At its 2005 meeting, the Commission decided to make assistance to developing coastal States a permanent item on the annual meeting agenda. Since then, the Commission has been formalising assistance to developing ICCAT Contracting Parties through the adoption of specific recommendations, such as:
- Recommendation by ICCAT on the Establishment of a Meeting Participation Fund for Developing ICCAT Contracting Parties [Rec. 11-26], adopted in 2011.
- Recommendation by ICCAT on the Establishment of a Scientific Capacity Building Fund for Developing States which are ICCAT Contracting Parties [Rec. 13-19]. It was adopted in 2013 and establishes a special Scientific Capacity Building Fund (SCBF) to support scientists from those ICCAT Contracting Parties which are developing States in their need to acquire knowledge and develop skills on ICCAT related issues.
- Recommendation by ICCAT Amending Recommendation 11-26 on the Establishment of a Meeting Participation Fund for Developing ICCAT Contracting Parties [Rec. 14-14], adopted in 2014.
In order to standardise the criteria for use of the different SCRS related funds, the Committee approved in 2011 Protocols to Follow for the Use of Data Funds & Other ICCAT Funds. Through these protocols, the use of these funds was also extended to a broad range of activities in support of SCRS work. These activities would fall within those provided for in Resolution by ICCAT on Best Available Science [Res. 11-17] which include, among others, scientific peer-review of SCRS work or participation by external experts in the work of the Committee. These protocols are also applicable to funds provided through [Rec. 13-19].
Subsequently, in 2014, the Commission adopted the Rules of Procedure for the Administration of the Special Meeting Participation Fund which regulated the deadlines for submission of funding requests and stipulated the documentation required.
As established in the protocols referred to above, allocation of SCRS related funds must be approved by the corresponding SCRS officers. In the case of funds provided through [Rec. 13-19], approval must also be obtained from the Directors or persons responsible for the work centre of the person requesting the funding and from the research centre or similar where the placement is to take place. Regarding the use of funds for participation in meetings, defined in [Rec. 11-26], approval must be secured from the Chairs of the Commission and STACFAD, as stipulated in the recommendation. In addition, applications must be approved by the corresponding ICCAT Head Delegate.