The primary function of the science Working Parties is to support the Scientific Committee so that it is able to fulfill its mandate to provide the Commission with the information it needs to manage fish stocks under the IOTC mandate, as well as the ecosystems in which the fisheries operate. The most common objective is to provide the Scientific Committee with analyses of the current status of the stocks as well as an evaluation of possible management actions. Some Working Parties are established with the purpose of analysing and producing recommendations on a specific technical problem.
The Working Parties are generally constituted by scientists attending in their individual capacity and not representing any particular Contracting Party or Cooperating Non-Contracting Party. Their meetings are open to all interested scientists with expertise in the relevant issues under the Working Party consideration.
The Second Session of the Scientific Committee agreed on basic terms of reference to guide the work of those the Working Parties which are dedicated to analyse the condition of the resources (status) for one or more species.
The work of the Working Parties include the following:
Currently, there are seven (7) active IOTC Working Parties operating in support of the IOTC Science Process: