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Data collection and study projects in support of the Common Fisheries Policy

The European Commission, DG XIV, has published a call for proposals for data collection and study projects in support of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The Commission will support projects which will produce results of assistance to the scientific community in providing t...

The European Commission, DG XIV, has published a call for proposals for data collection and study projects in support of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The Commission will support projects which will produce results of assistance to the scientific community in providing the advice needed for the framing of regulatory measures, which will be taken to reach the objectives of the CFP, and in particular to ensure a rational and responsible exploitation of living aquatic marine resources on a sustainable basis, taking account of its implications for the marine ecosystem. The measures will be drawn up in the light of the available biological, socio-economic and technical analyses, in accordance with the terms of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3760/92 establishing a Community system for fisheries and aquaculture. These provisions will constitute the Union's fisheries resources management policy. Furthermore, in the framework of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93 establishing a control system applicable to the CFP, the Commission wishes to ensure that the control and enforcement carried out by the Member States is as efficient and cost effective as possible and includes the opportunity to utilize all pertinent information and technological advancements. In order to identify relevant projects, the Commission invites experts, research institutes and other competent organizations to submit proposals relevant to the fields specified below. Projects will be selected according to their scientific and technical merits, to their relevance to fisheries resources management and to the qualifications of the proponents. In order to encourage scientific cooperation, the Commission will give preference to proposals for joint studies involving more than one Member State. A. Data collection for biological analyses and assessments: The major components of the Union's fisheries conservation policy are the system of Total Allowable Catches (TACs) with the associated national quotas and the regulations defining technical measures such as mesh sizes, closed areas and closed seasons. In addition, the Commission is provided with the opportunity of proposing multiannual and/or multispecies TACs and of proposing direct limitations on fishing effort. To assess the probable effects of the application of any of these conservation measures, it is necessary to analyse appropriate data. The provision of these data is accomplished by implementation of well-designed sampling schemes at national level. In this context, the Commission invites proposals for the collection of data appropriate for biological analyses and assessments, or for the coordination of the collection of these data, on a fleet and geographical basis, for homogeneous fishing areas. The following major areas are considered: A.1. Collection and compilation of basic fisheries statistics (especially, but not exclusively, data on landings and fishing effort); A.2. Research vessel surveys, particularly those intended to provide estimates of absolute or relative abundance of young fish and/or of total or spawning stock biomass; A.3. Biological sampling of discarded fish and other organisms, the latter including marine mammals, reptiles, birds and benthic organisms; A.4. Biological sampling of the species disembarked by fishing vessels at landing and auction sites, particularly where such sampling provides data for the estimation of age and/or length frequency distributions, with associated estimates of mean weight and mean length at age; A.5. Associated laboratory investigations including determination of age and maturity and estimation of relationships between length and weight. B. Fisheries technology and fisheries management: Council Regulation (EEC) No 3760/92 envisages the application of various management tools, in particular direct limitations of fishing effort and the application of multiannual and multispecies concepts in catch limitations. These aspects still require further investigation. In addition, the protection of juvenile fish and reduction of undesirable or unlawful by-catch, both of fish and of other types of animals, demands improved knowledge of various aspects of the selectivity of fishing gears. The following major areas are considered: B.1. Quantification of the relationships between fishing mortality rate and fishing effort, the latter preferably being expressed as a function of capacity and activity, for different fisheries, species and gears; B.2. Selectivity parameters of existing gears of type widely employed by fishermen of Member States; B.3. Factors affecting selectivity and efficiency of towed and passive gears including type of material, geometry and attachments to the nets; B.4. Estimation of short-term and long-term effects on discards, landings and biomass following the adoption of gears of improved selectivity. C. Fisheries and the environment: Improved knowledge of the impact of fisheries activities on the environment, and particularly on marine species not specifically targeted, is required to achieve a responsible exploitation of marine resources. The following major areas are considered: C.1. Evaluation of the impact of fisheries on non-target species such as marine mammals, reptiles, birds and benthos; C.2. Evaluation of the effects on marine predators of large-scale capture of their prey species particularly by industrial fisheries; C.3. Development of techniques to reduce the retention by fishing gears of undesirable or unlawful by-catch species; D. Coordination and synthesis: This field concerns the organization of working groups or the preparation of synthetic documents in the following major areas linked to biological analyses and assessments, or to interactions between fisheries and the environment. The following major areas are considered: D.1. Exploitation of historical series of biological data; D.2. Establishment and/or maintenance of computerized databases; D.3. Optimization of sampling procedures; D.4. Standardization methodologies; D.5. Combination of biological sampling data with administrative statistics; D.6. Preparation and publication of documents summarizing scientific literature relevant to the implementation of the CFP and to related environmental topics. E. Control and enforcement of regulations: To stimulate work on the basis of which it can propose effective methods of control and enforcement of existing or potential regulations relating to minimum landing sizes and to the control of fishing effort, it is appropriate for the Commission to identify small-scale projects which would draw together information from various sources and could then be applied to supplement traditional control methods. The following major areas are considered: E.1. Techniques for determining the geographical origin of fish or fish products; E.2. Determination of processing and of stowage coefficients for processed or part-processed landings and for stored fish; E.3. Development of standards for the marking, identification and measurement of passive fishing gears, and development of techniques for the determination of the installed engine power of fishing vessels. Detailed instructions for the submission of proposals and background comments relating to each of the topics indicated in points A to E above are available from the Commission's service (see below). All enquiries concerning this call for proposals should be addressed in writing to: European Commission Directorate-General for Fisheries Conservation and Environmental Questions Unit (DG XIV/C-1) 200 rue de la Loi B-1049 Brussels Fax +32-2-2966046