To develop a competent network of laboratories with the capacity to develop, conduct and coordinate collaborative research and training, and thereby ensure that age determination becomes a reliable element of the assessments underlying the scientific management advice on fisheries and environmental resources.
PRELIMINARY PARTIAL OBJECTIVES
- To stimulate international collaboration by offering services and facilities to workshops, conferences, visiting scientists and students focussing on ageing research and methods.
- To recommend practical development of existing ageing methods, including computer techniques, with a view towards rationalising current practices while satisfying the demands for speed, accuracy and consistency.
- To develop and update a libraw of method descriptions and reference collections for different species and stocks for use in training and inter-calibration exercises.
- To improve the accuracy of current and new ageing procedures by recommending a range of verification procedures based on both classical and novel techniques (e.g. radiometry, tense element analyses, advanced staining techniques).
Several databases are planned to develop within EFAN and several questionnaire have already been distributed. At present 3 Databases (DB 1, DB2, DB3) are available at the EFAN Homepage (http://efan.no):
DB1 (Centlal facility): include information on the different Partners and persons involved in EFAN
DB2 (Cell 2): Contain information on available Software and Hardware for examination of otoliths and scales
DB3 (Cell 3): Contain information on Ageing experts and studies species.
In 1998 there will be organised three Cell Workshops and one EFAN Plenary meeting. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
EFAN Cell 2 WS, Bergen, Norway June 1998
EFAN Cell 3 WS, Sweden May 1998
EFAN Cell S WS, Bergen, Norway, 18-19 & 23 June 1998
EFAN Plenary Meeting, Porto, Portugal, 30 September - 3 October 1998
Several databases are planned to be published on the EFAN Homepage and several questionnaire have already been distributed among the partners. The following EFAN Databases has been identified and will be available in the future:
DB4: Ageing Procedures
DB5: Ageing Methodology
DB6: Reference collection, check collections Reader Consistency
DB7: Otolith Meetings, calibration References
DB8: Activity updates
DB9: References concerning age determination
DB10: Age validation structure
DB11: Research programmes
EFAN Internet Homepage
The EFAN Internet Homepage (http://www.efan.no) was published in April 1997. The Homepage have experience a relative high number visitors (measured as number of hits) from more than 50 countries. The Homepage describes the Concerted action EFAN, how it is organised, presentation of the five Cells including documents and information associated with the Cells. In addition the Homepage contain discussion forums and databases associated with the Concerted action. There is no limitation in who have access to the Homepage indicating that all information can be read by anyone visiting the Homepage. All partners in the Concerted action can be contacted through the Homepage.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK
In total, 32 University and Research Institutes representing 15 countries in Europe are to day partners in the Concerted Action "European Fish Ageing Network" (EFAN). The work in EFAN is focused on improving the interaction among scientists in Europe using bony structures in fish to estimate age, back-calculate body growth rate and to separate fish stocks. By bringing together scientists from the different regions in Europe the project aims to improve research and training related to age determination of fishes.
Communication is the key to the progress and have been divided in the following forms of communication:
1. to bring together scientists at Plenary meetings and workshops,
2. publish the EFAN Newsletter and distribute it among the EFAN participants,
3. use the Internet Homepage for information, discussions and databases.
The activity in EFAN is organised in five Cells. Each Cell has been identified as the high priority areas for discussion during the project duration of four years.
The five Cells are as follows:
Cell 1 - Methodologies and Procedures
Cell 2 - Information Processing
Cell 3 - Information Exchange and Training
Cell 4 - Validation of ageing
Cell 5 - Research and application of ageing methodology
Each Cell is organised by a Cell-coordinator and participants in EFAN is only allowed to allocate their time to one cell. Each cell meet during the Plenary meetings with the addition of special Cell workshops. Beside that, special discussion forums are available at the EFAN Homepage for discussion on topics related to the Cell. Each of the members of EFAN contribute with data to be included in the different databases that are being develop within EFAN and to be published at the EFAN Homepage.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
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