Easy and rapid assessment of fish stocks is made possible through the JRC-developed a4a model. © E. Canuti, 2009
A novel approach to fisheries management
A novel approach to fishery management has been presented during the stakeholders meeting of the Assessment for All (a4a) initiative, held today and tomorrow at the JRC's premises in Ispra. Under this initiative, the JRC developed a new assessment model for the rapid assessment of fish stocks.
This a4a model can easily be applied to a large number of fish stocks and is able to process the rapidly accumulating fisheries related information. The powerful and versatile assessment tool does not require a strong expert background or modelling expertise, which opens stock assessment to a wider community of fisheries scientists and more data, also technical knowledge on fisheries, stocks or ecosystem characteristics, can be incorporated. The a4a method thus facilitates the estimation of the current fish stocks and the prediction of their future status under alternative scenarios, which is essential for the sustainable and profitable management of fisheries.
The promotion of the model and the integration of the overall a4a initiative within fisheries management and conservation schemes are key points of the stakeholders meeting, as the wider fisheries community could provide valuable feedback for further improvement.
The a4a initiative has been developed within a broad network of stakeholders, including scientists and policymakers from a wide range of international institutions such as the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).