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FISHERY DATA COLLECTION:

Discussion on data reporting focussed on which catch figures should be included: discards and undersized fish, catch of targeted species and non-targeted species, biological composition of catch, number of vessels, capacity and activity. There is also a need to distinguish between what is caught inside and outside the EEZ. There was concern that data from within EEZs are a matter of sovereignty. There was also discussion on the reliability and the timeliness of the data gathered from log sheets and databases. It was suggested that data be reported by gear, year, longitude and latitude.

Discussion on data analysis focussed on the treatment of the raw data. Delegates asked for what purpose the data are collected and whether an effort is being made to harmonize the collection of data. It was indicated that data gathered from research or scientific vessels should be treated separately from catch sampling.

Discussion on data transmission and repositories focussed on to whom data should be transmitted, in what form, for what purpose, and according to what rules. It was suggested that either regional organizations or, in their absence, coastal States can serve as data repositories. Regional organizations, acting as the collecting agents, can then assemble data. Ultimately, all of the data could be archived by the FAO.