Advisory process

Basis for ICES Advice

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.
‚ÄčICES advises public authorities with competence for marine management including:
  • Governments of ICES member countries,
  • European Commission (EC) in relation to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Common Fisheries Policy.
  • Helsinki Commission (HELCOM),
  • North Atlantic Salmon Commission (NASCO),
  • North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
  • OSPAR Commission (OSPAR)

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

ICES 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 which 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 the ICES web page. The process is transparent as all steps in the process are open to observers from competent authorities. Observers from stakeholder organisation are also invited to all workshops, peer review groups and to follow the deliberations in the ICES Advisory Committee. The advice has international legitimacy as it has been agreed in a committee of scientists which includes scientists appointed by all governments of the ICES member states.

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.

Details about the basis for advice is given in the document "General context of ICES advice".

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Basis for ICES Advice

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
ICES Secretariat · H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, DK 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark · Tel: +45 3338 6700 · Fax: +45 3393 4215 · info@ices.dk
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