The Danish Fisheries Association has welcomed the ICES recommendation for increases in catches limits for cod in the North Sea and Skagerrak danish fishermen brexit compensation ICES advice bycatch EU

ICES has delivered its advice on Sampling Design Impact on Bycatch Estimates and Detection Probability as requested by the EU

ICES Advises on Sampling Design Impact on Bycatch Estimates and Detection Probability

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has released its latest advice regarding the impact of sampling design on the precision and accuracy of bycatch estimates and the detection probability of bycatch events.

The advice, published under the code ICES Advice 2024 7, explores various scenarios and methodologies to enhance the effectiveness of monitoring programs in European fisheries.

The basis of the advice lies in the analysis of how different sampling designs can influence the accuracy of bycatch estimates and the probability of detecting bycatch events. Specifically, ICES focused on three key aspects:

  1. The impact of monitoring coverage on the precision and accuracy of bycatch estimates, considering the frequency of bycatch events.
  2. The potential benefits of stratification in improving precision and accuracy, irrespective of bycatch probability.
  3. The comparison between sampling few vessels with many trips per vessel versus many vessels with fewer trips per vessel.

To conduct this analysis, ICES utilised the simulation framework SCOTI, previously developed by the organisation. Real-world case studies representing diverse European fisheries were used for parameterisation. These case studies included various fishing methods, vessel sizes, and operational characteristics.

Key findings from the analysis include:

– The importance of monitoring coverage in achieving accurate and precise estimates, particularly for species with low bycatch probabilities.

– The effectiveness of stratification in improving precision and accuracy, especially when applied by métier.

– The influence of different sampling strategies on the detection probability of bycatch events, with higher vessel coverage leading to improved detection rates.

 

Additionally, the advice highlights the role of different monitoring methodologies, such as at-sea scientific observers and electronic monitoring, in providing reliable bycatch data. Recommendations are also provided regarding the recording of biological parametres during onboard monitoring of bycatch events, emphasising the importance of species identification and documentation.

This comprehensive analysis aims to inform policymakers, fisheries managers, and stakeholders about the factors influencing the accuracy of bycatch estimates and the effectiveness of monitoring programs. By implementing the recommendations outlined in the ICES advice, stakeholders can work towards improving the sustainability of European fisheries and minimising the impact of bycatch on marine ecosystems.

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