University of Liverpool Professor Chris Frid is one of eight experts taking part in the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) working group, set up to advise the European Commission on reform to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Based in Copenhagen, ICES is an international, multi-national agency established to provide scientific advice around human use of the marine environment.
It is best known for providing the EU and Norway with annual advice on the state of fish stocks and the size of the total allowable catch. However, it also provides member states with other scientific advice on other issues related to marine management.
With the latest reform of the common fisheries policy due to be introduced in 2014, the European Commission is working get all the new regulatory regimes in place.
DG Environment, from the European Commission, has requested ICES to provide scientific advice on marine data collection issues, and specifically to assist in the identification of new data to be collected in support of the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
Professor Frid, from the School of Environmental Sciences, said: “Across Europe millions of Euros are currently spent each year in collecting data in support of fisheries management, including from surveys of landings, market returns and surveys by national fisheries research vessels.
“With the revised CFP and the MSFD seeking to manage human activities with a consideration of the whole ecosystem and not in a piecemeal manner, the data needs will be different.
Political and economic dimensions
“Our task is to advise on what additional data can be collected, most cost effectively, to provide this wider perspective on the marine ecosystem. As scientists it is always tempting to suggest monitoring everything, but in formulating advice to the EU we have to be aware of the political and economic dimensions and come up with sound science that will be delivered, because it is also economically sensible.”
The report will be published by ICES as formal advice to the European Commission and will form the basis of the new fisheries data collection framework.