Scientific advice is used as a basis for Commission proposals to the Council and the European Parliament. STECF, which is the Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, is consulted at regular intervals on matters pertaining to the conservation and management of living aquatic resources, including biological, economic, environmental, social and technical considerations. The Commission is required by regulation to take into account the advice from STECF when presenting proposals on fisheries management. There exist STECF Subgroups that deal with research needs, economic affairs, stock reviews, Mediterranean and Black Sea stocks, management objectives and strategies, and the balance between resources and exploitation.
In this context, FISHREG scientific staff assure the coordination of the STECF advice process. Additional FISHREG staff in the Secretariat of STECF provide also for logistical and administrative support for the meetings. In addition to the coordination and administrative roles, FISHREG has been providing scientific input to STECF and its Subgroups, including the Chairing of selected Subgroup meetings for which FISHREG has recognized in-house expertise. To increase effectiveness and avoid duplication of effort, FISHREG coordinates STECF's agenda with the Secretariat of ICES, which is the other scientific advisory body used by the European Commission for fisheries conservation policy. All reports of STECF (plenary reports, written procedure opinions, Working Group reports) become public and are published in the form of "JRC Scientific and Technical reports". The STECF scientific advice process entails coordination of about 25 STECF meetings annually including the invitation by FISHREG of about 400 external experts. Details on STECF's legal basis, meeting agenda, STECF members and experts, past events, the repository of STECF reports, and other relevant information, can be found in the dedicated STECF web site. For a presentation on STECF and the scientific advice process see also STECF presentation.