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Improve scientific and technical advice on fisheries Management

Final Report Summary - ISTAM (Improve scientifc and technical advice on fisheries management)

The objective of the ISTAM project was to support national and sub-regional government institutions occupied with fisheries management in planning systems for monitoring, data managing, resources evaluation and dissemination of information on the status of fisheries resources.

ISTAM included work towards the analysis and improvement of existing monitoring systems of fisheries at a national level. An inventory on existing monitoring systems in different countries was performed with the aid of a questionnaire, so as to analyse and compare the various systems parameters along with the difficulties encountered at managerial different levels and to create a preliminary synthesis of each system deployed means. Methods for qualitative and quantitative data analysis were proposed; in addition, the identification of the problems of each system led to recommendations for their improvement. A methodology for automatic geostatistical estimation of the variables of interest was developed and presented in the project website.

A prototype information system was designed, which was divided in distinct subparts, dealing with monitoring systems, data, stock assessment, fisheries regulation and including a database of geographic layers. The tool was built on national experiences and was compatible with currently existing major international systems.

Standard methodologies which were already applied or needed to be developed were described regarding stock assessment methods and analytical tools. Furthermore, improvements to be implemented in the short-term were suggested. New methods, based on case studies, were proposed and stock assessment software was prepared as part of the project. Software for the joint analysis of exploitation and resource dynamics was also developed.

Training activities for the project software and the questionnaire on the national monitoring systems were provided throughout ISTAM duration. A website was designed to ensure the acquired knowledge dissemination. An on-line atlas was also accessible. A policy implementation plan was elaborated, which proposed applications of the project results at a fishery policy management level.

Finally, ISTAM resulted in determining further knowledge development requirements, so that a future project was proposed, regarding ecological research questions and coordination actions for further fisheries management improvement.

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