- About ISC
- Rules and Procedures
Rules and Procedures
The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) was established in 1995 for the purpose of enhancing scientific research and cooperation for conservation and rational utilization of tuna and tuna-like species (HMS) of the North Pacific Ocean, and to establish the scientific groundwork, if at some point in the future it is decided to create a multilateral regime for the conservation and rational utilization of the HMS species in the North Pacific Ocean.
- Nominees for Chairperson are from Members attending the meeting.
- The Chairperson is elected by secret ballot, one vote per Member and by majority vote of Members attending the meeting. The first round of an election will consist of each voting Member having the opportunity to submit one nominee's name on a secret ballot. If the same name appears on a majority of ballots submitted, that candidate shall be declared the elected Chairperson. If no majority of nominee appears on the ballots, the two nominees receiving the most votes would be the candidates for the second round. Members would vote for one of the candidates in the second round and the candidate receiving the majority of votes submitted shall be declared the elected Chairperson. If a tie vote results, a third round of voting between the two nominees shall be held in order to secure a candidate with majority votes.
- The Chairperson serves for a term of three years and is eligible for re-election for one additional three-year term.
- The runner-up candidate in the second or third round of the election for Chairperson shall be declared the elected Vice Chairperson. If only one nominee results from the first round of the election for Chairperson, the Chairperson election process shall be applied to elect a Vice Chairperson
- The Vice Chairperson serves for a term of three years and is eligible for reelection for additional terms.
In 1996, the ISC Committee established three species Working Groups (Bigeye Tuna Working Group, Pacific Bluefin Tuna Working Group and Swordfish Working Group) and a Statistical Working Group. A fourth species Working Group, the Marlin Working Group, was created in 1999. In 2004, the Bigeye Tuna Working Group was dissolved and a By-Catch Working Group was created. These Working Groups are subsidiary bodies of the Committee and report to the Committee. Each provide a forum for cooperation/collaboration in research by Member and Observer scientists as well as for focused consideration of technical matters assigned by the Committee. The species Working Groups' primarily focus is on understanding the dynamics and ecology of the HMS and associated-species populations in order to accurately assess stock condition and status. The Statistical Working Group focuses on collection, exchange and archiving of fishery, biological and other data needed for stock assessments and for monitoring fishery developments and by-catch. The work of these Working Groups is guided by multi-year work plans and demands by the Committee.
- The Working Group Chairpersons are responsible for chairing meetings of the Working Groups, facilitating the development of multi-year work plans and coordinating work plan assignments, organizing meetings, including advanced preparation of agendas, scheduling of presenters, appointing of rapporteurs, providing assignments for reports, and ensuring that Committee assignments are completed as required. The Chairpersons also serves as facilitators of views, to ensure that participants with differing views get an opportunity to be heard. They strive for consensus of all members in reporting of Working Group findings, conclusions and decisions to the Committee.
- The Chairperson serves a three-year term and may be reappointed for an additional three-year term, but not for more than two consecutive terms.
- Review of Recent Fisheries (Description of recent developments and issues of fisheries.)
- Fishery Statistics (Presentation of fishing area by gear, time series of landings or catches, catch-effort or CPUE trends, size composition and other biological statistics, e.g., sex ratio and by-catch.)
- Review of Biological Studies (Research results from biological working papers and summary of comments by participants.)
- Review of Stock Assessment Studies (Research results from stock assessment working papers and summary of discussion.)
- Current Stock Status (If results of stock assessment studies provide a basis for an overall assessment of stock condition, conclusions on current stock condition, including relative to conventional acceptable biological reference points and uncertainty should be provided.)
- Special Assignments. (Advice on assignments from the Committee, including scientific advice on potential biological consequences of fisheries management actions and natural events.)
- Research Recommendations and Updated Work Plan (Recommendations should be reported by category, statistics, biological studies and stock assessment and focused for advancing understanding of the resource, particularly for more accurate stock assessments.)
- Administrative Matters (A catch-all section for time and place for next meeting, acknowledgments, and discussion of other administrative matters.)
Findings, conclusions, and decisions of Working Groups are to be agreed by consensus; however, if reasonable efforts are made and fail to yield consensus, reports and findings may reflect opinions and the differing views. A research plan that would resolve or clarify the different views might also be proposed.
- Review of Data Requirements for Stock Assessment and Fishery Monitoring.
- Review of Data Collected by Participants.
- Updating of Data Inventory and Depository.
- Review of Data Reporting Protocol (reporting schedule, data access and availability, data correspondence).
- Conclusions, Recommendations and Updated Work Plan.
- Administrative Matters.
Data Reporting and Exchange Requirements and Protocol
Data Reporting and Exchange
The minimum data required for ISC fishery monitoring and resource assessment fall into three categories:
- Category I: total annual catch (round weight by species) total annual effort (active vessels by fishery)
- Category II: catch-effort (summary of logbook data)
- Category III: biological data, (size composition, length or weight frequencies, sex information).
CATEGORY I (Total annual catch and total annual effort):
Total annual catch in metric tons (round weight) should be reported by gear, species and country for fisheries in the North Pacific (north of the equator). When established, data should be reported by subarea (see Section 2). If round weight is estimated from processed weight, the conversion procedure is to be noted. Total nominal effort in numbers of active vessels fishing should be reported by fishery, gear and size category for fisheries in the North Pacific. As with catch, reporting should be done by subarea of the North Pacific. However, if effort cannot be reported by subarea or even for the North Pacific, effort should be reported for a larger area and noted. Vessel size categories to be used in reporting effort are:
1. Distant-water and 2. offshore (Chinese-Taipei)
1. Distant-water, 2. offshore, and 3. coastal (Japan)
1. large (>260 cubic meter capacity; ~300 mt)
2. small (<260 cubic meter capacity; ~300 mt)
1. distant-water and 2. offshore (Japan)
|Harpo Troll, gill net, etc.||aggregated by type|
CATEGORY II (Catch-effort):
Catch and effort (logbook) data should be reported by country, gear type, and month. The resolution is as follows:
|Longline||5x5 deg.||no. or wt.hooks
(all species recorded)
|Purse seine||1x1 deg.*||no. fishing days
|Troll||1x1 deg.||no. fishing days
|Gill net||1x1 deg.||no. tans or net-days||North Pacific|
|Harpoon||1x1 deg.||no. fishing days||North Pacific|
|Handline||1x1 deg.||no. lines||North Pacific|
|Pole and line||1x1 deg.||no. poles/successful days||North Pacific|
|Other||1x1 deg.||no. or wt. as needed||North Pacific|
*5x5 degree data if 1x1 notpracticable
CATEGORY III (Biological data):
Size composition (length or weight frequencies) and sex data (for swordfish, striped and blue marlins) should be reported by gear type and with the same area resolution as required for Category II data. However, coarser area resolution may be substituted if this requirement can not be applied. Reporting of length-frequencies should be with intervals of 1 or 2 cm. After standard measurements are established (see Section 2, above), both standard measurement and the actual sampling measurement unit should be reported. All size composition data should include notes on collection method, e.g. port sampled, observer sampled, fisherman sampled, etc. Accuracy of measurement should also be reported (e.g. to the nearest cm, next larger cm, nearest kg, etc.).
Data Access and Availability
The participants agreed that some extracts from ISC database, that do not contain proprietary information, should be made available to the general public. Category I data aggregated over the entire North Pacific will be considered public domain (PD) data. The PD data will include the caveat that some discards are not reported in the catch statistics provided. Data provided for use and held by the ISC in whatever form remains the property of the individual contributors 1. Release of these data to the general public may be governed by policies of the contributor.
However, raw Category I data as well as Category II and Category III data contain proprietary information and, therefore, shall be made available to contributors only and to scientists of ISC working groups. Japan will be responsible for managing the central data depository and will designate a control person. When a request for non-PD data is received from a member of the general public, the data manager will notify and seek approval and conditions from the contributors of the specific data requested prior to release. A record of all requests received from the general public and the disposition of the request will be maintained and reported at each meeting of the ISC Plenary.
Requests for non-PD data by contributors for purposes other than ISC stock assessment activities will be handled by the control person, following the same procedures delineated in the previous paragraph.
While there is consensus among all contributors regarding the data access rules, outlined above, there is concern that these rules may be changed at some point in the future without the consent of all contributors. It was recommended that the rules not be changed without consensus of all contributors.
1 As used here and throughout this report, Contributors are all ISC participants who have provided data to ISC for inclusion in its database.
Data Reporting Schedule
Each year, data correspondents will submit CategoryI , Category II and Category III data to ISC on or before July 1st. CategoryI data are to be submitted to both the Data Administrator and Working Group Data Managers. Category II and Category III data are to be submitted to the respective Data Managers of the species Working Groups,e.g. logbook data, (Category II) for albacore fisheries are to be submitted to the ALBWG Data Manager. These annual data submissions will have two components:
- preliminary esrimates of a;; available statistics from the previous year
(CategoryI , Category II and Category III data);and
- all available updates of CategoryI , Category II and Category III data from all earlier years.
Category II longline fishries contain catches of many different species and each species is of interest to a different species Working Group. Standardization and validarion of the data, especially fishing effort, should be performed once rather than by each species Working Group independently. The STATWG will coordinate this task with involvement of experts from the species Working Groups.
Adopted ISC4, February 4, 2004