How we work

Advisory process

ICES is requested to provide advice on a range of issues relating to marine policies and management. This includes marine environmental policies and management of marine living resources including fisheries policy.
Our advice recipients are public authorities, including:
  • Governments of ICES member countries,
  • European Commission (EC) 
  • Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
  • North Atlantic Salmon Commission (NASCO)
  • North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
  • OSPAR Commission (OSPAR)

We may also on our own initiative draw the attention of competent authorities to marine matters which may require policy and management attention. 

​​​​​​Our advice is produced through a process which is set up to ensure that the advice is based on the best available science and data, is considered legitimate by both authorities and stakeholders and is relevant and operational in relation to the policy in question.

Best available science and data

The basis for the advice is compilation of relevant data and analysis by experts in the field, normally through an expert group which includes core researchers in the field. This analysis is peer reviewed by scientists who have not been involved in the expert group and have no interest in the matter.

Legitimate process

The basis for the advice including the scientific analysis and peer review is fully documented and public through our website. The process is transparent as all steps in the process are open to observers from competent authorities. The final advice is agreed by Advisory Committee (ACOM), which includes scientists appointed by each ICES member country government​.

Operational and policy relevant advice

The advice is developed in a process whereby the scope of the advice request is clarified initially with the competent authorities and scientists with experience from dialogue with policy makers are tasked to translate scientific analysis into operational advice.

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​Framework of our advisory process​​. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Advisory process

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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