Final Report of the Fifth Meeting of Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean

Hauke.Flores [ at ]


This report provides a summary of the 5th meeting of scientific experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean (FiSCAO) on October 24‐26, 2017, in Ottawa, Canada. At the request of the 10 parties negotiating on an agreement to prevent unregulated commercial fishing in the High Seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO), participants of the 5th FiSCAO meeting were tasked with addressing four Terms of Reference, summarized below:  ToR 1. Design a 1‐3 year long mapping program.  ToR 2. Design a monitoring program.  ToR 3. Identify human, financial, vessel/equipment resources needed for mapping and monitoring.  ToR 4. Develop data collection, sharing, and hosting protocols that outline the details of what and how data shall be collected, shared, and hosted for consideration by the Parties. The 5th FiSCAO meeting included scientific representatives from seven states including Canada, the People's Republic of China, the European Union, Iceland, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Norway and the United States of America. The meeting also included representatives from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working groups. The report summarizes the elements for collecting baseline data (i.e., a mapping program) in the high seas CAO to achieve the goals of documenting species distributions, relative abundances and key ecosystem parameters (ToR 1). The mapping program describes the priority areas to sample, the types of data to collect and possible data collection approaches to employ. Participants emphasized that existing planned surveys are very limited, and that significant dedicated resources will be required to implement the mapping program. The report outlines a strategy for monitoring indicators of fish stocks and ecosystem components (ToR 2). The report includes a list of existing monitoring programs and a prioritized list of indicators to detect environmental change in the high seas CAO. Further refinement of a monitoring program will use information from the mapping program (ToR 1). Participants emphasized the need to begin monitoring as soon as possible and that additional research is required to operationalize monitoring indicators. The report summarizes the preliminary cost estimates (ToR 3) to implement a mapping program to collect data in the high seas portion of the CAO using a vessel of opportunity and in the Pacific Gateway region of the CAO using an independently‐organized survey. Cost implications for the monitoring program and other scientific activities are also listed (e.g., data analysis, data management). The report includes a draft data sharing policy as the foundation for a future data sharing protocol, including the technical specifications for data sharing (ToR 4). The development of the data sharing protocol will require negotiation and legal review among the participating states. A data management and data sharing pilot study on a CAO fish database is suggested to test a framework.

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Dupuis, A. , Majewski, A. , Keatley, B. E. , Hedges, K. , Gold, M. , Wang, L. , Ju, W. , Jin, X. , Jardim, R. , Flores, H. , Rodriguez-Alfaro, S. , Ástthórsson, Ó. , Kim, E. , Hoel, A. , Gjøsæter, H. , Ingvaldsen, R. , Nachman, C. , Lundsford, C. , Loggerwell, L. , Mundy, P. , Bengtson, J. , Kirkegaard, E. , Skjoldal, H. and Saitoh, S. I. (2019): Final Report of the Fifth Meeting of Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean , [Other]

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