The 2009 revision of the DCF introduced the concept of "concurrent sampling" for metier related variables and required sampling to be carried out in a quarterly basis. In addition biological parameters (growth \& reproduction) are being collected for 250+ stocks in waters where European fleets operate. Data are increasingly piling up and by 2020 for most of them we will have a time series of 10 years, or longer. However, current fisheries data analysis methods are not designed for such a large number of stocks and as such will not suitable for providing timely advice to fisheries managers. Not being able to assess these additional stocks is also a bottleneck for advancing ecosystem services modeling and complex ecological modeling, which are both necessary to implement a holistic approach to fisheries management.
The JRC is engaged in the a4a initiative, a project aimed at providing a comprehensive and versatile tool to assess all fish stocks harvested in European waters under the remit of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The a4a initiative aims to:
- develop an stock assessment method targeting stocks that have a reduced knowledge base on biology and a moderately long time series on exploitation and abundance;
- trigger the discussion about the problem of massive (dozens of stocks) stock assessment and
- promote capacity building for stock assessment.