At its second meeting, in 1983, the Scientific Committee agreed that the starting point for discussions on fish stock assessment should be to consider the report of the second meeting of the BIOMASS Working Party on Antarctic Fish Biology (BIOMASS Report Series 12) during its meeting in 1984. Accordingly, in 1984, based on the findings of the BIOMASS report and other information on the status of fish stocks in the Antarctic, the Scientific Committee agreed to the following terms of reference for the ad hoc Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment:
1. To assess the status of fish stocks in the Convention Area, including South Georgia, other areas in the South Atlantic within the Convention Area, and Kerguelen.
2. To advise on the management measures needed to achieve the Commission’s objectives taking account of any requests made to the Scientific Committee by the Commission.
3. To identify further research studies and data collections which would be required for improved fish stock assessment.
4. To submit a report to the Scientific Committee which would inter alia assist the Committee in considering any management measure that might appear necessary.
Addressing these terms of reference remains at the core of the work of WG-FSA. In addition, the Working Group now provides advice on aspects of the effects of fisheries on non-target species including vulnerable marine ecosystems, data collection by scientific observers and approaches to the precautionary management of data-poor fisheries.
WG-FSA meets annually at the CCAMLR Secretariat immediately prior to the meeting of the Scientific Committee. The current Convener of WG-FSA is Mr Sobahle Somhlaba (South Africa).
A list of WG-FSA meetings (including reports) is available.