We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A JRC-led study published in Nature Scientific Reports describes a first satellite-based indicator of food available to fish, revealing a close link between ocean productivity fronts and zooplankton biomass.
The proposed indicator describes the daily distribution of suitable feeding habitat of mesozooplankton, the medium-sized class of zooplankton. Since mesozooplankton are essential for the feeding of marine food chains, this new monitoring indicator provides critical information for research and policy, and particularly with regard to sustainable fishing.
JRC scientists find in a recently published paper that significant changes in north-western Mediterranean productivity are likely due to climate change in the coming decades.
The Mediterranean Sea is the largest semi-enclosed European sea. Due to its heterogeneity and isolation, it is home to many habitats and high levels of biodiversity, which provide and sustain natural services and resources such as fisheries.
In a new publication in Frontiers in Marine Sciences, a group of international scientists, led by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), developed habitat predictions for skipjack tuna feeding.
Those predictions can help monitor the dynamics of the population and guide the fisheries deployment and intensity.
Skipjack tuna currently accounts for about 60% of the annual global tuna catch, making it the third most fished species globally (FAO, 2014).
With the human population continuing to grow and the developing world gaining in prosperity, the global demand for food will rise. New food resources must therefore be explored, along with strategies that enable the sustainable exploitation of such resources.
The oceans and seas harbour a huge potential to contribute to global food security through fisheries and aquaculture. The exploitation of marine natural resources also provides opportunities for jobs and income.
The JRC has recently published a technical report that illustrates the flows of biomass for each sector of the EU bioeconomy, using the Sankey biomass diagram.
Focusing on the dry matter content of biomass, it splits biomass supply into the traditional sectors of agriculture (represented in green), forestry (brown) and fisheries (blue), and biomass uses made into the various categories for which it is used.
A JRC-DG MARE report has just been published, showing that the performance of the EU fishing fleet has significantly improved in recent years, moving from a loss-making position in 2008 to record-high net profits of €770 million in 2014 – up from €500 million in 2013. Forecasts for 2016 remain positive.
The European Commission has today proposed the first multi-annual plan for stocks of demersal fish (fish that live and feed near the bottom of the sea) in the North Sea. The plan aims to ensure that stocks are fished at sustainable levels, improve the conservation of stocks, shift decision-making to the regional level, and increase the predictability of catches for fishermen in the long run.
A new habitat model, developed by the JRC and partner scientists, detects areas and periods where Atlantic bluefin tuna prefers to feed and spawn. Covering most of the areas where this species lives and the entire area subject to fisheries, the model provides concrete recommendations on when and where grounds should be closed to increase yield and stability of this fishery sector in the long term.
Scientific advice by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), coordinated by the JRC, has contributed to define 2016 fishing opportunities which were agreed upon by EU ministers last week.
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a regulation upgrading the EU framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector to support scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The JRC will maintain its central role under the new regulation - once adopted - and has been instrumental in the conception of the proposal, building on a longstanding experience in collecting and maintaining fisheries data reported by EU Member States.