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    Developing a Ross Sea region medium-term data collection plan

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    S. Mormede and S. Hanchet (New Zealand)

    Data are collected for use in scientific research, the results of which are used to inform management decisions made to achieve specific goals. Any data collection plan should be drawn from the goals the management wishes to achieve. The Scientific Committee has recommended the development of a specific data collection and research plan for the Subarea 88.1 and 88.2 fisheries (SC-CCAMLRXXVII paragraph 4.160 vi). The long-term goals of the Ross Sea fishery based on Article II of CAMLR can be summarised as: the target fished population is above a level which ensures stable recruitment; the ecological relationships between harvested, dependent, and related populations are maintained; and, prevention of changes or minimisation of the risk of changes in the marine ecosystem which are not potentially reversible over two or three decades, with the aim of making possible the sustained conservation of Antarctic marine living resources. Based on these goals and previous experience in the fishery, proposed medium term research objectives for the Ross Sea fishery for the next 5–7 years were developed in 2008. The outlined medium-term research objectives were used as the basis for the development of this Ross Sea region fisheries medium term data collection plan. This paper provides context with a brief summary of recent science, summarises the current fishery-dependent data collection, describes the proposed medium term research objectives, and develops an associated draft fishery-dependent medium term data collection plan. Feedback is sought from WG-FSA and TASO, in particular are there any substantive gaps in the proposed data collection requirements and can any feedback be provided on the approaches to optimising sampling rates, the proposed rotational approach to sampling certain species and which data collection could be undertaken by vessels and which data collection should be undertaken by observers.