53. In this respect, a meeting held in Rome in May 2001, focused on the formulation of a draft proposal for a regional project on statistics, MEDIFSIS, the concepts of which stemmed from a preliminary meeting of experts held at FAO Headquarters in January 2001. The Coordinator drew the attention of the SAC delegates to point 4.1 of the proposal where the current situation of fisheries statistics in the Mediterranean and the objectives of the project are outlined. He explained that through the project, GFCM would help countries to raise the required common minimum standard in fisheries statistics. The Coordinator then stated that it would be appropriate for a task force to be set up which would take decisions on the methodology to be employed during the course of the execution of the project. He said that it was clear that the other Sub-Committees of SAC required a good flow of reliable statistical and scientific data and this project would provide the necessary tools which would otherwise be lacking. The draft project proposal was now before SAC for review since countries had already had an opportunity to comment and propose amendments to this draft (deadline 30 May 2001). The forthcoming GFCM Session (September 2001) would be invited to consider a finalized form of the proposal. In addition, it was pointed out that Governments, scientists, technicians and administrators from all participating countries would have an important role to play.
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Mathematics Project on Statistics
The fourth session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) met in Athens, Greece, from 4 to 7 June 2001 and was attended by delegates from fifteen Members of the Commission. The Committee reviewed the conclusions and recommendations of its four Sub-Committees and its Working Group on Management Units. The Committee noted that some stocks are fully exploited and recommended the reduction of the fishing effort targeting these stocks. The Committee recommended to declare the year 2002 "the year of the anchovy". The Committee recommended to further investigate the feasibility of an ecosystem management-based approach to Mediterranean fisheries. It agreed on a proposal for a regional project on statistics (MEDIFSIS) that should be examined by the Commission during its next Session. The Committee agreed also on a proposal made by the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee (EIFAC) to set up a Joint Working Group on Sturgeon provided that Black Sea riparian GFCM Members agree on such a proposal.