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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
To regain the trust of the fishing industry in the relevance and validity of the scientific assessments upon which EU management decisions and policy are based.

The problem

European fish stock assessments usually use commercial catch data - which are often unreliable due to, for example, misreporting, non-reported landings, and discards. The obvious alternative is to base the assessments on existing research surveys. This represents a challenge because survey results are also subject to variation and there is a need to address this by applying new models - or improve existing ones - in order to arrive at reliable stock estimates.

FISBOAT  Taking reliable stock of fish numbers


FISBOAT will tackle the major issue of unreliable fish stock assessment through the use of new methods based exclusively on research vessel survey data.

The project will:

  • Evaluate how these methods perform in producing advice within defined management criteria, such as determining the optimum level of harvesting
  • Study the sensitivity of the methods in anticipating changes in population biology and survey performance
  • Compare, through case studies, test results and the corresponding management advice with historical records and actual events in specified fisheries

Contribution to policy development

  • More robust and reliable scientific advice to fishery managers and policy-makers, including a management model driven by numerically defined harvesting rules
  • An evaluation of whether fishery-independent assessment models are more reliable than the fishery-dependent models used at present
  • An early-warning mechanism giving policy-makers more time to respond proactively to evolving challenges


Project deliverables

  • Development of population indices and analytical estimation of population parameters - start April 2004, end September 2005
  • Estimation of abundance and recruitment - start June 2004, end December 2005
  • Selection of analytical models and procedures for operating them - start September 2004, end March 2006
  • Review of methods, models and their evaluation - start September 2005, end February 2007


  • Website update – at least quarterly
  • Annual project review meeting – March 2005, March 2006, and March 2007
  • Interim activity report – April 2005
  • Periodic activity, management and financial reports – September 2005
  • Final activity and management report – March 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: FISBOAT
Project’s official full title: Fisheries Independent Survey Based Operational Assessment Tools
Research priority: Modernisation of fisheries and sustainability, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 502572
Start date: 01/03/2004
Kick off meeting: March 2004
Completion date: 28/2/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Tore Jakobsen (

Name: Institute Français de Recherche pour l’Exploration de la Mer
Abbreviated Name: IFREMER
Address: 155, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 92138 Issy-les-Moulineaux
Country: France
Tel: (33) 01 46 48 21 00
Fax: (33) 01 46 48 21 21


  • Name: Fisheries Research Service
    Abbreviated Name: FRS
    Country: United Kingdom
  • Name: Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research
    Abbreviated Name: RIVO
    Country: Netherlands
  • Name: Institute for Marine Research
    Abbreviated Name: IMR
    Country: Norway
  • Name: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research
    Abbreviated Name: CEFAS
    Country: United Kingdom
  • Name: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
    Abbreviated Name: IMPERIAL
    Country: United Kingdom
  • Name: Sea Fisheries Institute
    Abbreviated Name: SFI
    Country: Poland
  • Name: Società Italiana do Bologna Marina
    Abbreviated Name: SIBM
    Country: Italy
  • Name: National Centre for Marine Research
    Abbreviated Name: NCMR
    Country: Greece
  • Name: Fundación AZTI
    Abbreviated Name: AZTI
    Country: Spain
  • Name: Association pour la Recherche et la Développement des Méthodes et Processus Industriels
    Abbreviated Name: ARMINES
    Country: France