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TACADAR
Towards accreditation and certification of age determination of aquatic resources

There is a discrepancy between sophisticated research into age determination and
biomineralisation processes and the state of the art of routine age reading in fisheries
assessment. While sclerochronological research in Europe has progressed tremendously
throughout the past decades, routine age estimation has not adequately kept pace. Often, the quality of age data depends on skill and experience, and lacks, in most cases, standardisation, objective control and statistical evaluation. The quality of input data, such as the age data of fish populations, plays a vital role in the ability to manage fish resources.
The need for reliable data is especially acute in times when stock levels are low and errors in predictions can have devastating effects on the resources. It is therefore important that age reading procedures in Europe are standardised and that quality assurance and quality control mechanisms for age reading are introduced.

Objectives
The concerted action aims to increase the adoption of procedures for age reading that
include quality assurance and quality control mechanisms for the improvement of stock
assessment and environmental management techniques. The overall objective is to
increase the reliability of age estimation procedures in the European Community,
compatible with the possibility of the future establishment of Europe-wide international
fisheries laboratories. The ultimate objective is to stimulate the achievement of a higher
level of quality within and integration between the partner institutes concerning fish age
determination. Methods for age determination will be evaluated where more than one
method is applied in the total data input for a stock assessment or an environmental
management model.

Results
A strengthening, through a network of excellence, of the competitive position of European institutions involved in fish ageing, promoting institutional synergy and international cooperation.
Improvement of dissemination of information on activities and results to the European institutes of fisheries science and fish ecology engaged in age determination
activities.
Development of a manual on quality assurance and standardised practices in age determination to be applied on the European level. This will involve statistical criteria as
well as an evaluation of legal aspects of accreditation and certification and implications for the EU.

Classified in FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Dr ARILD FOLKVORD
Floedevigv. 49
4817 His
Norway - NO

Phone: +47 55584456
Fax: +47 55584450
E-mail: Arild.Folkvord@ifm.uib.no

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-01891
Organisation Institute of Marine Research
Area 5.1.2
Start date 01 October 2002
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 972 000 €
Total EC contribution   200 000 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.efan.no/tacadar/

The partners

  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain - ES
    ieabmn@uib.es
  • Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Denmark - DK
    hm@dfu.min.dk
  • Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, France - FR
    pontual@ifremer.fr
  • Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department, United Kingdom - UK
    wrightp@marlab.uk
  • Instituto di Ricerche Sulla Pesca Marittima/Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy - IT
    arneri@irpem.an.cnr.it
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