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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“Towards improved quality of management in data-poor fisheries.”

The problem

The reliability of scientific advice for fishery management is highly dependent on the quantity and quality of data that are available for scientific assessment and interpretation. New fisheries, such as the deep-water ones west of Europe are data poor, as are many multi-national, multi-species fisheries in, for example, the Mediterranean or northern Baltic. This requires further work to build on earlier EU-funded projects, such as EFIMIAS and COMMIT, to improve the quality of scientific advice relating to data-poor fisheries.

POORFISH  Developing probability model applications in data-poor fisheries


POORFISH will undertake a variety of case studies exemplifying data-poor fisheries around Europe, plus two off the coast of west Africa. It will gather information for utilisation within a probabilistic assessment, management and advice model (PAMAM). This model enables management and assessment uncertainties to be evaluated. Specific objectives are:

  • to review the potential assessment and management approaches applied in data-poor fisheries
  • to improve the structure and reliability of the probabilistic assessment and management advice model
  • to apply this model to case studies
  • to produce guidelines for assessment and management in poor data situations

Contribution to policy development:

  • POORFISH will seek to improve the quality of advice that the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) are able to formulate for data-poor fish stocks
  • The methodologies that are developed will allow management strategies to be formulated that ensure the sustainability of marine ecosystems and provide greater security to fishers, enabling them to make informed investment decisions
  • Similarly, this will allow greater stability in communities dependent upon fisheries and contribute to reducing their vulnerability

Project deliverables

  • Report: Probabilistic assessment, management and advice model (PAMAM) – August 2006
  • Complete electronic database of literature on data poor fisheries – November 2006
  • Report: Progress with case studies and data identification, collection and validation –
    February 2007
  • Report: Case studies data – November 2006
  • Report: Application of PAMAM to case studies – February 2008
  • Report: Practical operational management system – July 2008
  • Final report – September 2008
  • Report: Management processes in data poor fisheries – October 2008


  • Website and Portal (continuously updated) – November 2005
  • Newsletter – November 2006, December 2007, September 2008
  • Report: Dissemination workshop – October 2008

Technical information

Project acronym: POORFISH
Project’s official full title: Probabilistic assessment, management and advice model for fishery management in the case of poor data availability
Research priority: 1.3. Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 022745
Start date: 1 October 2005
Kick off meeting: October 2005
European Commission scientific officer: Jacques Fuchs,

Pierre Failler (
Name: University of Portsmouth
Abbreviated name: UOP
Address: Winston Churchill Avenue
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 23 92 844 085
Fax: +44 23 92 844 037


Name: Institut Mediterrani Estudis Avançats
Abbreviated name: IMEDEA
Country: Spain

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

Name: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
Abbreviated name: IRD
Country: France

Name: University of Helsinki
Abbreviated name: UHel
Country: Finland

Name: Finnish Environment Institute
Abbreviated name: SYKE
Country: Finland

Name: Institut Français pour l’exploitation de la mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France

Name: Aristotle University Thessalonika
Abbreviated name: AUTH
Country: Greece

Name: Institut de Ciències del Mar, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Abbreviated name: CSIC
Country: Spain

Name: Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Océanographique et des Pêches
Abbreviated name: IMROP
Country: Mauritania

Name: Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar Thiaroye
Abbreviated name: CRODT
Country: Senegal