News & Events

EFFOP attends MIACO at ICES 2024


EFFOP attended the latest MIACO meeting hosted by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on January 18th – 19th, 2024. MIACO is an important event in the ICES calendar because it is marks a point where Decision-makers and policy developers from governments and intergovernmental organizations that request ICES advice, along with Advisory Council representatives and stakeholders have a chance to gain a unique insight into the basis and process of the ICES advice.

Reviewing 2023: Insights into ICES Advice Process

A comprehensive overview of the advice process and the advice provided in 2023 was presented. MIACO participants were invited to scrutinize the advisory process, discussing any issues or concerns that had arisen since the previous meeting. This inclusive review involved round table contributions from each represented organization and observers. The summary of fishery advice, updates on the Ices advisory framework, and the introduction of new developments, such as the advice explorer, were highlighted.

Quality Assurance and Reproducibility of ICES Advice

The meeting addressed the pivotal aspect of quality assurance in ICES advice through the proposal and approval of a Quality Policy by ACOM. Plans to implement a Quality Management System, aligned with ISO 9001:2015 standards, were discussed, with a workshop (WKQMS) slated for 2024. The imperative of reproducibility in ICES advice was underscored, showcasing efforts to engage with the expert community and develop key databases and the Transparent Assessment Framework (TAF) tool.

Transparency in ICES Advice: Guidelines and Technological Integration

Transparency took center stage with the introduction of guidelines on the formulation of advice requests in October 2023. These guidelines, aimed at ACOM, advice requesters, and interested third parties, were discussed in detail. The presentation of the Advice eXplorer app demonstrated technological integration, providing MIACO participants with a tool to access, visualize, and evaluate ICES advice on fishing opportunities.

Evolving Advice and Future Roadmaps

The evolving nature of ICES advice was highlighted through stepwise implementation of conservation advice and the presentation of rebuilding scenarios. MIACO participants were engaged in providing feedback on these crucial aspects. The presentation of roadmaps for Offshore Marine Renewable Energy and Endangered, Threatened, and Protected (ETP) species by-catch underscored the dynamic landscape of marine conservation.

Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and Stakeholder Engagement

The challenges and advancements in protecting VMEs were presented, acknowledging the increasing policy objectives globally. The science and evidence base is also evolving and the expert resources work in this area are limited. ICES presented the developments to date and informed MIACO of plans to further improve the assessments and the advice in the short and medium term.

Prioritizing Science Needs and Advancements in Mixed Fisheries

MIACO discussed the prioritization of emerging science needs and reviewed the ongoing development of mixed fisheries data and methods by ICES. The plans for workshops and scoping sessions showcased a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.

Providing Advice in 2024: Plans and Procedures

The meeting concluded with an overview of ICES Advisory Work-plan for 2024, inviting comments from MIACO on the proposed plan and the timing for recurrent advice release. A reminder of the benchmark procedure and ACOM’s review of benchmarks invited further input from MIACO.