This proposal is a Concerted Action with thirteen partners to define the specifications and conditions for use and maintenance of a selectivity database.
Selectivity data are used in mesh assessments by assessment biologists. Estimates of fleet selectivity are necessary to calculate fishing mortality rate at age. The objective of this feasibility study was to define the specifications and conditions for creation, use and maintenance of a database containing fishing gear selectivity information. The project was split in sixteen tasks, among which three plenary discussion meetings, an inventory of needs with potential users, an inventory of available computer facilities and software, an inventory of available selectivity data, and cost estimates for creating and implementing the database as well as filling it with data. A total of twenty experts participated. Database options considered were: an on-line catalogue only; an on-line catalogue with an exchange format; an on-line catalogue with a user data screening program; a central store of ASCII files with on-line catalogue (web site) and extract bunch of data; a hosted database with an on-line catalogue (web site) and extract subset of data. The various options were scored against a set of criteria involving: quality, availability, security, ease of management, relevance, ease of use, data extensibility, function extensibility, effort for data provider, and turnaround time after which database type hosted database with an on-line catalogue (web site) and extract sub-set of data seemed to offer the best value for money, although the costs for software development, data handling and future management are the highest of all the options compared. The group also produced draft lists of variables at experiment and at haul level with field specifications, and thoroughly discussed a follow-up project proposal.
The creation of such a database is a wish expressed by various groups within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), but did not come off the ground. This project brings together several disciplines in many EU-member states with relevance to the subject, i.e. fishing gear technology and selectivity, information technology and database expertise, and fish stock assessment biology. ICES is actively participating as possible host for the database, with fisheries institutes and universities in the Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Germany and France. The project is managed through three plenary discussion meetings, and in between work is to be done by correspondence. Participants will collect information on available computer facilities and software, as well as selectivity data. The result of the project will be a document containing information on how to set up a database with selectivity data, including its specifications, and estimates of the costs for creating and maintaining the database, as well as recommendations where the database should be housed.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
AB11 9DB Aberdeen
1261 Koebenhavn K/copenhaegen
AB9 2UF Old Aberdeen, Scotland