||The Workshop of National Age Readings Coordinators (WKNARC) met for the se-cond time from 13 - 17th May 2013 in Horta, Azores (UAC DOP). The meeting was chaired by Lotte Worsøe Clausen (DTU AQUA), Julie Coad (DTU AQUA) and Ângela Canha (UAC). 19 nations were represented by 28 participants. WKNARC was proposed by the Planning Group on Commercial Catches, Discards and Biological Sampling (PGCCDBS) 2010. Many activities of this group are closely linked to the activities of the Data Collection framework (DCF). WKNARC2 builds on the review compiled by the group’s first meeting in 2011 while aiming to further de-velop tools and protocols for Intercalibration between laboratories. Annual ageing and the inferred parameters (growth and mortality) can be used to infer population dynamics and stock status and are incorporated into stock assessment where the proportions of each age class are of primary importance. The age da-ta is provided by National laboratories and is based on both validated and non validated methods. International ooperation between laboratories aims to reduce the inherent uncertainty surrounding this data by standardisation of methods and procedures. The meeting was preceded by an online questionnaire relative to the ToR’s, the results of which were divided amongst sub groups and prepared for discussion prior to the meeting. The main points outlined that, in terms of standardisation of methods: improvements have been made but there is a lack of supporting documentation and comparative studies between old and new methods. The European Age Readers Forum (EARF) needs to be updated and promoted to be more user friendly and WebGR should be used for future exchanges and workshops. Quality control procedures should be summarized and shared on the EARF. Means of dealing with uncertainty in relation to age data in assessments were reviewed and as a result, the 3 point grad-ing system should only be used for quality control and not as a quantitative measure of ageing error. Gaps in age validation and growth formation studies will be identi-fied based on the needs of the Assessment Working Groups. Guidelines for Task Sharing were outlined and its importance, especially in light of new landing obliga-tions was highlighted. Plenary sessions were thus highly constructive and open to new proposals on how to progress with the objectives of the group. A full day was assigned to demonstration and hands-on training of the online WebGR tool. This package facilitates the annota-tion and exchange of images and a study proposal for its further development was compiled. State of the art validation protocols were collated and an outline for an IC-ES Cooperative Research Report (CRR) was suggested. A new Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP) was proposed; to continue the work of WKNARC and to facilitate a strengthening of the link between the end users and the national laboratories while supporting stock-based and ecosystem advice in terms of biological parameters.
The report summarises the work in relation to each of the ToR’s, future recommenda-tions for the proposed new Working Group on Biological Parameters, a WebGr study proposal and a review of the available validation material for a CRR.