Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Call for proposals for research projects in support of the Common Fisheries Policy

The Commission has published a call for proposals for research projects to provide the advice needed for the framing of the regulatory measures to be taken to achieve the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In order to identify relevant projects, the Commission invites experts, research institutes and other competent organizations to submit research 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 the experience or qualifications of the proponents. The Commission may give preference to proposals for joint studies involving more than one Member State. The areas of interest are the following:
- Data collection for biological analyses and assessments:
A major component of the Community's fisheries conservation policy is the system of Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and associated national quotas. There also exist regulations defining technical measures such as mesh sizes, closed areas and closed seasons. In addition, the Commission has recently been 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 requests proposals for the collection of data appropriate for biological analyses and assessments, or for the coordination of the collection of this data, on a fleet and geographical basis, for homogeneous fishing areas.

The following major areas are considered:
. Collection and compilation of basic fisheries statistics (especially, but not exclusively, data on landings and fishing effort);
. Research vessel surveys;
. Biological sampling of discarded fish and other organisms;
. Biological sampling of fish on landing and auction sites.;
. Associated laboratory investigations:

- Fisheries technology and fisheries management.
Council Regulation (EEC) No 3760/92 envisages the implementation of new management tools, in particular direct limitations of fishing effort and the application of multiannual and multispecies concepts in catch limitations. This implementation still requires further research. In addition, the protection of juvenile fish demands improved knowledge on various aspects of the selectivity of fishing gears. The following major areas are considered:
. Quantification of the relationships between fishing mortality rate and fishing effort, the latter being expressed as a function of capacity and activity, for different fisheries, species and gears;
. Selectivity parameters of towed gears;
. Inter-species and intra-species selectivity of fixed gears;
. Factors affecting selectivity and efficiency of fixed gears, including type of material, geometry and attachments to the nets;
. Ghost fishing and related phenomena;
. By-catches and discarding practices, particularly those related to the use of static gears and pelagic trawling;
. Assessment of the probable effects of the application of technical measures, particularly measures restricting fishing vessels to the carriage on board of towed gears of only 1 minimum meshsize (i.e. "the 'one-net rule").

- Fisheries and 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 results of studies in this area will contribute to the formulation of future regulatory provisions to improve the marine environment, including the establishment of specific areas in which no or very limited fishing will be allowed. The following major areas are considered:
. Evaluation of the impact of fisheries on sensitive species;
. Evaluation of the physical effect of towed gears on sea-bed and benthos;
. Global analysis of the ecological impact of fisheries on the environment.

- Methodology/Coordination:

This field concerns working groups or elaboration of syntheses in the following major areas linked to biological analyses and assessments, or to interactions between fisheries and the environment:
. Exploitation of historical series of biological data;
. Computerized management of biological databases;
. Optimization of sampling procedures;
. Standardization of methodologies;
. Combination of biological sampling with administrative statistics.
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