and Lebanese delegates together with an expert from Syria, to the meeting.

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4-5 April, 2013. Rome, Italy. 4th Coordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed Project

The fourth Coordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed project was held in FAO HQ, Rome, Italy, from 4 to 5 April. The meeting was attended by delegations from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as an expert from Syria and staff from FAO HQ, FAO Mediterranean sub-regional projects and the GFCM. After the opening of the meeting and election of the chairperson, the activities during the 3rd year of the project were presented, followed by the proposals of activities for the 4th year from each country. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the project and thanked both the staff of the project and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the 4th year includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities aiming in strengthening stakeholders’ awareness and activities in promoting regional participation and cooperation. The tasks of the project will be the follow up of the activities which had started in the previous years such as activities in fisheries data collection, development of a software for socio-economic data, as well as new activities which are focused more on the regional co-operation between the countries such as the 2nd permanent Working Group on Stock Assessment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the study on Deep water demersal resources. EastMed, finally, will continue to support the participation of experts from the project’s area at the meetings of the FAO-GFCM and other relevant regional/international organizations. The EastMed project, in close cooperation with the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects, will continue to find synergies among the various activities in the region.

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25-27 March, 2013. Frascati, Italy. GFCM strategic Framework Programme (FWP). Workshop on fisheries data collection in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Project Coordinator participated at the GFCM WS on fisheries data collection in the Mediterranean Sea (Frascati, Italy, 25-27 March 2013), which is one of the actions included in the GFCM strategic Framework Programme (FWP). In the meeting, the GFCM secretariat presented a compilation of the questionnaires circulated to the countries through which problems of collection and data transmission were analysed. The national focal points described their national scheme on data collection and presented their gaps and weaknesses. The Sub regional projects presented the activities achieved in the participating countries regarding training and pilot activities on data collection. At the end and based on the outcomes of the meeting, a deep discussion was dedicated to the improvement of GFCM TASK 1. The participants agreed to withdraw TASK 1.5 given that all the information is available in the stock assessment forms.

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18-19 March, 2013. Postira, Croatia. 14th Coordination Committee Meeting of the AdriaMed.

The staff of the project participated in the 14th AdriaMed Coordination Committee meeting which was organized and held in Postira, Croatia from 18-19 March 2013 and was kindly hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture of Croatia. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Donors, delegations from the countries participating in the Project (Albania, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia), representatives of the Marine and Inland Service of the Fisheries Resources Use and Conservation Division (FAO-FIRF) of FAO, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and the FAO Mediterranean Regional Projects. The Committee discussed the inter committee period and the programme of activities proposed for the next intersessional period of implementation.

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7-8 March, 2013. Malaga, Spain. 6th Meeting of the co-ordination committee of the CopeMed II project.

The 6th annual meeting of the Coordination Committee of CopeMed II was held in the Subdelegacion del Gobierno in Malaga, the project’s headquarters. It was opened by Mr J. Hernández Mollar, Spanish Government representative in Malaga who welcomed the participants and stressed the importance to the Spanish government of fishing activities in the Mediterranean Sea from an economic and social point of view and the needs in maintaining equilibrium among conservation and exploitation based in the best available information and the collaboration and cooperation among scientists, fisheries administrations and other stakeholders. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Spanish Donor, Secretaria General de Pesca, from the countries participating in the Project (Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia), the FAO Fisheries Management and Conservation Service as well as the two Coordinators from FAO AdriaMed, MedSudMed and EastMed Projects and the CopeMed II Project staff. The activities achieved during the intersessional period were presented after which the progress regarding the sharing information of the shared stocks as well as the common data base for joint analysis was highly emphasized. The strong coordination among the sub-regional Projects was many times highlighted in an effort to avoid overlapping of common activities. The final work plan which was adopted by the committee, included a series of activities of regional interest like organization of meetings and assessments on shared stocks, support the strengthening of the national capacity and the countries participation in GFCM activities.

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24-28 February 2013, Rasheed, Egypt. First Trials for the clam fishery resources survey in Egypt.

The technical officer together with a consultant on clam fisheries travelled to Rasheed, Egypt, from the 24th of February to the 1st March 2013, in order to conduct the first preliminary trials of the clam fisheries resources survey. During the first day a meeting was held in Alexandria with the fisheries administration and Egyptian scientists in order to explain the objectives of the survey, and how they can contribute in this study. In the afternoon a meeting was held with the captain in order to inspect the fishing vessel, the fishing gear and the available equipment. During the second day of the mission the consultant guided the fishermen in the appropriate use of the fishing gear. Some trial hauls were made but due to the difficulty in operating the fishing gear nothing was caught. Finally, after adjusting the proper way of operating the fishing gear, a successful haul was made and the sample processed. The following day more samples were collected and the catch in number and weight for all the species captured was collected including all the invertebrates and fish. For the target species, the clam Chamelea gallina, carapace length was also measured after which the samples were stored for the laboratory so that morphometric parameters on each individual could be measured. Clam samples were also kept so that microbiological analsyis could be conducted, including Vibrio sp., Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus sp., and E.coli sp. The results showed that the selected sampling sites were safe and worth for Chamelea gallina fisheries with respect to the four tested pathogens, however more sampling sites should be investigated. After the preliminary trials, more knowledge was gathered on the technical and logistical situation in Egypt. The fishermen were properly trained in the use of the fishing gear. Some minor modification to the vessel will have to be made so that the sampling operation will be more efficient. The scientists who will be participating in the survey were also trained accordingly. The sampling protocol will be adjusted, particularly for the sampling area, and sampling design. The full phase of the survey will be conducted in April 2013 and the project will participate in this survey, after which a full survey report will be prepared.

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23-24 February 2013 in Alexandria and 25-26 February 2013 in Ras El Bar, Egypt. Seminar on fishing technology.

Under the framework of the selectivity trials to be conducted in Egypt regarding the application of the 40 mm mesh size on the trawl codend, a request has been made to the EastMed project to support a seminar to fishermen on fishing technology. This seminar was carried out in two places in Alexandria from 23-24 February and in Ras El Bar from 25-26 February. The Project Coordinator travelled to both places for accompanying the International Consultant and providing any assistance deemed as necessary. During the seminars, general knowledge and practices to improve Egyptian fishing gears were given. The first day the lectures focused on trawling technology, which is the main gear in the country, while the second the lectures focused on purse seiners and static gears. The lectures aimed in understanding terminology, gear construction and uses. The Egyptian fishermen, who are well aware of the fishing gears they use, were interested in improving catchability, which however cannot be achieved due to the lack of appropriate funds.

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23-24 February 2013, Alexandria, Egypt. Seminar on shrimps identification.

During the implementation of the pilot survey on data collection in Egypt and particularly the biological sampling, it was noted that the collectors had difficulties to recognize the species of shrimps mainly when found in small sizes, such as Metapenaeus stebbingi, Metapenaeus monoceros, Metapenaeus stebbingi, Marsupenaeus japonicus, Penaeus kerathurus, Penaeus latisulcatus, Penaeus semisulcatus, Trachypenaeus curvirostris, which apparently leaded in sampling bias. Thus it was requested from the Project to support a seminar on shrimps identification. The Project Coordinator travelled to Alexandria to support the implementation of the seminar, which was carried out from 23-24 February 2013, during which twenty collectors were trained. Theoretical lectures on the first day were followed by practical exercises after purchasing a sample of shrimps.

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18- 20 February 2013, Rome, Italy. Sessions of the GFCM Sub-committees.

The aim of the mission was to participate to the GFCM Sub-Committees meetings, in Rome from 18 to 20 February 2013. The project’s coordinator, the technical officer, the socio-economist consultant and the consultant on legal issues participated in the SC on Stock Assessment, the SC on Economy and Social Sciences, the SC on Statistics and Information, the SC on Environment and Ecosystems including the transversal sessions. Several presentations were done on the activities of the projects in the various sub-committees by the countries participating in the project. Moreover, several parallel meetings were held with the new FIR Director, the Coordinator FIRF and several officers, the GFCM Secretariat and the experts from the EastMed countries participating in the SCs.

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27 January-08 February 2013, Gaza Strip. Enhancing the Capacity in Fisheries Management to increase fisheries production and food security & Pilot fisheries-dependent data collection survey in Gaza Strip.

The staff of the project travelled to Gaza Strip and West Bank from 27 January to 8 February 2013. The general purpose of the mission was to provide technical support to the fisheries administration and to set-up a detailed work plan for data collection. The technical part of the mission involved presentations and technical discussions that took the form of a workshop/training course for the national experts and staff. This activity was followed by the preparation of an implementation plan for a pilot study. During the mission several meetings were held with the FAO offices in Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip and the fisheries administration in West Bank and Gaza Strip. The mission focused on the current fisheries monitoring procedures of the department by first looking in detail at the catch and effort system. Since no biological and socio-economic data collection activities exist, the project drew up a workplan for the implementation of a pilot study on data collection. The workplan included a refinement of the catch and effort system, the collection of biological parameters for four species which include three small pelagic species namely Sardinella aurita, Scomber japonicus, Alepes djedaba, and one demersal species, Upeneus mollucensis; and the collection of socio-economic parameters. In this respect several lectures on basic principles of data collection and fisheries biology, which also included field visits to landing ports, interviews with the fishermen and laboratory exercises were conducted. The scientists were given several material in order to assist them in data collection. The material included, among others, the FAO field identification guides, and a protocol for sampling. The experts stressed that they would continuously provide assistance when deemed necessary, while training will be provided either locally or in regional meetings in the future. Apart from the proposal on the pilot survey, a proposal would also be drawn-up and forwarded to the co-ordination committee in order to test the potential use of establishing FADs to enhance fisheries production in Gaza. The data collection will probably start in March-April 2013 and after 6 months of data collection, a mission would be organised probably in October/November to review the progress of data collection, answer to any problems that the data collectors might have and to conduct some data analysis to check the quality of the data. Furthermore during the same mission a trial using FADs might be conducted.

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14-18 January 2013, Antalya Bay, Turkey. Follow up of the pilot study on data collection in Antalya Bay, including the addition of the socio-economic component, Turkey.

The technical officer and socio-economic consultant of the EastMed project travelled to Demre, at the marine fisheries branch of the Mediterranean Fisheries Research Production and Training Institute. The first two days were dedicated to review the catch, effort and biological data, after which, the remaining two days were used to conduct the training course on socio-economic data collection. Prior to the mission the EastMed project requested the data collected so far during the pilot study. The experts analysed the data to produce basic quality indicators such as the coefficient of variation (C.V.) and estimates for the total population by month, for catch and effort variables (e.g. fishing days, trips, days at sea, GT*days, days*hooks, etc.) and basic biological parameters (e.g. sex ratio, length frequency distributions, length-weight relationships, and maturity ogive). During the last two days a training course on socio economic data collection was conducted in which both the theoretical and practical aspects on the collection of socio-economic variables were explained. The first day dealt with theoretical aspects while the second day involved more practical aspects and field work with the trainees collecting some data using questionnaires from the field. During the course the general scheme and goals of a data collection survey was introduced, explaining the definition of variables, introducing the methodologies to validate the questionnaire and describing in detail the approach that should be followed by the data collectors to interview the fishers.

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10-11 January 2013, Rome, Italy. Coordination Meeting between DG-MARE, FAO-FIRF Mediterranean Projects and GFCM.

The Coordinator of EastMed participated in the Coordination Meeting between DG-MARE, FAO-FIRF Mediterranean Projects and GFCM. On the 1st day of the meeting, the Project Coordinators presented the progress and results achieved since October 2012, when EC funds were available, and highlighted the difficulties and actions which were taken to resolve them. The budgetary status for all the ongoing EC funded projects, which were extended up to 31 March 2013, was then discussed. The detailed work plans and the budgets for the next one-year period were presented based on the statement made by the three co-funded Donors during the meeting held in Brussels on 25 June 2012 that the funding would be in line with the contributions of the previous years. Due to the critical financial situation of Spain, Italy and Greece, the possibility to increase the EC contribution as well as its percentage was put forward. On the 2nd day, a presentation on the on-going activities of the FAO project in the Black Sea was made, which is actually acting as the component of the GFCM Framework Programme relating to the Black Sea. The outcomes of the performance reviews for AdriaMed and MedSudMed were discussed. Finally the outlines of a 5-year Mediterranean Project in support to the GFCM Framework Programme were presented. Administrative issues were also clarified, as well as those related with visibility. The representative of GFCM made finally a briefing on the meeting held in Rome regarding the concerted actions for Lebanon, where the roles of the various actors were clarified.

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07 - 09 January 2013, Athens, Greece. FAO EastMed Seminar on the Utility of Data in Fisheries Management.

The Seminar on the Utility of Data in Fisheries Management was held from 7 to 9 January 2013 in Athens, Greece. It was attended by nineteen participants from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon and Tunisia. It was targeted at managers and was designed to illustrate the use of scientific information, point out the importance of a proper data collection system and introduce the various tools that can be used in the decision making process. In particular a description of the basic models used for stock assessment was presented as well as case studies from the Mediterranean. The participating countries expressed their gratitude to the Project’s staff as well as their interest and willingness to hold further seminars relating to other relevant aspects of management issues in the future.

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Year 2012 TOP

click on the picture to enlarge it and view a "slide show" of the entire year

15 - 20 December 2012, Cairo, Alexandria, Egypt. Review of Catch, Effort and Biological data supported by the EastMed project and the preparations for the 40 mm square mesh selectivity study.

The staff of the project travelled to Cairo, Egypt from 14 to 21 December 2012. They were accompanied by an expert on fishing technology as well as by an expert on fisheries biology. The goal of the mission was to make a review on the biological sampling as well as the catch and effort data collection which are included in the pilot data collection survey supported by the EastMed Project. An additional goal of the mission was to present the preliminary results of the socio economic survey recently conducted in Egypt and to define objectives and technical requirements in order to implement trawl surveys using 40 mm square mesh size in the trawl codend. During a plenary meeting on the 17th of December with the Fisheries administration and scientists several issues were discussed and agreed, including: 1) amendments to the data collection scheme, which will be followed in the 2nd year; 2) additional training courses on biological aspects; 3) continuation of the collection on socio economic parameters; 4) objectives and technical requirements for the implementation of 40 mm square mesh size on the trawl codend, such as a characteristics of the trawler which has to be hired, number of days, the number of hauls per day and the persons who will consist the team on board. During the following days the project coordinator accompanied by the expert on fishing technology traveled to Alexandria to contact local technologists, net makers and fishing vessels with their skippers. The possibility to conduct seminars to the fishermen on fishing technology was also discussed.

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6-7 December 2012, Rome, Italy. Implementation of the first phase of activities within the 2013-2018 GFCM Framework Programme – Preparatory meeting.

The Project Coordinator participated in the preparatory meeting regarding the implementation of the 1st phase of the GFCM Framework programme in GFCM premises from 6-7 December 2012. In the meeting besides the GFCM Secretariat participated the Coordinators of the SAC/sub committees and representatives of the sub regional projects including senior officer from FAO-FIRF. The goal of the meeting was to define actions to strengthen data collection and submission frameworks and promote the implementation of the GFCM guidelines for multiannual management plans. Regarding the data collection component of the GFCM Framework programme, the need for a revision of Task 1 was highly mentioned. Regarding the guidelines for multiannual management plans, it was commented that these guidelines will be accompanied by case studies with the small pelagic fishery in Adriatic to be the first. An extended presentation on EAF was also made by a senior officer who mainly provided the EAF principles which have to drive the management plans.

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3-4 December 2012, Rome, Italy. Concerted action for Lebanon.

The Project Coordinator participated in a meeting which was hosted in GFCM premises from 3-4 December 2012, regarding Concerted Actions for Lebanon. Lebanese representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture as well as from the scientific community of the country and FAOR were received at Palazzo Blumenstihl in the framework of concerted actions for Lebanon. In the meeting all relevant actors who are involved in activities scheduled for Lebanon were present including officers from FAO HQ and representatives from the sub regional projects. The goal of the two-day meeting was to identify objectives and priority issues for Lebanon, to review results achieved/to be achieved by organizations, agencies and projects supporting Lebanese fisheries and aquaculture, and to elaborate a multiannual roadmap (2013-2018) to help Lebanon in strengthening its fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The actions to be conducted in Lebanon are covering four pillars such as 1) Support the elaboration of multi-annual management plans, including development of the sector; 2) Support the development of national fisheries data collection systems; 3) Support sustainable development of aquaculture and 4) Strengthen the regulatory and institutional frameworks including for MCS purposes.

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5-9 November 2012, Split, Croatia. The GFCM Working group on stock assessment of demersals.

The Project Coordinator participated at the GFCM Working group on stock assessment of demersals which was held in Split (Croatia) from 05 to 09 November 2012. There were participants from Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, representatives of the bfour sub regional projects (CopeMed, AdriaMed, MedSudMed and EastMed) and from the GFCM Secretariat. Overall, 28 assessments were presented from many GFCM GSAs covering most of the Mediterranean. This year assessments were presented from scientists of the Black Sea.

Different approaches to undertake stock assessments were used, due to the different characteristics of species and the

availability of data. The majority of stocks assessed were in a status of overfishing. The most of the participants were already familiar with the new assessment forms which had been elaborated in doc format. Many technical issues were discussed during the meeting which will surely improve future stock assessments. During the WG, the Project Coordinator provided technical assistance to the Egyptian scientist in improving the assessment of a stock (Saurida undosquamis), which is supported by the project under the pilot survey on data collection in Egypt.

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15-19 October 2012, Italy. Working experience for Turkish scientists in fisheries data collection in Italy.

The EastMed staff travelled to Italy, in order to show in practice to the Turkish participants how a fisheries data collection system on catch, effort, biological and socio-economic data is conducted in the field, in a large country of similar size to Turkey. The mission was composed by the technical officer of the project, the socio-economic consultant, the head of the statistics and information division from the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL) and two scientists from the Mediterranean Fisheries Research Production and Training Institute, Antalya, Turkey. The group first visited the port in Fiumicino, to meet the data collector in field and get experience on the practical aspects in the data collection process. The next day the group visited the Institute for Economic Research in Fishery and Aquaculture (IREPA). The researchers from the institute described the sampling methodology that is used in Italy, together with the administrative and logistical arrangements involved in the data collection program. The information on the administrative and logistical set-up was very welcome by the Turkish head of statistics; since this was one of the major problems the Turkish Ministry was facing in order to implement a data collection system throughout their country. The following day the group visited Ancona, which is one of the main fishing ports in the Adriatic Sea, with a relatively big fleet for small pelagic species. The Centre for National Research (CNR) in Ancona was visited, and the group met with the head of the division responsible for the collection of biological data according to the EC data collection program, with an explanation of the data flow from the data collection, data entry, and then data analysis for management purposes, such as stock assessments and management plans. In Ancona the group also visited the landing sites, together with the auction and sale of small pelagic species (e.g. anchovies). The group met with the data collector who is responsible for catch, effort and socio-economic data who highlighted the importance to build a very good relationship with the fishing community. This was crucial since without good collaboration, the fishing community (e.g. fisher, market, etc) would not provide good quality data. This required time, patience and understanding, and it can require years. The visit including the fruitful discussions between the Turkish scientists, data collectors, researchers, fishers, wholesalers, and the ROs was very constructive. A good understanding of the main problems and solutions in the social, economic, technical, administrative and logistical constraints, in fisheries data collection was established.

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8-12 October 2012, kalymnos, Greece. Training course for the preparation of fish traditional products to the fishermen’s wives in the island of Kalymnos.

A training course was carried out in the island of Kalymnos (Greece) to 22 fishermen wives in fish products processing. The goal was to make use of low value fish such tunas like species and involve fishermen wives to add value in the products in order to improve the welfare not only of the family but also the community. The first two days were covered by theoretical lectures related with 1) fishes conservation on ice and freezing; 2) canning, marinating, drying, smoking, salting and preparing surimi products; 3) quality control based on chemical, microbiological and organoleptic criteria; 4) traditional and new techniques on packaging and canning and 5) marketing of the fishes including EC regulations. The other three days, the trainees moved to the field where they were trained in different ways on fish process. They were experienced in sterilizing, drying, salting and smoking techniques. They processed Thunnus alalunga which is caught in big quantities by the local fishermen, while they used only local ingredients. Consultants were used for both theoretical and practical lessons that also covered marketing issues. The activity was very welcome by the local community and became public through the local media.

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21 September 2012, Rome, Italy. Meeting between FIRF, FAO Regional Projects and GFCM.

The FAO FIRF projects had a meeting with GFCM in order to discuss the contribution of the Regional Projects to the GFCM Framework Programme (FWP) 2013-2018. The GFCM FWP has been approved at the 36th session of the Commission. A summary table was prepared with the main proposed actions and activities for the first and second year of the FWP, where the Regional Projects have respectively inserted their running or to be run activities. The meeting was an initiative from FIRF in order to interchange ideas, clarify outputs, identify priorities and procedural ways to achieve the expected outputs. Discussions were held on the collaboration that can be conducted between GFCM and FIRF on Improving Governance and fisheries management, data collection, promoting the role of aquaculture and enhancing the development of artisanal fisheries.

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16-21 September 2012, Cairo, Egypt. Meeting with Administration in GAFRD Cairo for presenting, discussing and defining details on activities supported by the project and participating in the training course on socio economics data collection, which were held in Alexandria and Damietta.

The EastmMed experts travelled to Egypt from the 15th to the 21st of September 2012. A meeting was held on the 16th in GAFRD Cairo for defining details on the development of the clam fishery, for presenting a draft proposal on the survey for the implementation of the 40 mm square mesh size in the trawl codend, for explaining the objectives of the current training on socio economics and finally for having a follow up of the fisheries dependent pilot survey on data collection. From the 17th to the 21st a training course on socio economic data collection was conducted in Alexandria and Damietta. During the training course the project coordinator participated only in the session in Alexandria. In both Alexandria and Damietta data collectors were trained both in the theoretical and practical aspects on the collection of socio-economic variables. The first day dealt with theoretical aspects while the second day involved more practical aspects and field work with the trainees collecting some data using questionnaires from the field. During the course the general scheme and goals of a data collection survey was introduced, explaining the definition of variables, introducing the methodologies to validate the questionnaire and describing in detail the approach that should be followed by the data collectors to interview the fishers. The questionnaire had had a first round of testing in March 2012, after which during this mission it has been retested and refined at the end of the course in Damietta. The final stratification, fleet segmentation, sample size, coverage rate and list of vessels which have to be sampled, were all finalized during the mission. This was important so that GAFRD could start the collection of socio-economic parameters immediately after the mission.

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9-13 July 2012, Antalya bay, Turkey. Training course on catch, effort and biological sampling in connection with the pilot study on the collection of fisheries data.

The staff of the EastMed project travelled to Antalya, Turkey in order to conduct a training course on catch, effort and biological sampling as part of the pilot study on data collection. The country would like to start comprehensive data collection, first in order to have an accurate estimation of the catches and effort and secondly in order to undertake stock assessments on a routine basis. The course was conducted over five days, with lectures, practical exercises, work in the field and in the laboratory. The course covered presentations on fishing gears and target species, in order to give the scientists knowledge on how to judge the quality of the data collected. The sampling of catch and effort was described, by describing the statistical design, variables (e.g. catch by gear, price per kg, fishing days, length of nets, no. of hooks, soaking time, etc.) and the practical difficulties in collecting the variables, such as species identification, the issues of discards, mixed boxes of fish, market size categories, conversion factors. A visit to one landing port in Antalya bay was organized in order to collect some catch and effort data for field experience, after which the data was entered in excel and a discussion was developed on the quality of the data collected, by analyzing several indicators (e.g. mean catch per day, C.V, etc.). The last two days were devoted to lectures, field and laboratory work for the collection of biological parameters. The lectures focused on the sampling design, the collection of several biological parameters such as individual weight, sex, sexual maturity and age. Practical aspects were also described such as sampling in ports and good laboratory practice procedures. The importance of age sampling was highlighted by a working example of length and age data including statistical estimations of the CV and minimum sample size in order to understand the importance of statistics in optimizing the sampling regime and to save costs and human resources. The data collection will start in September 2012 and after 3 months of data collection, a mission should be organised probably in December to review the progress of the data collection, answer to any problems the data collectors might have and to conduct some data analysis to check the quality of the data. Furthermore during the same mission a 2 day course on the collection of socio-economic parameters could be conducted so that this component could also be introduced in the pilot study.

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25 June 2012, Brussels, Belgium. Donor meeting, lunch time Conference and DG-Mare/FAO Coordination Meeting.

The EastMed project Coordinator together with the other projects coordinators and the FAO-FIRF colleagues travelled to Brussels to participate at the donor meeting, a lunch time Conference and the annual DG-Mare/FAO Coordination Meeting, which were held in Brussels at the 25th of June 2012. There were 3 different events during the day. The first one referred to the meeting with the donors (Spain, Italy, Greece and EU) of the sub regional Mediterranean Projects (CopeMed, AdtriaMed, MedSudMd and EastMed), the second to a lunch time conference for presenting the FAO-Mediterranean Projects main achievements and the third one to the annual coordination meeting between FAO and DG-Mare. In the meeting with the donors, the FIRF-Service Coordinator, the executive GFCM Secretary, the projects Coordinators, projects operators’ officers as well as officers from the DG-Mare were present. The aim of that meeting was to have a general overview of the projects goals, achievements and perspectives and to discuss the difficulties of the donor’s countries and the continuity of the financial support either through the existed donors and/or looking for additional ones. During the lunch time conference organised by DG Mare, there were invited colleagues from various departments of the DG-Mare and the European Commission. In the conference which was focused to give visibility to the projects, the achievements of the projects and the benefits so far to the region were presented by the coordinators. The executive GFCM Secretary also presented the GFCM framework and highlighted the contribution of the projects to the achievements of the GFCM. In the last part, in the Coordination Meeting between FAO and DG Mare financial and administration issues were clarified as well as the obligations by the projects. Finally it was agreed to keep the annual Coordination Meeting at the same approximately period.

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12-15 June 2012, Athens, Greece. Sub-regional Working Group on deep-water biological resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Sub-regional Working Group on Deep Water Biological Resources in the Eastern Mediterranean was held in Athens Greece, from the 12 to 15 June 2012. The meeting was attended by scientists from Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Turkey. The meeting started with presentations on the descriptions of the fishing fleets (e.g. trawlers, vessels using shrimp traps) which target deep water demersal resources on the continental slope (500 – 800 m) in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the management actions currently in force. Studies on the available information on the distribution and biology of the main species, targeted by the fisheries (e.g. Aristaeomorpha foliacea, Aristeus antennatus, Plesionika spp., Helicolenus dactylopterus., etc.), in the Eastern Mediterranean were also presented. An interesting study was also presented on the Italian distant deep water fisheries in the Central – Eastern Mediterranean. The participants recognised the importance of the occurrence of shared stocks in deep waters, which are exploited by several countries. However the group highlighted the problem that there is a lack of information on basic data such as catch and effort, from the fleets exploiting the demersal resources. In this respect the group agreed to firstly start collecting some basic data in the region, and devised a standard questionnaire which will be used to interview the fishers on their fishing activity in deep waters and the respective catches. This will give the basic data on which further scientific analysis and advice for management of the deep water demersal resources could be given.

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11-15 June 2012, Lebanon. Feasibility study for new fishing vessel designs and/or new vessel building materials.

During the period from 11 to 15 June, a mission on the field was conducted with the aim of reviewing the existing fishing vessels, particularly their construction and maintenance facilities and gathering all the technical and economic information necessary to prepare a preliminary proposal for new design and material of small scale fishing vessels. A naval engineer specialized in fishing vessels was hired to conduct a review of the existing fishing vessels and shipyards in Lebanon. He was accompanied by the socio-economic consultant of the Project. In addition to field visits and meetings with the local fishermen’s communities, they visited the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture which are the responsible authorities for the management of the fishing vessels. A meeting with an international certification body was also held. A report will be shortly produced which will include the status of the fishing vessels as well as a preliminary proposal for a new small scale fishing vessel design and material based on the feasibility study. As a follow up of the feasibility study, vessel project/s will be developed on a later stage.

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15-16 May 2012, Antalya bay, Turkey. 1st mission of the pilot study on the collection of fisheries data.

The technical officer and the consultant on socio-economics travelled to Antalya, Turkey in order to describe the technical and logistical requirements in the implementation of a data collection system. During the first day basic theory was described followed by its application to the collection of catch and effort data with a practical exercise. An imaginary fleet of fishing vessels from the fleet register of Antalya bay was used to prepare the sampling design, including the stratification scheme or fleet segments, population, sample size and vessels to be sampled. The experts then guided the group on how field work should be organized, from the data collection sheets, the logistical problems that could be encountered to the quality and control of the data. The collection of socio-economic and biological data was then described in the second day, after which the group developed a program of work. The socio-economist described in detail a list of indicators and variables, useful from a managerial perspective. A lead scientist for this pilot study was appointed who would have the role to supervise all the activities and collaborate closely with the EastMed project. The next mission will be conducted in July in order to conduct training on catch, effort and biological sampling according to the agreed work plan which will then be followed by other missions as described in the program of work.

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14-19 May 2012, Morocco, Marrakech. 36th Session of the GFCM Commission.

The GFCM held its 36th session as well as the 3rd session of its Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the 6th session of its Compliance Committee (CoC) in Marrakech, Morocco, from 14 to 19 May 2012. It was attended by delegates from 19 Members, together with observers from non Members, namely the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as well as from intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations and FAO Mediterranean projects. The 60 Anniversary of the Commission was also celebrated. FAO was represented by Mr. Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The Coordinator of EastMed took advantage of the meeting to collaborate with the coordinators of the other FAO Mediterranean Regional Projects (AdriaMed, MedSudMed and CopeMed), and discuss the progress and developments of the ongoing and future activities of the projects. She finally met with counterparts for better coordinating activities in the project area.
More info on http://www.gfcm.org/fishery/nems/40036/en.

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07 May 2012, Athens, Greece. 10th Pan-Hellenic Symposium on Oceanography and Fisheries.

The FAO EastMed project has conducted a special workshop on Fisheries in the Mediterranean during an afternoon session at the 10th Pan-Hellenic Symposium on Oceanography and Fisheries in Athens. The workshop consisted of a presentation on fisheries governance in the Mediterranean, followed by a description of the main objectives and activities of the EastMed project. The major activities dealing with data collection, surveys at sea, fisheries development and experiment fishing were then described followed by a presentation on the socio-economic activities of the project with special reference to Egypt and Lebanon. The session ended with a presentation on Lessepsian migration and its impact on fisheries.

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3-4 May 2012, Malaga, Spain. 5th Meeting of the co-ordination committee of the CopeMed II project.

The Project Coordinator attended the 5th Coordination Committee Meeting which was held in the Sub-delegation of the Spanish Government in Malaga from 3-4 may 2012. It was attended by representatives of the Donors, Secretaria General de Pesca of Spain, delegations from the countries participating in the Project (Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia), the Coordinators from FAO AdriaMed, MedSudMed and EastMed Projects, as well as the officers from CopeMed II Project. The technical officer presented the results of the activities of the ArtiFiMed Project which was finished in July 2011. The activities mostly have been focused in strengthening the artisanal fishery in Tunisia and Morocco and they also included training fishermen in alternative activities (beekepers, embroidering etc) to improve their income. The participants congratulated the work done so far and highlighted the important role that project has played in drawing up the issue of SSF. The Coordinator then presented the CopeMed activities in the intersessional period which included training, stock assessment of shared stocks, institutional capacity and regional cooperation. The progress regarding the sharing information of the shared stocks as well as the common data base for joint analysis was highly emphasized. The issue of interaction between artisanal fishery and coastal aquaculture was discussed for which the technical assistance of the project was requested. The strong coordination among the sub-regional Projects was many times highlighted in an effort to avoid overlapping of common activities. The final work plan which was adopted by the committee, included a series of activities of regional interest like organization of meetings and assessments on shared stocks, support the strengthening of the national capacity as well as the countries participation in GFCM activities and promote the organization of a network of national institutions.

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19-20 April 2012, Bari, Italy. 3rd Coordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed Project.

The third coordination meeting of the EastMed project was held in Bari, Italy, from 19 to 20 April 2012 under the kind invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies of Italy. The meeting was attended by delegations from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as a representative of the EC and staff from FAO HQ, FAO Mediterranean sub-regional projects and the GFCM. After the opening of the meeting and election of the chairperson, the activities during the 2nd year of the project were presented, followed by the proposals of activities for the 3rd year from each country. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the project and thanked both the staff of the project and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the 3rd year includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities aiming in strengthening stakeholders’ awareness and activities in promoting regional participation and cooperation. The tasks of the project will be the development of a web-based licensing system and feasibility study for new fishing vessel designs in Lebanon, training on socio-economics in Egypt and Turkey , pilot activities on data collection in Lebanon and Turkey, development of the clams fishery in Egypt, experimental trials in alternative fishing techniques in Lebanon, as well as training on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. The 2nd permanent Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment in the Eastern Mediterranean and a Working Group on Deep water demersal resources will also be held .EastMed finally, will continue to support the participation of experts from the project’s area at the meetings of the FAO-GFCM and other relevant regional/international organizations. The EastMed project, in close cooperation with the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects, will continue to find synergies among the various activities in the region.

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10-12 April 2012, Beirut, Lebanon. EastMed Seminar on Control, Inspection and Good Hygienic procedures in Fisheries.

Two consultants travelled to Beirut Lebanon from the 10th to the 12th of April 2012, in order to conduct a seminar on control, inspection and good hygienic procedures in fisheries. The seminar was held over two days in Beirut. It covered the same material as the seminar is Egypt. However, since it was conducted over two days and in one city the consultants dealt into more details especially with respect to the organizational structure of GFCM and its mandate. The consultants had also more time to describe in more detail the most common fishing gears in the Mediterranean and including gears which are not common in Lebanon. This served to improve the general knowledge of the participants on different fishing gears and practices.

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26-28 March 2012, Tirana, Albania. 13th Coordination Committee Meeting of the AdriaMed.

The Project’s Coordinator participated at the 13th AdriaMed Coordination Committee meeting which was organized and held in Tirana, Albania from 26-28 March 2012 and kindly hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, Directorate of Fisheries Policies. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Donors, delegations from the countries participating in the Project (Albania, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia), representatives of the Marine and Inland Service of the Fisheries Resources Use and Conservation Division (FAO-FIRF) of FAO, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)and the FAO Mediterranean Regional Projects. The Committee discussed the inter-committee period and the programme of activities proposed for the next intersessional period of implementation, as well as the possibility of an extension to activities of the Project. The EastMed Project’s coordinator mentioned the experience taken so far by the extended implementation of seminars on Control and Inspection in Egypt and Lebanon and proposed to transfer it any time deemed as necessary.

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23 March - 1 April, 2012. EastMed Seminar on Control, Inspection and Good Hygienic procedures in Fisheries, Cairo, Alexandria, Kafr el sheik, Damietta, Port said, Egypt.

The technical officer, the socio-economic consultant and an expert on fisheries control travelled to Egypt, in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Kafr el Sheik, Damietta, Port Said, from the 23rd of March to the 1st of April 2012, in order to conduct a seminar on control, inspection and good hygienic procedures in fisheries. The seminar was held over one day in each of the different cities, with a total of around 300 participants, including 10 participants from Gaza Strip. The seminar was mainly designed to support and improve professional standards of fisheries inspectors in Egypt, but also tackled issues on management measures, fisheries legislation, technical measures, minimum landing sizes, field practices, inspection protocols and good hygienic procedures in fisheries. The seminar was held in such a way as to involve the participants as much as possible, in order to have constructive discussions with all the stakeholders. During the seminar the use of videos, models of fishing gear (e.g. small scale otter trawl net) and measuring instruments used in control were used extensively, in order to give some practical aspects of fisheries control. The seminar was greatly appreciated by the local fishing communities, the fisheries scientists and the fisheries administration which also proposed further activities in this respect. Apart from the seminar a first preparatory phase for the implementation of a socio-economic survey in Egypt was conducted.

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22 March, 2012. Meeting with stakeholders of Greece.

Aiming in a better visibility of the project, a meeting with representatives of administration from Fisheries Departments and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the scientific community and fishermen cooperatives was held in Athens on the 22nd of March 2012. The objectives of the meeting was to present the project, its structure and scope and finally to discuss on the activities and significant achievements. During the meeting the importance of the Project for Greece as both donor and beneficiary country was highlighted as well as the need for support by the Greek government. The participants acknowledged the significant role of such meetings, which help to coordinate their actions and exchange knowledge and information on the issues of their interest and they asked to repeat those meetings at least once a year.

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20 March, 2012. EastMed Donor meeting.

A donor meeting was held at FAO HQ in Rome, Italy on the 20th of March 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to update the three resource partners on the progress of the project and highlight the important role the project is playing in supporting the development of regionally consistent fisheries management plans among the Eastern Mediterranean countries through the monitoring of commercial fisheries and the development of fisheries research and management capacities. Based on the financial situation of the project, an effort was done to identify appropriate solutions and agree on proposals to facilitate its implementation.

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15-18 March & 13-14 May 2012. Experimental trials using deepwater fishing gears in the South of Lebanon.

Within the framework of the project “Assistance to the artisanal fishery in the port of Naqoura” financed by the Italian Cooperation, the National Centre for Scientific Research Lebanon (CNRS-L) is carrying out a series of activities in order to establish a pilot testing unit for the use of new fishing techniques in Lebanon. These activities have been implemented in the wider framework of the CANA Project "Establishing monitoring and sustainable development of the Lebanese sea" funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the CNRS-L. The EastMed project is providing technical assistance to build the capacity of the staff of CNRS in terms of data collection, analysis and train fishers on the use of new fishing techniques. Two missions were conducted in which the project provided technical assistance, in March and May 2012 during which the experimental trials using alternative gears, such as monofilament gillnets targeting hake and Spanish tarps targeting shrimps, were tested. The EastMed expert had the general objective to assist the staff of CNRS-L working in fisheries science in order to develop the planned activities, with a particular focus on the development of fishing trials and biological data collection. Building the capacities of the staff of CNRS-L in terms of data collection and analysis, training the fishers on the use of new fishing techniques, and presenting the results and good practices of the activity to the concerned stakeholders were among the objectives of the mission.

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13-14 March 2012, Djerba, Tunisia. 10th Coordination Committee Meeting of the MedSudMed Project.

The Project’s coordinator participated at the 10th Coordination Committee meeting of MedSudMed which was held in Djerba, Tunisia (13-14 March 2012). The meeting was attended by representatives of Italy, Libya, Malta, Tunisia, as well as from the FAO, GFCM and other sub-regional projects and three members of the evaluation team. The activities of the intersessional period were reviewed and the work plan for the next period was presented and adopted. The representatives of the countries expressed their satisfaction with the activities implemented so far and wished for the continuation of the project. It was strongly highlighted the need for multi-annual planning which could better satisfy the organization of the activities. The coordinator highlighted the need of finding synergies among the projects, while potential collaboration in activities of common interest between MedSudMed and Eastemd would be identified.

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12-16 March 2012, Beirut, Lebanon. Training course and start of the pilot study on socio-economic data collection.

The FAO EastMed socio-economic consultant, travelled to Lebanon during the period 12-16 March with the purpose of delivering a training course on socio-economic data collection. During the course, the preliminary version of the paper questionnaire was introduced and described and a detailed description of each variable was provided. Furthermore the approach that should be followed to interview the fishermen and the methodologies for the checking and validation of the questionnaire were extensively described. The questionnaire was tested on the field and refined day by day in order to be adapted to the local context. The testing of the questionnaire covered the main Lebanese fishing ports, namely: Beirut, Saida, Sour, Tripoli and Jounieh. In these ports a meeting was held with the president of the local fishermen’s syndicate in order to get their collaboration on the ongoing activities. The mission in the country was the second step of the ‘Preliminary Fisheries Socio-economic Survey’. The first step involved the gathering of the licensing data for 2011 and preparing the appropriate sampling design.

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06-07 March 2012, Beirut, Lebanon. GFCM task Force Sub regional Meeting.

The Task Force meeting of the GFCM in Beirut (6-7 March 2012), represents the second step of a new process which aims at promoting a bottom up approach and which is ultimately expected to lead to the amendment of the GFCM Agreement and associated rules in order to enable GFCM to respond to the challenges arisen in respect of the current status of fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and Black sea. The meeting was consistent with its Terms of Reference: to provide all the GFCM members the right to access all the discussions and debates relating to the improvement and modernization of the legal and institutional framework of GFCM. One sub-regional meeting for the Western and Central Mediterranean has been held in Rabat (13-14 Feb 2012); while in April two meetings will be convened one for the Black Sea and the other one for the Adriatic. The meeting in Beirut was attended by 15 participants from 4 GFCM Members, including representatives of the GFCM Bureau, GFCM Secretariat, FAOR and the FAO-EastMed sub-regional project. The presence of the coordinator of the EastMed project was considered as important to consolidate actions aiming to the improvement of the GFCM agreement. This strategy is followed by all the coordinators of the FAO sub-regional projects in the Mediterranean, who are invited to participate at the respective sub regional meetings of the GFCM task Force.

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29 February–01 March 2012, Mersin, Turkey. EastMed demersal trawl survey in the Mediterranean Sea, preliminary meeting; survey protocol and meeting report.

The project’s coordinator and the technical officer travelled to Mersin Turkey from the 29th of February to the 1st of March 2012 for a meeting to plan a survey at sea in the EastMed region. The meeting was attended by seven experts (one from each EastMed member country), plus the representatives of the FAO-EastMed project. The meeting started with a presentation of the surveys done so far in Turkish waters, and the research vessel which was offered for this particular research cruise. The area for the survey was decided to be in the North Eastern Levantine Sea, in which the survey area covered the national waters of Turkey and international waters. The period of the survey would be 10 days between the 28th of May and the 15th of June and the participants agreed that two groups of scientists could board the vessel with a duration of 5 days at sea per group. The methodology of the survey was based on the MEDITS protocol. The main changes from the protocol were the fishing gear, which will be that of a Turkish commercial trawl, and some minor modifications in the samples per strata and the conduction of some hauls at night. For the treatment of the catches the protocol is almost identical to the MEDITS with the inclusion of CTD samples. The FAO AdriaMed ATrIS database will be used and the survey dataset could be co-owned by Turkey and FAO. During the last days the participants also visited the research vessel Bilim 2.

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20-23 February 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria. GFCM - Scientific Advisory Committee - 14th Session.

The Project’s coordinator and the technical officer participated at the GFCM/SAC 14th session and together with the staff of the project from the other FAO Mediterranean sub-regional projects presented the document GFCM:SAC14/2012/Inf.19 summarizing the major activities of the projects during the intercessional period. As in previous SAC meetings, the participation, activities and support of the FAO projects to the member countries and to the GFCM was underlined by most of the participating delegates. The SAC acknowledged the extensive work undertaken by the projects and the valuable scientific contributions provided, especially in developing and implementing common methodologies through organizing joint field training activities, surveys at sea, as well as strengthening the expertise at national level. The EastMed project also supported the participation of Greek, Lebanese and Egyptian delegates to the meeting. Parallel meetings with the representative of EC were carried out in order to discuss the financial issues and actions to be done for the promotion of the projects as well as with the delegates of the EastMed region to discuss on matters regarding the upcoming Coordination Committee of the project (19-20 Aprl 2012).

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07-15 February 2012, Alexandria, Egypt. EastMed 3rd mission of the fisheries-dependent data collection pilot survey.

The Project’s coordinator and the technical officer travelled to Egypt in order to follow the third mission on the fisheries dependent pilot survey on data collection from 7 to 15 February 2012. Two consultants, one socio-economist and one biologist accompanied the staff of the project. During the mission a follow up of the pilot survey particularly of the biological sampling has been conducted. This activity is being carried out with the support of the project after the signature of a LoA with the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD). The landing sites and laboratories in Madiaa, Burullus and Damietta were visited, where the staff of the project worked together with staff from GAFRD on the collection of biological parameters, discussing problems and finding solutions. The local supervisors in biological sampling accompanied the team. It was highlighted that the capacity of the data collectors has greatly improved although some facilities are still lacking and which will be provided by the support of the project.
Additionally, meetings in the headquarters of GAFRD (Cairo) were conducted, where the staff of the project presented two proposals (socio-economic pilot study and development of the clam fishery) for future activities that could be supported by EastMed. Both proposals were very well welcomed by the GAFRD and it was agreed that the proposals would be brought in the upcoming Coordination Committee Meeting (19-20 April 2012). Meetings were also conducted with the FAO regional representation where a briefing on the running activities of the project in the region as well as in Egypt was made.

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23-26 January 2012, Rome, Italy. 12th Sessions of the GFCM Sub-committees

The aim of the mission was to participate to the GFCM Sub-Committees meetings, in Rome from 23/01 to 26/01/2012 as well as to have discussions with FAO-FIRF on the 27th. The project’s coordinator, the technical officer accompanied and the socio-economist consultant participated in the SC on Stock Assessment, the SC on Economy and Social Sciences, the SC on Statistics and Information, the SC on Environment and Ecosystems including the transversal sessions. Several presentations were done on the activities of the projects in the various sub-committees, by the countries participating in the project. Moreover, they participated to FAO regional projects’ coordination meetings, to meeting between FAO FIRF and GFCM and to meetings with the staff in FAO-FIRF.

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Year 2011
   

12-16 December 2011, Sliema, Malta. Training Course on Introduction to Fish Stock assessment models.

The training course on fish stock assessment models was held in Sliema, Malta between the 12th and the 16th of December 2011. More than twenty scientists from Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Gaza Strip and West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Tunisia, Turkey attended the course. The course was designed for fisheries biologists working in fisheries centres or other research institutions involved in fisheries monitoring, research and management in the Mediterranean. The course covered a five day period and provided instruction, demonstration, and exercises in basic concepts in population dynamics and the application of stock assessment models including surplus production models, analytical Models (including Yield per Recruit Analysis and cohort analysis) and the estimation of biological reference. The course exercises were based in excel with considerable time dedicated to the analysis of data by the participants. Overall the participants were satisfied with the quality of the training. To allow the participants to assimilate the methods taught and increase their skills in data manipulation and analyses training opportunities should be provided every year and on a regular basis in the Mediterranean.

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24-30 November 2011, Solemon Survey, Italy; 10-17 July Medits Survey Cyprus. Participation at Surveys at Sea, Solemon and Medits demersal Surveys.

The EastMed project supported an Egyptian and a Lebanese scientist to participate in the 2011 Cypriot leg of the Mediterranean International Trawl Survey (MEDITS). The scientists gained valuable experience in the conduction of a demersal survey at sea, and thanked greatly the Cypriot authorities and scientists (including Greeks) which were onboard the research vessel. The EastMed project also supported two Turkish scientists in the participation of the Solemon demersal survey for sole in the Adriatic Sea. They were gently hosted on the Italian research vessel, and expressed their gratitude to the Italian scientists for the opportunity to get experience from Italy on research surveys at sea.

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22 November 2011, Cairo, Egypt. Workshop on Socio-economic Assessment of Egyptian Fisheries.

The Socio-economic consultant, Mr. Dario Pinello, attended on behalf of the EastMed Project the workshop on socio-economic assessment of Egyptian fisheries, which was held on the 22nd of November 2011, in Cairo. The methodology of the assessment was described and the results were presented. The assessment particularly gave a wide overview of the social aspects of the fisheries. Mr. Pinello presented the Socio-Economic assessment that is planned to be carried out in Lebanon, with particular relevance to the methodological issues. The Socio-Economic assessment is one component among others regarding the data collection (see chart below). He underlined the relevance of socio-economic indicators, which are necessary as tools for comparing other national sectors (mainly agriculture) as well as comparing fisheries of other EastMed countries.

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24-29 October 2011, Chania, Greece. GFCM Working Group on Stock Assessment.

The technical officer participated at the GFCM Working group on stock assessment which was held in Chania (Crete) Greece, from 24 to 29 October 2011. There were 30 participants from Albania, Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, representatives of FAO, FAO EastMed Project, and FAO MedSudMed Project, and from the GFCM Secretariat. Overall, 30 assessments were presented from many GFCM GSAs covering most of the Mediterranean. Different approaches to undertake stock assessments were used, due to the different characteristics of species and the availability of data. Out of the 30 stocks assessed, 28 stocks were in a status of overfishing, with only one stock being underexploited whereas one assessment was considered preliminary. Many technical issues were discussed during the meeting which will surely improve future stock assessments. Furthermore several informal discussions were held with participants from the Eastern Mediterranean in order to discuss future activities on stock assessment such as the training course on stock assessment organised by the FAO MedsudMed project.

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11th- 12th October 2011, Ankara, Turkey. Contribution of the FAO EastMed project to Data Collection System of Turkey.

The Project Co-ordinator, Technical officer and Socio-Economic consultant travelled to Ankara, Turkey in order to discuss possibilities for data collection in Turkey. The country would like to start comprehensive data collection, first in order to have an accurate estimation of the catches and secondly in order to undertake stock assessments on a routine basis. After one day of discussions a tentative work plan was developed in order to conduct a pilot survey to undertaken fisheries data collection in Turkey. The work plan describes in a stepwise approach all the tasks required in order to start a pilot study on data collection and especially describes the practical details. After the Turkish administration officially agrees with the work plan, the activity will be brought to the co-ordination committee for consideration.

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18th September - 1st October 2011, Beirut, Lebanon. Setting-up of a web-based system for fishing licenses.

The Consultant, Mr. Constantine Stamatopolous travelled to Beirut, Lebanon, during the period 18 September – 1 October 2011 with the purpose of providing technical support to the FAO EastMed project in the sector of fisheries information and statistics. The mission involved technical consultations with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) as well as meetings with local software development companies. The discussions had as a focus the design and implementation of a Licensing System and Data Base (MOA LSDB). Logical links between MOA LSDB and other related systems and databases were also examined, notably those operated by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT). During the mission the consultant had the opportunity to visit the University of Balamand and discuss issues relating to the eventual involvement of the University in the statistical analysis of fleet data for direct use by a pilot data collection programme for a nation-wide catch and effort assessment system. The consultant also discussed aspects of cooperation with the FAO project GCP/LEB/020/ITA – National Observatory for Agricultural Development, particularly in the collection of fisheries statistics. A prototype system for the analysis of fleet data was demonstrated to MOA. Recommendations on how the licensing system should be developed including its utility in future catch and effort assessment surveys were also provided to the MOA.

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22th – 29th September 2011, Beirut, Lebanon. Appraisal of the Lebanese fishery sector from a socio-economic perspective.

The Socio-Economic Consultant, Mr Dario Pinello, has conducted an appraisal of the socio-economic situation of the Lebanese fisheries sector in order to identify in which sections the EastMed project can contribute to the fisheries socio-economic aspects. The consultant met and interviewed some of the main stakeholders. The main goal of the mission was to understand the management and the organization of the fisheries sector, with particular reference to the economic and commercial aspects. The consultant had a meeting with the advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hassan Atweh, in order to understand the system of loans with respect to the fisheries sector. Another meeting was carried out with the Director General of Land & Maritime Transport, Mr Hafeez Kayssi, which focused on the understanding of the vessel licensing system. The consultant also visited some cooperatives including their landing and selling points, some gear suppliers and a factory for the production of the fishing vessels. In the central fish market of Beirut the consultant interviewed several fish traders. Moreover a meeting was conducted with Mr Madjalani, National Focal Point of the EastMed project and officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, to understand the fishing licensing system followed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The appraisal showed that:
a) no socio-economic data on the fisheries exist;
b) there is a strong domestic demand for fish products, which is partially satisfied by internal production;
c) prices of seafood products are on average higher compared with the other Mediterranean countries;
d) the vessels are not adequate for offshore navigation including fishing and there it is extremely difficult to obtain the international standards of maritime safety;
e) it is foreseen by the Ministry of Agriculture to develop some projects that aim to help the fishermen to improve the safety and efficiency standard of their vessels.

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19th - 23rd September 2011, Beirut, Lebanon. Appraisal of the Fisheries Department in Lebanon.

The Project Coordinator accompanied by Mr Henri Farrugio chairman of the FAO-GFCM Scientific Advisory Committee, and officers from the FAO representation in Lebanon and the Ministry of Agriculture visited fisheries departments in Tyr, Saida, Beirut, Juniyah, Ouzai, Batroun and Tripoli with the general purpose of gathering information for the institutions dealing with fisheries in Lebanon. The institutions visited were: the Directorate General of Agriculture and the Minister`s advisor within the Ministry of Agriculture, the American University of Lebanon, the Lebanese University, the Marine Research Centre within the National Council for Scientific Research the fishers syndicates in Tyr and Tripoli, the fishers co-operative in Dawra, Tyr, Ouzai and Tripoli, the Civil Defence department and the Italian co-operation in Lebanon. The information collected in the above mentioned mission concerns a)how the Mediterranean marine fisheries are managed in Lebanon; b)what is the state of the institutions which manage fisheries; c) how they are organised; d) how fisheries monitoring and research activities influence fisheries management decisions and; e) what is the involvement of stakeholders in fisheries management. The appraisal will include suggestions on how the system can be improved so that can be in line with a management system based on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries management (EAF).

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18th - 22nd July 2011, Beirut, Lebanon. FAO EastMed Assessment of the fishing gears in Lebanon

The FAO EastMed assessment of the fishing gears in Lebanon was conducted from the 18 to 22 July 2011. The mission was conducted by Dr. Jacques Sacchi FAO EastMed Consultant who is an expert on fishing technology and was accompanied by Dr. Mark Dimech FAO EastMed project Technical Officer. The main objectives of the mission were to make a review of the main fishing techniques in Lebanon and to propose ways how to re-structure the fleet, including proposals for a change in the associated fisheries legislation. The experts visited the main landings ports, and conducted interviews with fishers, fishing gear suppliers, fishmongers and officers from the Ministry of Agriculture. The main findings show that several characteristics which include restricted continental shelf artisanal gears and vessels, lack of electronic equipment (e.g. GPS, fish finder) and lack of freezing facilities, result in fishing activities between 3-6 nautical miles from the coast. Most of the fishing gears use small mesh sizes and hooks which result in the presence of small sized fishes and juveniles in the landings. This therefore requires the improvement of fishing techniques and any associated fisheries legislation. The priority should be to improve the exploitation of fisheries resources by using more sustainable fishing gears and increase the exploitation of offshore waters and at the same time reduce the fishing pressure from coastal waters.

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27th June - 1st July 2011, Demre, Turkey. FAO EastMed Permanent Working Group on Stock Assessment

The first meeting of the EASTMED Permanent Working Group on Stock Assessment was held in Demre, (Turkey), from 27 June to 1 July 2011. It was attended by experts from Egypt, Gaza Strip and West Bank, Greece, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as one representative of the European Commission, FAO staff and consultants. The meeting had three main general objectives i) to identify candidate shared stocks and priority stocks in the region which are in need of scientific advice from stock assessments and to prioritize these stocks at sub-regional and national level; ii) to determine the main data available for stock assessment purposes, identify the gaps in data collection and suggest actions to fill the gaps; iii) to identify the most adequate approaches for the estimation of growth parameters and suitable models to assess the stocks in the region according to the data available. During the meeting the experts presented information on the biology and fisheries of commercial stocks and potentially shared stocks in their countries and GSAs. Based on the definitions adopted by GFCM the group identified a set of criteria to be used for the identification of shared stocks in the region and provided a list of shared stocks. Similarly, the group identified a list of priority stocks for each country and GSAs on which focusing the assessment in the next meetings. For each identified shared and priority stock the main data available and the methods applicable for their assessment were determined.

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28th May - 16th June 2011, Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Damietta, Kafr el Sheik, Egypt. Pilot survey Phase II for catch/effort and biological data

The 2nd phase of the pilot study was conducted in two weeks. It included a follow up of the 1st phase and a training course for the new laboratories which were set-up in the western part of the country. During the mission all the ports were visited and assessment of the human resources, laboratories and the possibilities for biological sampling were conducted. In Alexandria the training course was held for data collectors, supervisors and representatives from the fisheries authorities, with several lectures from different experts. The course was very constructive and had the atmosphere of a workshop rather than a course since many issues were discussed on all aspects of sampling catch, effort and biological characteristics. During the last day of the training course the species to be selected for biological experts agreed to develop a protocol for the collection of data and identification templates in order to assist the data collectors in the field. As a follow up of the training an agreement was done on catch, effort and a list of species to be collected on a pilot basis supported by the project for one year. It was also agreed the analysis of the data to be done by the scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF). The general mission was completed with many fruitful and constructive outcomes and satisfied in general the Egyptian Authority. There was considerable collaboration between the FAO staff, consultants, Egyptian scientists and administration.

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31st May - 6th June 2011, Cairo. Appraisal of the Fisheries Department in Egypt.

The Project Coordinator accompanied by Mr Henri Farrugio chairman of the FAO-GFCM Scientific Advisory Committee, Mr Alaa Eldin EL-HAWEET Associate Professor at the Institute of Fisheries Technology and Aquaculture in the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Mr Madani Ali MADANI General Director of the International Agreement Department of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development visited fisheries departments to Cairo, Ismailia and Alexandria with the general purpose of gathering information for the institutions dealing with fisheries in Egypt. The institutions visited were: the General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development (GAFRD), the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), the Institute of Fisheries Technology and Aquaculture (IFTA) from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, the Oceanography Department from Alexandria University and the Marine Biology Department of the Suez Canal University in Ismailia. In Cairo the mission also visited the Fishermen Cooperatives Union which represents the main fishing industry stakeholders in the Mediterranean. The information collected in the above mentioned mission concerns a) how the Mediterranean marine fisheries are managed in Egypt, b) what is the state of the institutions which manage fisheries, c)how they are organised, d)how fisheries monitoring and research activities influence fisheries management decisions and e)what is the involvement of stakeholders in fisheries management. The appraisal will include suggestions on how the system can be improved so that can be in line with a management system based on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries management (EAF).

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16-18 May 2011, Mazara del Vallo-Capo Granitola, Italy. 9th meeting of the FAO MedsudMed Co-ordination Committee.

The EastMed project was represented in the 9th MedSudMed Coordination Committee meeting, which was held on 16-18 May 2011 at the Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero – Consiglio Nazionale per le Ricerche (IAMC-CNR). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Donors (the Italian Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies and Regione Siciliana), delegations from the countries participating in the Project (Italy, Malta and Tunisia), staff of FAO FIR, representatives of FAO Regional Projects (AdriaMed, CopeMed II, ArtFiMed and EastMed) and FAO GFCM and the staff of the FAO MedSudMed Project. The program of the meeting included the presentation of the main activities performed by the Project during the intersessional period and the proposed future activities of the Project. The country representatives appreciated the progress made in the Project and mentioned several specific achievements that have been made possible by the Project. Among them is the establishment of a scientific network that is continuously fuelled also outside the framework of the Project. The participating countries manifested their strong interest and support to the work plan presented for the forthcoming period and to the possible role of MedSudMed in providing countries with tools for the identification of agreed management strategies.

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9-14 May 2011, Rome, Italy. 35th Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean.

The ongoing activities of the FAO Regional Projects AdriaMed, MedSudMed, CopeMed II/ArtFiMed and EastMed were presented to the GFCM commission. All presentations underlined the decision making process of the projects, centered on the Coordination Committee of each project, where the country representatives are the main drivers. The approach of having all projects work as an FAO integrated team, allowing the transfer of the successes achieved by each project for the benefit of all countries in the GFCM Competence Area, and pooling resources was underlined. The representatives from the supported countries manifested the importance of the projects for the development of national capacity, and made special mention to the strong improvement already observed. The interventions underlined especially the role of the coordinated FAO Regional Projects in reinforcing and facilitating cooperation and in addressing the correction of the imbalances in the capacity among the countries. The delegates of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Lebanon, Egypt and Cyprus particularly thanked the projects for the support provided to their countries. The EU delegate congratulated the FAO Regional Projects underlining their importance as a support also for the work and objectives of the GFCM. The EU also reiterated its willingness to continue supporting the projects’ activities.

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28-29 April 2011, Madrid, Spain. 4th Meeting of the FAO CopeMed II Coordination Committee.

The Project Coordinator traveled to Madrid to participate at the 4th Coordination Committee meeting of the CopeMed II Project which was held at the Secretaria General del Mar. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Donors (AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación internacional para el Desarrollo, Secretaria General del Mar and DG Mare, European Commission), delegations of the countries participating in the project (Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria), staff of FAO FIR and FAO-SNE, representatives of FAO Regional Projects (AdriaMed, MedSudMed and EastMed) and FAO GFCM and the staff of the FAO CopeMed Project. The Committee examined the activities carried out during the last intersessional period and the work plans of CopeMed II and ArtFiMed. All national delegates thanked the project staff for the results achieved and reiterated the need for ensuring the availability of funding to cover the extension of the CopeMed II and ArtFiMed activities, allowing a consolidation of the results achieved until now. The Committee reiterated the interest of having ArtFiMed future activities extended to all the CopeMed II project area. The Secretaria General del Mar pointed out that the Spanish administrations considers CopeMed to be of crucial importance for the reinforcement of the cooperation in the western and central Mediterranean and that for this reason the Spanish Ministry will find the way to maintain its support for the prolongation of CopeMed II.

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16th April 2011, Cairo, Egypt. Meeting with the staff of the GAFRD.

The Project Coordinator travelled to Cairo-Egypt on the 15th of April to have a meeting with the staff of the Egyptian General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development (GAFRD) and also representatives of the Scientific Community. This was done after the Egyptian request to expand the running pilot survey on data collection across the whole Mediterranean Egyptian coast and also after the problems met during the 1st mission of the pilot survey. During the meeting the outcomes of the EastMed 1st year activities together with the work plan of the year 2 were first presented in order to show the importance that Egypt plays in the project activities allocation. Then the inputs that beneficiary countries have to provide to the project for running the various activities were presented and finally “ideal” institutional frameworks which show the information flow from stocks through the fishing activity to decision makers were deeply discussed. Finally, the need for Administration to collaborate with the Scientific Centers in order to monitor the fish stocks, was strongly recognized.

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05-06 April 2011, Antalya, Turkey. 2nd Coordination Committee of the FAO EastMed Project.

Annotated Draft Agenda 2nd Co-ordination Committee
The second Coordination Committee Meeting of the EastMed project was held in Antalya, Turkey, from 5-6 April 2010 under the invitation of the Mediterranean Fisheries Research Production and Training Institute of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Turkey. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Donors (Greece and Italy), the participating countries (Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip and West Bank, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, and Turkey), a representative of the FAO Marine and Inland Service of the Fisheries Resources and Conservation Division (FAO-FIRF), who also attended in view of his role as Coordinator of the FAO MedFisis and MedSea LME projects, a representative of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and staff of the FAO Regional Rrojects CopeMed/ArtFiMed, and AdriaMed/MedSudMed. The activities during the 1st year of the Project were presented together with the proposals for the 2nd year from each country. The participants also expressed their satisfaction in the Project and thanked both the project`s staff and the donors for their contribution. The agreed work plan for the 2nd year includes training and support in data collection, data analyses, activities aiming in strengthening stakeholders awareness and activities promoting regional participation and cooperation.

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15-17 March 2011, Athens, Greece. FAO EastMed Workshop on Management Strategies and Approaches.

It was attended by twenty eight participants from Cyprus, Egypt, Gaza Strip & West Bank, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Lebanon as well representatives of FAO and the EU. All of the countries presented their current management strategies including their strengths and weaknesses. All of the participants discussed how management strategies could be improved in the Eastern Mediterranean and highlighted the importance of the EastMed project in the region. The countries also pointed out how the EastMed project could assist in improving their current management systems, including the support in capacity building and training, data collection and analysis and networking.

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1-2 March 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia. FAO AdriaMed 12th Coordination Committee Meeting.

The twelfth Coordination Committee Meeting was focused on the inter committee period activities and on future activities planned for the next year. The meeting was attended by delegations from the five participating countries (Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy and Slovenia), as well as by representative of FAO-FIRF, GFCM, EC and of the other FAO Sub-regional Projects and it was kindly hosted by the Fisheries Research Institute of Ljubljana. The aims of the meeting included the presentation of the main activities performed by the Project and the outputs achieved during the intersessional period, and the discussion of the proposed future activities of the Project. Overall, all country representatives praised the Project highly and mentioned several achievements that have been made possible by the Project. Among them is the establishment of a scientific network that is continuously fuelled even outside the Project framework.

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21-25 February 2011, Kavala, Greece. FAO EastMed Training Course on Single-species Length based Stock Assessment Methods.

A five days training course on length based stock assessment methods was organized by the FAO - EastMed project at the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) in Kavala, Greece. The course was designed for fisheries biologists working in research institutes or other institutions involved in fisheries research and management in the Eastern Mediterranean. One researcher from the CopeMed II project area was also participated. Twenty-three students from seven countries (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey) participated in the course, and all attended lectures and exercise sessions, generally completing the assignments. The training included theoretical classes and practical sessions on the application of different methods focused on the analysis of length data. The participants were supplied with lectures, software and data.

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7-11 February 2011, 13th Session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

The Eastmed project staff participated at the GFCM/SAC session and together with the project staff from the other Mediterranean sub-regional projects presented the document GFCM:SAC13/2011/Inf.22 summarising the major activities of the projects during the intercessional period. As in previous SAC meetings, the participation, activities and support of the FAO projects to the member countries and to the GFCM was underlined by most of the participating delegates. The SAC acknowledged the extensive work undertaken by the projects and the valuable scientific contributions provided, especially in developing and implementing common methodologies through organizing joint field training activities, surveys at sea, as well as strengthening the expertise at national level. The EastMed project also supported the participation of Greek, Lebanese and Egyptian delegates to the meeting.

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11-14 January 2011, Rome, Italy. FAO FIRF retreat and the Co-ordination Committee of the Sub-Regional Mediterranean projects.

The FIRF retreat was held in Frascati from the 11th to the 13th, while the Co-ordination Committee of the sub-regional Mediterranean projects was held both in the same dates after the retreat hours and on the morning of Friday the 14th. The EastMed project staff worked together with collegues from FAO headquarters to refine indicators, targets and baselines for FAO unit results. During the Co-ordination Committee of the Mediterranean sub-regional projects many issues were discussed to incease the collaboration between the sub-regional projects and with the GFCM. Additionally a meeting took place between FIRF-HQ staff, EastMed Coordinator and a representative of the Syrian Embassy to find ways so that Syria could join the EastMed Project.

   
Year 2010 TOP
   

07-10 December 2010, Nicosia, Cyprus. Sub-regional Technical Meeting on the Lessepsian migration and its impact on eastern Mediterranean fishery

A Sub-regional Technical Meeting on the Lessepsian migration and its impact on eastern Mediterranean fishery was carried out in Nicosia (Cyprus) from 7-9 December 2010, where representatives from Greece, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt and Gaza Strip and West Bank were present. The status, trend and monitoring of Lessepsian migration in the Mediterranean was presented together with the environmental conditions which favoured the lessepsian species expansion. The impact of Lessepsian to fisheries was highly discussed, including the harmful damage of Lagocephalus sceleratus to fisher`s static nets and longlines. A network of experts on lessepsian species was finally established, with a mandate of creating a common pool of information relating with basic knowledge, research-marketing issues and potential solutions to avoid the harmful effects.

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07 to 26 November 2010, Egypt. 1st mission on the fisheries dependent data collection pilot survey

The 1st mission on the fisheries dependent data collection pilot survey was conducted in Egypt from 7 to 26 November. The aim was to set-up a pilot survey programme for catch/effort assessment and for biological sampling in the three landing ports of Port Said, Damietta and Kafr-El-Sheikh. During the mission basic statistical and biological training were provided to data collectors and users of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD). Technical notes were prepared describing the steps to be taken for the implementation of a pilot survey in three selected ports. Regarding the biological component of the mission, training was provided on target species recognition, sampling collection, sampling processing, collection and storage of biological material. The 2nd mission is scheduled to be implemented in May 2011, which is called to review the trainees expected activities, which will be carried out during the intercessional period.

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14 to 17 September 2010, Batroun, Lebanon. Sub-regional Workshop on Collection and Organization of Data

A Sub-regional Workshop on Collection and Organization of Data was carried out in Batroun, Lebanon from 14 to 17 September 2010, where representatives from Greece, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt and Gaza Strip and West Bank as well as from FAO participated. The Workshop objectives were to review the various systems used in the countries of the region, identify common issues and main differences, define coherence with GFCM TASK 1 and finally design a programme for working with the countries focusing to improve the capacity for data collection. The participants highlighted the importance of the artisanal fishery in the region, which deserved a specific attention for monitoring, while the expertise on data collection of the University of Balamand, North Lebanon, to be used either in the whole country or other countries if deemed, was pointed out.

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19 to 23 July 2010, Athens, Greece. Training on otolith age reading

Training on otolith age reading was carried out in the Fisheries Laboratory of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food in Piraeus, Greece from 19-23 July 2010. Ageing was done for picarel (Spicara smaris) and red mullet (Mullus barbatus) to experts from Cyprus. During the training course sectioning was performed on hake (Merluccius merluccius) otoliths and the use of Image Analysis System for annuli reading was also shown.

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09 to 10 June 2010, Lebanon, Beirut. Visit a potentially participating in the project country

The Project Coordinator together with the FAO Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Use and Conservation Division Mr. Kevern Cochrane, visited Lebanon in order to meet the Minister of Agriculture. The goal of the mission was to explain to the Minister the benefits have the country since it joins the project and to clarify any concerns/questions may arise by his Excellency. During the meeting the Minister was focused on his country expectations from the project.

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18 to 19 May 2010, Libian Arab Jamahiriya, Tripoli. 8th Coordination Committee meeting of the MedSudMed Project

The Project Coordinator participated to the 8th Coordination Committee of the FAO MedSudMed Project “Assessment and monitoring of the fisheries resources and their ecosystems in the Straits of Sicily”, which was held on the 18th and 19th of May 2010 in Tripoli, Libian Arab Jamahiriya, and kindly hosted by the Marine Biology Research Centre of Tajura. The Meeting was focused on the inter committee period activities and on activities to be planned for the next 12 months. The meeting was attended by delegations from the four participating countries (Italy, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malta and Tunisia), as well as by a representative of the Italian Donor, the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

More information: http://www.faomedsudmed.org

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10 to 14 May 2010, Italy, Venice. 39th CIESM Congress

The Project Coordinator participated to the 39th Ciesm Congress to present a scientific work titled “Spawning Frequency of Picarel, Spicara smaris (L.) in the Saronikos Gulf (Greece)”. Spawning frequency is an important reproductive variable and a crucial parameter for the spawning biomass estimation of the pelagic species. Spicara smaris is one of the target species in the Eastern Mediterranean countries catch and thus will deserve a particular attention under the Eastmed project.

More information http://www.ciesm.org

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29 to 30 April 2010, Spain, Malaga. CopeMed II meeting on the definition of priority topics related to shared resources (demersal and small pelagic) in the sub-region

The Project Coordinator participated in a technical meeting under the CopeMed framework held in Malaga (Spain) regarding shared stocks identification in the sub-region so as to be taken into account for stock assessment and management purposes. The issue of shared stocks will be also faced in the EastMed Project, when similar sub-regional Working Groups will have to be established for a jointly stock assessments performance.

More information: http://www.faocopemed.org

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19 to 20 April, 2010, Greece, Athens. EastMed Inception meeting

EastMed, “Scientific and Institutional Cooperation to Support Responsible Fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean – EastMed” is a project under the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department that became operational in September 2009. Dr. Constantina Karlou-Riga was appointed as project coordinator. EastMed will support the development of regionally-consistent fisheries management plans among the Eastern Mediterranean countries through the monitoring of commercial fisheries and the developing of fishery research and management capacity. The Beneficiary countries are those with waters included in the GFCM and the geographical Sub-Areas (GSAs) 19-20 and 22-28. The project is planned to run for five years. Greece, Italy and the Directorate General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs of the EC are the project’s donors. The project headquarters are based in Athens, Greece.

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13rd-17th April 2010: GFCM, 34th Commission Meeting, Athens (Greece)

National Delegates from the EastMed countries participating in the ordinary GFCM Commission Meeting, in CAF (Committee on Administration and Finance) and in COC (Committee on Compliance) were present during the sessions held in Athens. EastMed Coordinator and the other FAO Project’s Coordinators were participating and supporting activities of the GFCM Secretariat.

- Report of the GFCM 34th Session

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22 to 25 March 2010, Turkey, Ankara. Visit to project participating country

The Project Coordinator visited Turkey, where she had a meeting with Fisheries Administration staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. During her visit she also had the opportunity to present the project objectives and discuss with the fisheries experts the country capacity and to stress the importance of the Turkish contribution to the project taking into account the scientific Turkish expertise in marine sciences and also the big number of the research Institutes/Universities which could support the project implementation.

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16 to 19 March 2010, Lebanon, Beirut. Visit a potentially participating in the project country

The Project Coordinator visited Lebanon, where she had a meeting with Fisheries Administration staff of the Ministry of Agriculture. During her visit to the Oceanographic & Fishing Institute in Batroun, she had the opportunity to present the project objectives and discuss with the fisheries experts the country benefits when it joins the project. Discussions were also done regarding the country facilities in case meetings are organized in Lebanon.

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25 to 29 January 2010, Montenegro, Budva. Experts from several Mediterranean countries visiting the Kotor Marine Laboratory

During the 12th annual GFCM/SAC meeting in Budva (Montenegro, 25-29 January) a group of FAO experts and SAC Delegates from several countries, the Chairperson of the SAC Dr. H. Farrugio and the four Coordinators of the Sub Committees visited Kotor Center of Marine Research. Under the direction of Dr. Aleksandar Joksimovic, Director of Institute of Marine Biology, the experts visited the Center departments and conversed with the Institute experts.

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19 to 22 January 2010, Egypt, Cairo. Visit to project participating country

The Project Coordinator visited the premises of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD, where she presented the project objectives and listened to the country capacity/weaknesses. At the meeting, the chairman of GAFRD, Dr Mohamed Fathi Osman, together with the Focal Point Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Salem Eid and experts from GAFRD and the National Institute of Oceanographic and Fisheries were present. The expectations of Egypt from the project were commented.

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13 to 15 January 2010, Italy, Rome. Mediterranean and Black sea FAO Projects Coordination Meeting

©FAO/Giulio NapolitanoThe EastMed Project coordinator participated to the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Mediterranean and Black Sea Coordination Meeting from 13 to 15 January 2010 in Rome (FAO). The representatives of the different projects/activities presented the objectives, partners, and main activity lines and results of their work: EastMed, K. Karlou-Riga; CopeMed II, J. A. Camiñas; AdriaMed, N. Milone; ArtFiMed, M. Bernardon; Support desert aquaculture in Algeria (TCP/ALG/3103), V. Crespi; FAORNE, P. Manini; Southern European countries Project, Budapest FAO officer; MedSudMed, L. Ceriola; GFCM Aquaculture, M. Camilleri; MedFisis and LME Strategic partnership for Fisheries, P. Barros. The meeting was an opportunity to reinforce the cooperation and synergies between the different projects and to organize under a coordination strategy the activities for the next period. A new coordination meeting will be organizing in July 2010.

   
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4 December 2009, Spain, Malaga. GFCM/SAC/CMSC

After the end of the regular sessions of the four SAC Sub-Committees in Malaga (Spain), the Coordination Committee meeting of the Sub-Committees took place with the participation of the GFCM’ Secretary, President and Vice-president of SAC, Coordinators of Sub-Committees and experts of FAO and regional projects AdriaMed, ArtFiMed, CopeMed II, EastMed, MedSudMed and MedFisis.

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30 November to 3 December 2009, Spain, Malaga. GFCM/SAC/SCs

The four GFCM/SAC Sub-Committees were carried out in CopeMed II headquarters from November 30 to December 3, 2009. EastMed supported the participation of scientists from the eastern Mediterranean region as technical support to the Sub-Committee on Marine Environment and Ecosystem, to the Sub-Committee on Statistics and Information and to the Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment.

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19 October to 30 October, 2009, Italy, Ancona. GFCM/SAC/SCSA/WGs

According to what has been adopted during the Scientific Advisory Committee of GFCM (SAC 11, Marrakech 1-5 December 2008) the Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment Working Groups (on demersals and small pelagics) have taken place in order to carry out practical sessions for performing stock assessments trying the fitting of several models. Dr. Graham Pilling from CEFAS (UK) and Dr. Andres Uriarte from AZTI (Spain) have been nominated as moderators for the demersals and small pelagics WGs respectively. The Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche CNR-ISMAR in Ancona hosted the meeting. EastMed Coordinator participated in the WGs for helping the scientists from the Eastern Mediterranean that the project supported.

 
 
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