ICES adopts spring 2020 approach to upcoming advice requests.

The spring months are, under normal circumstances, a demanding time for ICES fish stock assessment and advice drafting expert groups. Advice on North Atlantic salmon, Baltic Sea fish stocks, Northeast Atlantic deep-water fish stocks, Arctic and North-Western fish stocks, Icelandic deep-water fish stocks, and fish stocks in the Bay of Biscay, Celtic Seas, and North Sea is all scheduled to be released between now and June 30.

What the world is currently experiencing with the COVID 19 disruption is far from normal circumstances. Many of ICES Member Countries’ marine institutes now have travel bans and/or working from home policies in place. Despite this, our incredible community of researchers have decided to continue working to try to produce the usual high standard of stock assessments and forecast fishing scenarios. As they continue to work under extra pressure, ICES Secretariat will ensure to support our community, as best it can, with any virtual meetings. To this end, ICES Advisory Committee (ACOM) has now implemented a “spring 2020 approach”, designed to reduce the expert group workload.

All requesters of advice (EU, Norway, Iceland, UK, NEAFC, and NASCO) have been informed that there will be disruption/change to the delivery of advice for the spring 2020 season. ICES is in consultation with each requester about how this will affect the advice for each stock.

Mark Dickey-Collas, ACOM Chair states “We are exploring with requesters which stocks could have abbreviated advice. This could mean that when the same methods have been used as in 2019, our focus is on the quality of the science and advice, rather than a full description of methods. Where methods have been reviewed and changed (benchmarks), a standard advice sheet will be produced. All data and analysis will be continued but for some stocks, a more concise advice sheet or a rollover of 2019 advice might be appropriate, thus reducing workload”.

Work relating to advice requests concerning issues other than fishing opportunities will also continue, but again, in an adapted manner.

Any changes to the current release dates for ICES advice in 2020 under the spring 2020 approach will be updated in dialogue with requesters of advice and published online.  

Lähde: ICES 17.3.2020