The North Sea is known for its quality fishing, an industry supported by the Atlas of North Sea Fishes first published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in 1993. The recent EU-funded project 'Update and revision of the ICES Atlas of North Sea fishes: a web-based application' (ICES-Fishmap) aimed to revise and digitise this valuable resource. In light of changes in commercial species and rising interest in non-target species, the updated interactive web-based atlas incorporated data on fish distributions and their projected evolution over the next three decades. Available through the ICES website, the resource contains seasonal changes, species-specific information and references, addressing topics such as biodiversity, ecosystem changes and exploitation. The atlas also allows users to plot fishing maps by age or length over specific time periods and access files on different species. In addition, ICES-Fishmap made progress on enlarging the coverage area of the interactive atlas across the north-east Atlantic shelf from the southern Iberian Peninsula to Iceland and Norway. This would eventually be extended into the Baltic and Mediterranean seas. Such a valuable resource is highly useful for those interested in North Sea fisheries and ecosystems such as marine scientists, conservationists, fishery managers, ecologists, policymakers and the public at large. It brings together information from over one million records and will have a positive impact on building a more sustainable fishing sector in Europe and beyond.
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