European Commission Director General for Fisheries João Aguiar Machado signed the document alongside ICES President Cornelius Hammer in Copenhagen today. The so-called Memorandum of Understanding sets out where ICES will provide scientific advice to the Commission.
Under the agreement, the European Commission is seeking advice to protect, conserve and manage marine ecosystems against the backdrop of human activities – most notably fishing activities. The work mainly concerns fish stocks in the Baltic and North Seas as well as in the Atlantic Ocean. It covers both marine fisheries and freshwater fisheries with a marine component.
ICES is a global network of more than 4000 scientists that develops advice on the sustainable use of the oceans. The Commission uses ICES advice when proposing the catch limits for fish stocks to EU fisheries ministers.
This year is particularly important: ICES will be expanding its work to include monitoring the long-term development of stocks and their exploitation in relation to the MSY (maximum sustainable yield) sustainability objective under the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, in particular assessing the size (biomass) of the stocks. This year, ICES will also study fishing mortality from recreational fisheries, wherever they have an impact on a given stock.