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Technical eXperts Overseeing Third country eXpertise

Final Report Summary - TXOTX (Technical eXperts Overseeing Third country eXpertise)

Executive Summary:
Scientific efforts need to be coordinated to strengthen the knowledge base in support of policy-making in a global context. This is a complicated task that requires effective coordination and cooperation among States, RFMOs and other agencies. The purpose of this TXOTX Coordination Action is to facilitate a coherent approach towards research directed at the assessment and management of fish resources. For this purpose, key contact persons in each RFMO and major participating countries (especially those with fisheries partnership agreements) were identified and contacted. For the data collection, 3 questionnaires were developed to cover the three key review areas defined in the project proposal: tuna RFMOs, other international RFMOs, and Third Countries Agreements. These questionnaires were discussed as being suitable both for use as a guideline to conduct a face to-face interview and as a stand-alone tool to be sent to key contact persons to be completed and returned at their own leisure.

Successful completion of the questionnaire has been achieved for the tuna RFMOs, non- tuna RFMOs and majority of the Countries. Based on the information gathered, project case studies review reports were produced for tuna RFMOs, International RFMOs, and countries and were presented to an expert panel during a TXOTX regional review workshop. Using the information gathered and the experience of key experts from around the world, a synopsis of the common and specific issues encountered during the project were developed By comparing the results obtained from the “Across Regions Review”, good practice examples and areas of future research were identified to allow key questions to be answered for sustainable management and utilisation of marine resources within those areas and regions, as well as establishing emerging problems facing fisheries management worldwide. All this information was presented in the Project Final Workshop to allow international fishery experts and stakeholders to review the main findings and outputs of the project and to propose their own ideas for key research gaps and needs, opportunities for collaboration, areas of research and the mechanisms to coordinate and fund the identified research.

Project Context and Objectives:
It is widely recognised that scientific efforts need to be coordinated to strengthen the knowledge base in support of policy-making in a global context. This is a complicated task that requires effective coordination and cooperation among States, RFMOs and other agencies. States with an obligation to ensure sustainability of the resources they exploit should seek (i) to promote responsible fisheries and (ii) to promote good, coordinated scientific research. In the case of the EU, actions should be consistent with major international agreements (UNCLOS, CCRF, UNIA, WSSD) and contribute to improving coherence between different EU Policies. The purpose of this TXOTX Coordination Action is to facilitate a coherent approach towards research directed at the assessment and management of fish resources. The targets are particularly those areas where the European fleet is fishing in international or third country waters, or where the EU has important development goals.

The purpose of this TXOTX Coordination Action is to facilitate a coherent approach towards research directed at the assessment and management of fish resources. The targets are particularly those areas where the European fleet is fishing in international or third country waters, or where the EU has important development goals. Thus, the principal objectives of TXOTX are:

• To collate information from all RFMO/RFOs and Fisheries Partnership Agreements as well as selected additional regions of special interest (with emphasis on CPA areas) on the extent of scientific research programmes being undertaken by the various actors.

• To analyse the data available and methodologies applied in assessment and manage- ment procedures regionally, in order to identify data and research gaps and opportuni- ties for greater research coordination that may be promoted by the EU in support of scientific advice for fisheries management.

• To develop recommendations on how to improve cooperation with third parties in order to enhance research and resource status.

In short, the key objective of the TXOTX project is to develop a network of scientists from dif- ferent countries in order to compare and gather information on data collection, assessment methods and management systems in different regions with the ultimate aim to improve co- ordination of research programmes promoted by different bodies.

Specifically, the main objectives of the project can be synthetized in the following operational objectives:

• To deliver a synopsis of data available and methodologies applied in collection, analy- sis, dissemination and management systems in support to scientific advice to fisheries management in the concerned regions (WP 2);

• To review and collate information from WP2 to identify areas of commonality, gaps and possible duplications as well as to report on strengths and weaknesses by region and review areas (WP 3);

• To perform a global synthesis of information gained in previous workpackages to iden- tify (i) best practice and areas where improvements could be made to current pro- grammes, (ii) specific research topics and areas for future research to fill identified gaps, and (iii) to recommend efficient mechanisms for regional collaborative and coor- dination networks (WP 4)

Thus, the main outputs of the project, apart from the information collected in WP 2 and WP 3, can be summarized in the global synthesis performed in WP 4.

It is important to highlight that the focus of the TXOTX project is on research and funding. In several cases, issues relating to management are touched on, but this is not the focus of this project. As specified in the project proposal, the project is aimed at improving research in support of scientific advice to management. It is not aimed at providing advice on management itself although it has been noted that formal research has a particularly strong link with policy. The purpose of research is very often seen as being to inform policy (situational analysis, problem identification, agenda setting, policy formulation), to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policy implementation, to allow monitoring and evaluation of policy, and to inform the desired distribution of the benefits of policy (Campbell and Salagrama, 2001). In this way, both research and management are linked, and often cannot be viewed in isolation, as can be seen by the best practice examples and recommendations provided in this report.

Project Results:
1. Work Package 2: Review of Management Areas
This work-package delivered a description of current data collection programmes and existing researcher-led coordination and linkages and collaboration at the regional and international levels. Special emphasis was given to data collection and analysis; dissemination of results and management systems carried out for scientific advice in support to fisheries management in regions where EU has fishery interests.

Research and data needs in the wider ocean areas were considered in detail in 3 key review areas (Tuna RFMOs, non-tuna RFMOs and Countries). These areas represent those which the Consortium identified as best covering the areas of specific interest to the EU fishing activities. Review reports generated during this WP were desk studies, completed by contacting key play- ers in the various regions, such as RFMOs, RFOs, other regional bodies, FAO, the Commission, Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), individual Member States research organizations known to be conducting research within a region, individual research scientists, key non-Member States research organizations and other research bodies including conservation organizations.

Information was collected through a number of approaches. The primary mechanism was the use of structured questionnaires designed to collect the required information on all potential issues identified. Wherever possible the questionnaires were not sent cold, they were applied in structured face-to-face interviews with relevant key members of the contacted bodies, although some preferred to complete them either in plenary sessions or with remote support from the TXOTX project team. Information from questionnaires was supplemented through web searches, which in many cases were used prior to sending the questionnaire to an RFMO, to provide a basis for their consideration. Following completion of questionnaires, the project team synthesised the collected information into summary documents, to summarise and highlight the key findings and perceived strengths and weaknesses within RFMO and country processes. These summary documents were in turn used to create a review report for each key area (Tuna RFMO, non-Tuna RFMO and Countries) available at

3.2. Work package 3: Across Regions Review
This work package took the specific (local and regional) information gained through the data collection exercises and interviews performed under WP2, and peer reviewed the outputs dur- ing a succession of stakeholder/expert workshops. This was necessary to quality control the information in order to ensure that it was appropriate for the analyses and outputs required from the project. This quality control was in addition to the key contacted persons interviews undertaken within WP2, and had the added value of including the more generic knowledge of a wide range of experienced scientists, managers and stakeholders on specific processes as well as specific regions. Following an initial expert panel review, these narrative descriptions were organised into broad topic areas in an Inventory of Information. The information was structured in various tables covering different case studies, such as:


• Matrix 2 Non-Tuna RFMOs: IWC, NAMMCO, CCAMLR and NASCO

• Matrix 3 Non-Tuna RFMOs: NEAFC, NAFO, SEAFO and GFCM

• Matrix 4 Scientific Advisory Bodies: ICES and STECF

• Matrix 5 West African Countries 1

• Matrix 6 West African Countries 2

• Matrix 7 Indian Ocean Countries

• Matrix 8 South Pacific Countries

• Matrix 9 North Atlantic Countries

The Information from that inventory was applied firstly in the form of GAP analysis and then by compiling SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) style matrices to identify commonalities and gaps between the management bodies within each area (tuna-RFMO, non- tuna RFMO and Countries). The matrix structure facilitates, through a series of tables, further analysis enabling contrast and comparison of strengths and weaknesses between groups within each topic. These matrices were presented to key experts at workshops held in London in February and November 2010 for comment and refinement. As a result, comprehensive matrices detailing similarities and gaps and also strengths and weaknesses were produced, providing the structured analysis that fed directly into WP 4.

Work Package 4: Synopsis
Recommended best practices, future research opportunities and potential regional networks and funding arose from a prolonged data gathering and analysis. The majority of the information provided under the specific deliverables stem from analysis of information provided in documents created during WP2 and WP3. These documents were in turn summarized and presented to an expert advisory panel during a workshop held in London in January and November of 2010. At that meeting, the outcome of WP2 and the proposed actions for WPs 3, 4 and 5 were agreed. Recommendations were discussed, case studies selected, and proposed cross-cutting issues and recommendations for the final stage of the project were proposed.

Following on from that November workshop, the documents regarding best practice examples as well as important future research recommendations were used as a basis for discussions facilitated at the Final Workshop, held in Bilbao, Spain, on the 12 and 13 May 2011. The workshop was attended by 31 participants, 19 of these being guests, advisors and stakeholders, and 12 TXOTX partners. Participants belonged to an array of organisations and institutions dealing with fisheries management, science production, research services and advice, fisheries development and industry stakeholders in many marine areas of the world.

Opportunities for cooperation were identified, based on the comparisons carried out previously in WP3 and the preliminary documents created for WP4, which revealed the degree of overlap and existing coordination on the regional and international scale. This work therefore provided recommendations for how regional networks within third countries could be established or improved, what research topics should be undertaken to fill key information gaps to improve management, how it could to be funded, and how it could most efficiently be performed at a regional scale.

3.3.1. Best practice document based on, or extrapolated from, the collated material in WP 2-3
Based on information obtained through the extensive data collection mechanisms described above and the expert feedback the following examples and advice regarding best practice for Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and, where possible, National Management bodies in relation to current research mechanisms, collaboration and coordination of research in support of scientific management advice were developed. The “best practice” term is used here as a “method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved by other means, and that can be considered a “benchmark”. However, defining best practice is not an easy process and in several circumstances, what may be good practice in one situation may not be as crucial or applicable for another. In the specific case of tuna RFMOs, in general they share many common issues and thus a list of best practices for this particular type of RFMO can draw upon these commonalities.

The list of recommendations provided below address some of the observations made by Lodge et al. (2007) and represents the data collected during this study along with expert opinion and observations. In these cases the recommendations stem from observed examples of best practice already being carried out by one or more RFMOs. At this point it is important to note that this is not a performance review of any RFMO. The examples provided illustrate a point, and in many cases, equally suitable examples could have been obtained from a number of other RFMOs.

It must be pointed out as well that although the examples mentioned below are labeled “best practices”, as this is common terminology in reviews such as is conducted here, they refer rather to cases of “good practice” that are already being conducted. There is always room for improvement in terms of fisheries research and management, and so to label these examples as the “best” may be a little misleading. Also, based on these examples, recommendations for improvements were suggested and, thus, they can be considered as good practice leading to the identification of better practice. They form a guideline of how RFMOs and Fisheries Management Bodies are responding to the challenges required for sound fisheries science and management.

-Where funding and time permits, all scientific outputs should be peer reviewed.

-Adoption of Harvest control Rules with simulation texting using Management Strategy Evaluations

-Ensure adequate observer data with sufficient coverage

-Improved management for species not directly covered under RFMO conventions (of particular concern, shark species)

-Research for inclusion of target & limit reference points in species management
-Development of short, medium and long term scientific research plans

-Fisheries independent data are crucial for provision of scientific advice for management. Tagging studies are recommended for tuna-RFMOs as providing a source of “relatively fishing independent” data.

-Improved communication between Scientists and Managers. RFMO secretariats need to be strengthened to better coordinate communication and scientific initiatives.

-Coordination at a regional level should be developed to address research and monitoring needs over large spatial scales and/or where there are multiple administrative boundaries.

-Improved co-operation and co-ordination between regions and RFMOs.

-Funding for large scale regional projects may be better co-ordinated and managed by RFMO secretariats (eg. Tagging projects). Centralised funds could be administered by the RFMO secretariat with the assistance of a dedicated Steering Committee. Contracting Parties contributing to the fund could recover contributions from the private sector.

-Efforts should be made to improve operational communications and coordination between RFMOs possibly using MoUs
-Methods for operationalising EAFM in terms of i] bycatch ii] negative impact on habitat iii] biological spp interactions and iv] the impacts of environmental change.

-All stock assessments should be sufficiently transparent to be repeatable by interested scientists/institutes.

-Research towards 100% Catch Utilisation

-Focused research (and funding) to explore the application of effort controls in (i) RFMO context and (ii) for individual countries, and how to make these compatible.

3.3.2. Strategic report on proposed future research topics, detailing approaches, mechanisms and funding

One of the principle objectives of the TXOTX project is to analyse the data available and meth- odologies applied in assessment and management procedures regionally, in order to identify data and research gaps and opportunities for greater research coordination that could be promoted by the EU in support of scientific advice to fisheries management. The analysis of data done in WPs 2 and 3 allowed the identification of research gaps and needs and, thus, this section specifically is aimed at providing recommendations on what research topics should be undertaken to answer key information shortfalls to improve management, how it should be funded, and how it should most efficiently be performed at a regional scale. Therefore, the next logical step is to take the best practice examples listed above plus the information gathered during the project and expert feedback, identify future opportunities for research, collaboration and funding and make recommendations as to how these can be achieved.

As with the development of best practices the recommendations on future research needs and topics were initially developed during the TXOTX workshop held in London in November 2011. Key experts present at the workshop provided feedback and guidance on an initial list of proposals and then more extensive discussions were held at the Final Expert Workshop, held in Bilbao, Spain, on the 12 and 13 May 2011. The latter workshop attended by scientists with diverse backgrounds enabled a more balanced identification of future priorities. During the workshop, breakout group discussions brainstormed future research needs as well as potential mechanisms and funding, after which these were discussed in plenary. The primary outcome of the Bilbao workshop was a set of 23 recommendations, the 20 initial recommendations pre- sented to the experts as well as four newly proposed suggestions by the expert panel (two of the initial recommendations were merged due to their similar nature). These are listed below (note, recommendations 20, 21, 22 and 23 were the new recommendations created during the meeting).

The initial recommendations presented to the participants at the 2011 Bilbao workshop were ranked according to priority. These are listed below:

Recommendation 1: Fisheries Science Research Plans

Recommendation 2: Harvest Control Rules

Recommendation 3: Management of fishery impacts on non-target species
Recommendation 4: Research for inclusion of targets & limits in species management

Recommendation 5: Improve communication between scientists and managers

Recommendation 6: Increase/improve research coordination and capacity building
Recommendation 7: Ensure adequate observer data with sufficient coverage.

Recommendation 8: Facilitate complete observer data availability to the science community for stock assessment and other scientific purposes.

Recommendation 9: Pre-defined management processes should be in place to ensure that overall removals set by decision makers do not exceed those provided by robust scientific advice and in line with adopted HCRs.

Recommendation 10: Working groups between RFMOs, regardless of type, and fisheries science bodies should be developed to address specific common issues

Recommendation 11: Focused research (and funding) to explore the application of effort controls in (i) RFMO context and (ii) for individual countries, and how to make these compatible.
Recommendation 12: Coordination at a regional level with centralised funding should be developed to address research and monitoring needs over large spatial scales and/or where there are multiple administrative boundaries.

Recommendation 13: All stock assessments should be sufficiently transparent to be repeatable by interested scientists/institutes.

Recommendation 14: The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) needs to be operationalised, including for example management of by-catch, impacts
on habitat and ecosystem function, biological species interactions and the impacts of environmental change.

Recommendation 15: Where funding and time permits all scientific outputs should be peer reviewed.

Recommendation 16: Integrate and cross validate/check fishery data sources.

Recommendation 17: Stock management unit definitions should have a biological basis and where biological information is lacking, the relevant research should be conducted to enable biological stock delineation.

Recommendation 18: Improve communication and collaboration between RFMOs.

Recommendation 19: RFMOs need to increase their capacity to address socio- and bio-economic issues in fisheries management. This may require research to develop appropriate tools (e.g. models) and data to support the use of those tools.

Recommendation 20: Science underpinning management has to be of long duration to create significant time series.

Recommendation 21: Countries should agree minimum terms and conditions for the provision of data by vessels fishing under RFMOs (applicable across all RFMOs).
Recommendation 22: RFMOs should have a management and monitoring mechanism in place for new fisheries. Such management should be precautionary until information is available on resource size and sustainable levels of exploitation.

Recommendation 23: Research is needed towards facilitating 100% utilization of catches.

3.3.3. Recommendations for how regional collaborative and coordination networks within third countries should be established or improved and their most efficient format

One of the main aims of the TXOTX project is to identify means to enhance collaboration and coordination of research efforts on regional and global levels. Literature reviews and direct feedback from relevant experts point out the need to develop effective collaboration on re- search issues within/among RFMOs and other RFBs. Such collaborative processes require taking into account institutional, technical and financial issues. As the technical literature admonishes, precondition for reliable management of shared stocks is that sufficient knowledge about the resources has to be available. In that context, collaboration amongst RFMOs, between RFMOs and countries, and among countries is a key element for sustainable management.

Collaboration in research and data gathering and exchange is, in many cases, the basis of broader collaboration in management of shared stocks. Major international instruments such as UNCLOS, FAO Code of Conduct and UNFSA advocate collaboration in research through ex- change of relevant and available data. Cooperation through international organizations, States assume a number of obligations within such a collaborative context: inter alia, to obtain and evaluate scientific data; implement and enforce conservation and management efforts through effective monitoring; and control and surveillance. While scientific collaboration may be in place it is unlikely that coordinated actions to fill scientific gaps and/or avoid duplication of tasks exist in all regions. This is a need for sound research to back up decision-making.

Typically, RFMOs and especially their secretariats play a crucial role in promoting collaboration and coordination. Collaborative and coordinated networking is usually established between parties (e.g. RFMOs, CPCs) through memoranda of understanding, agreements, within FAO’s biennial Regional Fishery Body Secretariat Network – RSN, within the Kobe process in the case of tuna RFMOs, or even without formal arrangements. Organisations devoted per se to enhance collaboration and coordination in fisheries research needs are scarce (e.g. EFARO). The development of detailed Scientific Research Plans (SRPs), within a given RFMO/RFO, may provide a good basis for coordination and collaboration since all needs will be listed and ranked according to priority. Hence, it will contribute to scientific planning, administration and applica- tion for funding. The wide application of SRPs has been one of the most recommended issues by key experts participating at the diverse stages of the TXOTX project.

Considerable institutional capacity building is required to undertake data collection, biological studies and stock assessment tasks. At least at the level of data collection processes, collabo- ration for the development of data collection harmonisation and mechanisms, especially in developing coastal nations, is urgently required. RFMOs that have built sufficient capacity to undertake scientific tasks may be the institutions best placed to carry out more global capacity building.

International experiences show how research institutes can be organised to form dedicated associations that permit the better coordination of national efforts by establishing priorities on research to back up management. Temporal central coordination can also be provided by large projects that can in turn provide opportunities for research initiatives such as complementary research projects or programs (e.g. tagging programs). In the absence of RFMOs, other fishing regional bodies may also play a role in enhancing collaboration and coordination. For example, the Sub-Regional Fishery Commission (SRFC) have promoted coordination on MCS in West Africa, which is a region lacking a RFMO.

Collaboration shall also be enhanced in areas where fisheries regional bodies already exist. In these cases, enhanced collaboration and coordination is required to address not only the common needs, such as data collection but also emerging needs such as ecosystem based management (with special regards to bycatch and discard issues). These issues require close collaboration between organisations of a different nature such as tuna and non-tuna RFMOs. This can be seen in the Pacific where the recently created SPRFMO will manage species that tunas feed on, hence requiring close relations with tuna RFMOs such as WCPFC and IATTC.

Enhanced collaboration and coordination may allow interested parties to address common needs, optimising the use of funds. In the context of the EU, for example, there is collaboration in marine research matters amongst different research institutes but there is virtually no col- laboration at a funding level. The project MARIFISH shows that it is feasible to launch a regional project that coordinates diverse national research efforts and that can in turn be encompassed by subsidiary research activities. In the final TXOTX Workshop experts on the Western Africa region highlighted the need for considerable funding to support the work of a Commission. Since the creation of a Commission with a mandate in Western Africa may require considerable time to emerge the institutional structure of the SRFC could be enhanced to accommodate research initiatives or at least coordination of national research initiatives.

In those areas where RFMOs/RFOs already operate, the development of SRPs may facilitate the elaboration of proposals for funding. The use of centralised coordination of scientific initiatives may also require the centralization of funding. In that case, the central body should accurately identify the sources of funding, considering non-traditional funding (e.g. GEF, NGOs and indus- try). Again, SRPs may facilitate the identification of research needs and quantification of the funds required ranking them in terms of priority. In spite collaboration and coordination is not widely implemented in all regions. There are, however, a number of initiatives that have been successful and that are worth reviewing. They apply a variety of mechanisms to enhance col- laboration, coordination and to optimise the use of funding. These models include dedicated networks of directors of research institutes, large coordination projects, large scale research projects, dedicated centralized collaboration and coordination, Joint RFMO/RFOs regular ini- tiatives, dedicated private initiatives, international partnership initiatives and specialized co- operation agencies.

In fact, international experiences show how an array of alternatives can be used to trigger col- laboration and cooperation in research matters. The use of these alternatives (Table 1) allow devising joint strategies to attend common needs and avoid duplication and overlapping of efforts, thus optimising the use of funds. Funding is pointed out as a limiting factor due to the increasingly complex management of resources. In that context, the diverse models of collabo- ration and coordination, may also identify sources of funding and propose the most optimal use of them. The use of central funding even though seems the most efficient form of admin- istrating and allocating resources may not be widely accepted by the interested parties. In this regards, transparency in the administration and allocation of funds may be strongly required.

Potential Impact:
TXOTX proposes to establish links between diverse scientific endeavours undertaken in different regions. This aims to avoid fragmentation of scientific efforts, strengthening research in support of sustainable marine governance of living resources exploited either in national EEZs or on the high seas by Community fishing fleets. In this sense, the TXOTX proposal is in concordance with the philosophy behind the Cooperation Program, in developing a network for a better coordination of fishery research among scientists in the Community, ICPC countries and partners in third countries. The international co-operation will address problems of shared interest, problems for third countries, and problems of a global nature.The internal and external communication of the project was achieved through the TXOTX website ( and the TXOTX Wiki page ( which has the purpose of acting as the public face of the project. These serve to inform the public of the current project status and also provide information on the synopsis of data available and methodologies applied in collection, analysis, dissemination and management systems in support of scientific advice for fisheries management in a worldwide context. Both tools also allow the monitoring of the progress and completion of the work plan as all the reports, deliverables and other information is posted there. In summary, together these web based tools can be considered the main pathways to ensure sufficient information flow among the participants, stakeholders, different RFMOs or bodies such as FAO, and public media.

The project leaflet, based on text from the technical annex but aimed at the broader public, is available in English and French on the webpage and Wiki page. The leaflet was distributed amongst different actors and stakeholders. For example, it was distributed during the 2nd Joint Meeting of Tuna RFMOs and during the ICES Annual Scientific Conference. Moreover, the yearly TXOTX newsletter highlighting the progress, main events, achievements and planning of the work for the following period was created in order to ensure communication between participants.

The TXOTX project has been presented during the meetings of a variety of organizations such as the Long Distance Regional Advisory Committee (LDRAC); EC DGResearch/DGMARE; Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) 9th Stock Assessment Review Meeting; Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Scientific Committee (SC); NAFO secretariat, scientific council & WGEAFM; SEAFO Commission and Scientific Committee; Permanent Committee on Management and Science of the NEAFC; NEAFC Commission and Secretariat; NASCO Secretariat; GFCM; MariFish project; EU POORFISH project group; Joint tuna RFMOs Meeting of experts to share best practices on the provision of scientific advice; Scientific Chair discussion group during 3rd Joint Meeting of the Tuna RFMOs; FAO COFI meeting and the 2nd FAO Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network (RSN) meeting.

Also, the project has been presented in various newspapers and publications aimed at the general public to disseminate project objectives, progress and outputs. For example, the Journal of International Innovation published a series of 2 articles regarding the TXOTX project “Casting the net of collaboration” which contain an overview of the project, highlighting its main objectives, partners and the importance of the project in terms of network contraction and collaboration with regards to maritime regions where fish stocks resources are shared. The articles also contained an interview with TXOTX coordinator Dr. Hilario Murua (May, 2010). The Spanish branch of the European Fisheries Fund published an article about TXOTX entitled “Fisheries research institutions of Europe, America and Africa participate in a scientific project for sustainability of seas”. In addition, several interviews were published and broadcasted in the public media, such as an interview with Dr. Hilario Murua and Dr. Joseph Powers on Basque Television and Spanish National Radio following the TXOTX Final Expert Workshop.

The organization of various workshops during the lifetime of the project made it possible to review all the evaluations and recommendations which arose during the project. More specifically, the project organized three workshops: Organization of 1st Expert TXOTX Workshop – WP 2 WS (London January 2010); Organization of 2nd Expert TXOTX Workshop in preparation of Final TXOTX Workshop (London, November 2011); Organization of Final Expert TXOTX Workshop (Deliverable 5.6 Bilbao May 2011).

Moreover, special emphasis has been placed on disseminating the results of the project. Among the dissemination actions, several scientific publications and working documents have been submitted to peer-review journals as well as to various RFMOs. Similarly, several presentations at international scientific meetings as well as in the wider public media have been made during the project both in written local and international journals as well as on local television and radio.

Thus, TXOTX is aimed at encouraging the co-operation and co-ordination of national/ international research activities through networking of research programme managers and funding bodies. The TXOTX project is working on gathering a clear understanding of what research is being undertaken in support of scientific advice for fishery management in different regions. This information will then be used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of research and collaboration on a regional level in order to develop research priorities for each region. This will serve to reinforce coordination of research, both in terms of collaboration as well as research funding.

In summary, the data collection will allow TXOTX to synthesis the research that is being carried out in different regions, to identify the research priorities of different funding bodies, to develop regional research strategic priorities, to recommend best practices and to plan and recommend key points for effective coordination between research programmes and funders.

Coordinator's email: