Development of an Integrated Management System to support the sustainability of Greek Fisheries resources.

The objective of the present program is to organize an integrated system, based on the existing fisheries data, which will be able to provide the appropriate information to be used for supporting the sustainable management of living resources in the Greek Seas.

An important part of program will be the evaluation of the existing series of biological and fishing effort data collected during the last 15 years from National and International Research projects, concerning demersal and pelagic fish stocks. These data will be evaluated and improved and will constitute the base for the establishment of an integrated fisheries database to efficiently store and elaborate these data sets.
Biological parameters of pelagic and demersal fish stocks will be analyzed. Available acoustic information, concerning small pelagic species, will be transformed into absolute fish biomass parameters, ensuring the compatibility of these parameters to those from other fish resources. Spatial distribution and geographical characteristics of the fishing fleets, by fishing gear, will be correlated to the associated fishing effort together with the landings data and market values of the fisheries products.

Due to the fact that there is very limited information concerning selectivity of fishing gears used, a gear survey will be undertaken to collect information on trammel net and bottom trawl codends selectivity. The results will be used to develop a fleet selectivity model that will be used as an independent tool for fisheries management purposes. Environmental variability could affect fish stocks in a variety of ways; therefore environmental aspects are taking into account for fishery management purposes. The available environmental data will be analysed to investigate spatial-temporal relationships between abundance distribution and life history strategies of the fish stocks.

A number of different population models will be examined to define reference points of various biological parameters. Advanced modeling (i.e. geostatistical methodology, GLMs, GAMs, ANN) will be applied to analyse spatio-temporal structure of fish stocks in the Greek Seas and investigate fish-habitat relationships. Through specific performance measures and reference points the project will formulate advice for fisheries managers in a way that will convey the possible consequences of uncertainty. Risk assessment of the expected effects of alternative management options will be undertaken, resulting in the evaluation to the expected effects, rather than recommendations. These outputs will contribute towards a Precautionary Approach to the Greek Fisheries Management System.

Particular effort will be placed to the dissemination of the results, through a web page and the organisation of seminars with the attendance of the relevant authorities and final users.