MIACO 2019


EUfishmeal participated in the “meeting between ICES, Advisory Councils and other Observers (MIACO)“, 17-18 January 2019 in Copenhagen.

ICES provides science advice and are best known for its annual advice on the maximum sustainable fishing catches, which are used by EU and coastal states to set annual fishing quotas and TACs. For information about ICES click here

EUfishmeal has observer status of ICES, which gives us the opportunity to have first-hand information about the advisory process and methodologies used in ICES – see the link:

Issues presented at the MIACO meeting are outlined below:

Quality assurance and consistency:

There is an ongoing need to improve the quality assurance of ICES advice, linked to the need to ensure that the production of evidence and the decision making process is transparent and that data provision adheres to the FAIR principles.

Member countries need to commit sufficient and suitably qualified experts to support ICES advisory process. ICES needs to further improve its quality assurance frameworks to facilitate the needs of the ICES community and those of the recipients of advice. ICES is striving for fully reproducible assessments, advice and services delivered in an efficient, transparent and timely manner.

ICES will make a proposal in 2019 to address these key challenges. It is anticipated that recommendations will include changes to the way ICES integrates data quality assurance across the organization, calls for further resourcing for both member countries and the quality assurance standards within the secretariat. ICES is also reviewing data governance across the ICES Advice provision, and looking to strengthen its approach where gaps or overlaps are identified. This will also entail reinforcing the training and propagation of expertise to adequately address best practice in data governance throughout ICES.

Comments from industry representatives in the Advisory Councils (BSAC, Pelagic AC, LDAC) and EUfishmeal: There is a good corporation between the industry and ICES advice. However, it is a big problem when ICES change the assessment methodology and from one year to the next gives a zero catch advice – as it has been the case for western Baltic Sea herring stock advice for 2019. ICES should have management plans in place to prevent large changes in the catch advice from one year to the next.


Fisheries and Ecosystem Overviews:

There is an increasing need for ICES advice on ecosystem effects of fisheries and moving towards an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. To encompass this need ICES has developed fisheries and ecosystem overviews.

Fisheries overviews have so far been published for the Baltic Sea, Celtic Seas and the Greater North Sea ecoregions.
See the link:

Ecosystem overviews have been published for Barents Sea, Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast, Celtic Seas, Greater North Sea, Baltic Sea, Icelandic waters, Norwegian Sea.
See the link:

ICES is now aiming at publishing in 2019 fisheries overviews for the Norwegian & Barents Seas and the Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters and ecosystem overviews for the Oceanic northeast Atlantic and the Azores ecoregions.


ICES strategic plan:

ICES are committed to better understanding marine ecosystems and securing the benefits that people derive from them. The ICES Strategic Plan ​defines the direction and priorities relating to science, data, and advice, and to develop the capacity needed to fulfil this commitment.

Read the ICES strategic plan here:


ICES science plan:

In support of the Strategic Plan, ICES have developed a Science Plan: “Marine ecosystem and sustainability science for the 2020s and beyond”​. This highlights seven interrelated scientific priorities and how the ICES network will address them.​

Read the ICES strategic plan here:


Two special workshops with stakeholders in 2019:

The Workshop on the Ecosystem Based Management of the Baltic Sea (WKBALTIC), chaired by Dave Reid, Ireland and Rudi Voss, Germany, will be established and will meet in XXX, XX 2019 to:

  1. With stakeholders, identify issues necessary for management needs regarding mixed-fisheries interactions, ecosystem drivers of fisheries productivity and inter- and intra-specific interactions;
  2. Prioritize recommendations for future improvements to mixed-fishery methodology, particularly in regards to a new models for pelagic species;
  3. Expand on preliminary work exploring data in the Regional Database (RDB) on the mixing of pelagic species in the Baltic, and mixed demersal species in particular evaluating the quality of catch data,
  4. Consider and potentially adapt existing mixed fisheries methodology for application in the Baltic, and prioritize recommendations for a new mixed fisheries model for pelagic species
  5. Develop a roadmap for the delivery of future research needs for Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) and mixed fisheries management of Baltic Sea fisheries.


The Workshop on a Research Roadmap for Mackerel (WKRRMAC) chaired by Carl O’Brien, UK, will be established and will meet in Bremerhaven, 7-9 May 2019 to:

  1. With stakeholders, identify issues necessary for management needs of NE Atlantic mackerel regarding management plans, optimizing yield, distributional shifts, density dependent changes in growth and ecosystem drivers of fisheries productivity;
  2. List additional concerns from fisheries managers and stakeholders which they perceive as suffering from a knowledge deficit:
  3. Prioritize recommendations for research to lead to future improvements of the scientific advice for mackerel;
  4. Consider knowledge and data sources, and potential methods and timetables by which those methods can be incorporated into the advice system;
  5. Produce a roadmap for the delivery of future research needs for the management of fisheries on mackerel in the NE Atlantic.


ICES Advisory Work-plan 2019:

The ICES meeting calendar can be read from the link – click here

Advice is released at 12:00 (CET) on the following dates in 2019:

22 February:
Advice on sandeel – EU and Norway

12 April: ​
Advice on North Sea and 3.a sprat – EU and Norway

29 May:
Advice on Baltic Sea fish stocks – EU

13 June:
Advice on Arctic and North-Western fish stocks – EU, NEAFC

13 June: ​
Advice on Icelandic deep-water fish stocks – NEAFC

28 June:
Advice on Bay of Biscay, Celtic Sea, and North Sea fish stocks – EU and Norway

28 June:
Advice on Southern horse mackerel and anchovy – ​EU
Bycatch advice – EU

1 October:
Advice on widely distributed stocks – EU, NEAFC and Norway

9 October:
​Advice on Norway pout – EU and Norway

October, date tbc:​
Advice on Barents Sea Capelin​ – NEAFC and Norway

29 November:​
Advice on Icelandic capelin and Faroese stocks – ​NEAFC

For further information contact the EUfishmeal secretariat: click here