The Chair's paper identified a series of data required by any entity and serves as a guide to what states should be gathering for data analysis and for standardizing fleet composition and vessel fishing power:
1. vessel identification and type;
2. vessel specification, e.g. engine power, length, tonnage, hold capacity, storage methods, etc;
3. navigation and position fixing aids;
4. communication equipment;
5. ownership, flag State, home port, etc;
6. construction details, vessel age, hull material, etc;
7. crew size and composition;
8. type of fishing gear, quantity and specification.
This section, however, did not receive unanimous acceptance. The measures that met with the greatest degree of consensus were those most related to the catch, i.e., 1, 2, 5 and 8. The other measures were seen by some as irrelevant to the harvesting capacity and many pointed out the fact that this data is to be used to facilitate conservation and management. Some nations argued that the crew had little, if any, impact on the harvesting capacity while others answered that it, in fact, could influence the amount of catch. It was agreed that the crew had to be considered as a whole with the equipment aboard since some under- equipped vessels may be more labor-intensive and yet have lesser harvesting capacities. Navigation and position-fixing aids were also discarded as more relevant to the application of the SOLAS Convention than for the sake of data gathering.
A recurrent theme was the necessity to avoid the duplication of data already gathered. A few delegates pointed out that their national licensing systems gather more precise information. Some concern was voiced with regard to vessels fishing without flags or under flags of convenience and how they should be treated in vessel data, since these ships are unlicensed. A proposal was made that advocated distinguishing between data required at all times and data required as soon as the vessel enters the fishing ground. Support was shown for sending data to the regional organizations, since much of the information in this section appears on the licenses.
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