Report of the 2018 intersessional meeting of the shark species group (Madrid, Spain, 2-6 July 2018)
The meeting was held in Madrid, Spain from 2-6 July 2018. The objective of this meeting was to prepare the update of the shortfin mako stock assessment in 2019. As such, the Group reviewed the activities and progress of the Shark Research and Data Collection Programme (SRDCP), namely as regards spatio-temporal distribution and biology (age and growth, reproduction, maturity) of shortfin mako. The Group also updated statistical data available at the Secretariat and reviewed new data received from national scientists and new indices of abundance. The 2017 stock assessment was revisited and the application of an alternative projection approach for Stock Synthesis to evaluate the probability of success of the measures contemplated in ICCAT Rec. 17-08 was explored. Finally, the Group reviewed the effectiveness of potential mitigation measures to reduce by-catch and mortality of shortfin mako, draft a number of responses and recommendations to the Commission, as well as the workplan for 2019.