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Results of the experts working group meeting for the conservation of Chondrycthyan fishes of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro

A meeting for the coordination and preparation, for RAC/SPA, of the report “Chondrichthyan fishes of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro: proposal for a research programme” was held at Centre of Marine Studies University of Split, Split, Croatia, from 19 to 20 May 2008. The involvement of four local experts allowed adding an original and valuable contribution to the final proposal. Data and graphs showed a knowledge background in Adriatic and gave the possibilities to propose a tailored research programme. Furthermore the four local experts showed the willingness to continue to cooperate in the implementation of the Action Plan.

Here under the main proposals for the conservation of the elasmobranches in the area obtained from the panel of experts:

  • According to the shared properties of chondrichthyan populations, common protocols in whole Adriatic for data collection and analysis are essential to assure not only information sharing but also a correct assessment of this resource. Respecting that, fishery regulation and protection measure should be agreed and harmonized between all countries participating in fisheries in the Adriatic Sea.
  • The improvement of catch sampling and species-specific recording is required. For this reason, a training course for species identification may be needed.
  • Information on fisheries, fishing gear and ground fishing are essential in order to estimate the fishing effort associated to the catch of these species and for setting appropriate management measures.
  • Knowledge of life-history data is needed for the application of demographic models. At the same time, information on the temporal and geographical distribution at species level is essential for definition of critical habitats such as mating grounds, spawning beds and nursery areas. This could be based on the data recorded within the international commissions or programmes like GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean), ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), MEDITS (Mediterranean Trawl Surveys), MEDLEM (Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring), or based on data from national research programmes already operative.
  • Increase the awareness of the status of elasmobranchs in commercial and recreational fishers with the aim of increase at least their cooperation in data collection.