Important legal notice
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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“Making fisheries more eco-friendly.”

The problem

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is expected to move to ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). EBFM requires the integration of environmental protection into the CFP, including measures to limit the environmental effects of the CFP itself. Therefore, managers must take account of a wide range of fishery–environment interactions when setting objectives. Every measure to meet this objective will need support from reliable scientific advice if management decisions are to be effective.

IMAGE  Integrating the ecosystem into fishery management


IMAGE will develop a series of scientifically robust but readily understandable environmental indicators for assessing the effectiveness of management measures in support of EBFM. It will:

  • Develop and test these indicators across a number of representative case-study European fisheries and evaluate their potential effectiveness
  • Ensure that the indicators provide a measure of environmental pressure exerted by fisheries and the extent to which management objectives are met
  • Develop methodology to integrate this information into tools supporting the decision-making process
  • Develop a framework that can evaluate management strategies based on indicators

Contribution to policy development:

  • IMAGE will provide scientific guidance on the environmental effects and implications of fishery management measures.
  • The project will provide managers with a range of readily understood indicators by which to assess progress towards an ecosystem-based approach to fishery management.
  • The indicators and tools developed by IMAGE will support fishery managers to meet their international treaty obligations for safeguarding the environment and nature conservation.
  • The project is expected to provide insights that will help develop more cost-effective management strategies.

Project deliverables

  • Annual project progress – November 2007/2008
  • Indicators for ecological objectives – June 2008
  • Indicators for socio-economic objectives – June 2008
  • Management strategy evaluation framework – June 2009
  • An indicator-based framework for an ecosystem approach to the management of European fisheries – October 2009
  • Conclusions and policy implementation plan – October 2009


  • Website – from December 2006
  • Newsletter – February 2007
  • Dissemination of project progress to the Commission, the scientific community and other stakeholders – as opportunity arises
  • Press releases and articles in international peer-reviewed journals – as opportunity arises

Technical information

Project acronym: IMAGE
Project’s official full title: Indicators for fisheries Management in Europe
Research priority: Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044227
Start date: November 2006
Kick off meeting: November 2006
Completion date: October 2009
European Commission scientific officer: Petter Fossum,

Coordinator: Gerjan Piet
Name: Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies
Abbreviated name: IMARES
Address: PO Box 68, 1970 AB IJmuiden
Country: The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 255 564 646
Fax: +31 (0) 255 564 644


Name: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Abbreviated name: CEFAS
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France

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

Name: Institute for Fisheries Management and Coastal Community Development
Abbreviated name: IFM
Country: Denmark

Name: COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca
Abbreviated name: COISPA
Country: Italy

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