Terms of Reference
Resolution I of the WCPFC Convention sets forth various provisions for PrepCon to address in preparation for the Convention entering into force. For science needs, they include, inter alia: (1) provisional scientific advice on the status of stocks (yellowfin, skipjack, bigeye and south Pacific albacore) and, if warranted, recommendations for conservation and management; and (2) recommendations for implementing the functions of the Scientific Committee and for scientific services, including procedures for data collection and reporting.
The Scientific Coordinating Group (SCG) is established to assist Working Group II in carrying out those terms of reference which require special scientific and technical considerations. The SCG would be a sub-group of WG.II and would report to both WG.II and the PrepCon. The SCG would be open to participation by scientific and technical representation of all PrepCon participants, as well as representatives of SPC-OFP, SCTB, IATTC and ISC.
Funding to promote broad participation in the SCG, organize its meetings, and to facilitate its work (e.g., through consultancies or contracts) will be provided through voluntary contributions.
Meetings of the SCG will be held in conjunction with the meetings of the SCTB, taking into account the need for encouraging maximum participation of scientific and technical experts and cost-effectiveness.
The SCG would begin its work as soon as practicable. To facilitate its work prior to its first meeting, the WCFPC interim secretariat will work with the WG.II Chairman to establish points of contact among participating PrepCon members and relevant regional bodies.
The WG.II Chairman would act in the capacity of the SCG Chair or appoint a Chairperson in consultation with the PrepCon Chairman.
The tasks of the SCG include:
Provision of interim scientific advice
1. Providing advice to PrepCon on stock condition and, when requested by PrepCon, provisional conservation and management actions. Information and related conclusions on stock condition produced by existing bodies, including, but not limited to, the SPC OFP, IATTC, SCTB and ISC, will be reviewed and assembled into a convenient format suitable for advising PrepCon on the status of the four primary tuna stocks; and
2. Prioritizing fisheries and scientific data needs in the interim period and providing recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on procedures to obtain such data.
Procedures for scientific functions
1. Providing recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on longer term data needs, requirements for data collection, verification, analysis and dissemination, and confidentiality;
2. Preparation of draft guidelines and a reporting format for WG.II and the PrepCon for determining and advising on the status of stocks and other key variables and eventually for providing advice to the Commission;
3. Undertaking a review of the available scientific and fishery management data that would include validating and analyzing these existing data in order to provide recommendations to WG.II and the PrepCon on the appropriateness and applicability of these data to the future work of the Commission; and
4. Performing other tasks that may be assigned by WG.II and the PrepCon.