Important legal notice
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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“Multi-annual management decisions will bring greater stability to fisheries and to the stocks upon which they depend.”

The problem

Fishery management is largely based on annual fish stock assessments. Owing to the uncertainty inherent in annual estimates of the stock size, fish quotas set on such a basis will be variable. This makes planning for the future difficult. A multi-annual management strategy is needed and, to be effective, this requires the commitment of managers and the compliance of stakeholders with the agreed strategy. Multi-annual assessments that incorporate biological and socio-economic considerations will help improve the decision-making process for medium- to long-term planning.

COMMIT  Committing to tailor-made long-term fishery management strategies


COMMIT aims to improve the scientific basis for the long-term sustainable planning of fishery management, while identifying any short-term biological and socio-economic consequences. The project will:

  • Evaluate management plans that reduce annual fluctuations in exploitation and encourage stakeholder commitment
  • Base these strategies upon harvest rules and develop them explicitly to recognise various uncertainties
  • Carry out a socio-economic analysis to identify mechanisms affecting the commitment of key stakeholders

Contribution to policy development:

  • COMMIT will support the main elements of the Common Fisheries Policy, such as sustainable fisheries and an economically viable fishing industry
  • COMMIT will identify robust management strategies that reduce the uncertainties currently besetting fishery management
  • The project will involve greater stakeholder recognition of and compliance with the management framework
  • Management decisions based on the COMMIT models will provide greater security to fishermen

Project deliverables

  • Specification and implementation of robustness trial operating models – August 2005
  • Specification and implementation of final trial operating models for each of the principal case studies – December 2006
  • Completed harvesting and management strategy software with full documentation – March 2007
  • Final report on specification of the final trials – April 2007


  • Detailed report on the specifications of the robustness trials – October 2005
  • Report on the current management procedures for each case study – April 2006
  • A series of reports and draft papers on the various aspects of the project – April 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: COMMIT
Project’s official full title: Creation Of Multi-annual Management Plans for CommITment
Research priority: Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 502289
Start date: 1/4/2004
Kick off meeting: April 2004
Completion date: 31/3/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Tore Jakobsen (

Name: Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Abbreviated Name: CEFAS
Address: Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT
Country: UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1502 562244
Fax: +44 (0) 1502 513865


Name: Instituto Tecnológico Pesquero y Alimentario
Abbreviated Name: ATZI
Country: Spain

Name: Centre for the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources
Abbreviated Name: CEMARE
Country: UK

Name: Danish Institute for Fisheries Research
Abbreviated Name: DIFRES
Country: Denmark

Name: Estonian Marine Institute
Abbreviated Name: EMI
Country: Estonia

Name: Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute
Abbreviated Name: FGFRI
Country: Finland

Name: Fisheries Research Services
Abbreviated Name: FRS
Country: UK

Name: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Abbreviated Name: IMPERIAL
Country: UK

Name: Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar
Abbreviated Name: IPIMAR
Country: Portugal

Name: Agricultural Economics Research Institute
Abbreviated Name: LEI
Country: Netherlands

Name: Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research
Abbreviated Name: RIVO
Country: Netherlands

Name: National Centre for Marine Research
Abbreviated Name: NCMR
Country: Greece