The JRC supports EU fisheries management and policy© Boris Kandziora
Supporting the EU Marine Knowledge 2020 initiative
Making access to marine data easier and more economic is one of the three objectives of the Marine Knowledge 2020 initiative, proposed by the Commission on 13 September. The initiative acknowledges the role of the JRC as a thematic assembly centre for fisheries data. Scientists at the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) collect and maintain fisheries management data transmitted by EU Member States. These data sets are then used by experts of the Scientific and Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) to provide scientific advice to EU policy makers, for example to decide on fishing effort reductions or management measures.
The Marine Knowledge 2020 initiative calls for easier access to marine data, less fragmented standards and formats of the data, quality of the data, as well as for an integrated approach at EU level. As a thematic assembly centre for fisheries data, the JRC contributes to the sustainable management of the seas and oceans and by assembling data in high quality repositories, it creates new opportunities for growth and competitiveness in the EU.
Since 2006 the JRC collects and maintains fisheries data reported by EU Member States in the framework of the Data Collection Regulation, and since 2010, the Data Collection Framework. In practice, several times a year, following formal data calls by the Commission, national correspondents upload data to a dedicated JRC web site. Four different types of data are gathered: biological, economic, fishing effort and discards data; and for each data call the JRC prepares an official data coverage report. Datasets are first checked by the JRC for compliance and quality, and then assembled and placed at the disposal of independent experts participating in working groups of the STECF in charge of scientific advice. The JRC pays particular attention to the development of quality assurance procedures in data collection, common codifications, and aggregation for analysis and assessments.
As a result of such work, the JRC publishes for example the Annual Economic Report of the EU fishing fleet, which it establishes together with the relevant STECF working group.