A particular role for PGCCDBS has been to develop standards and guidelines for the types of data required by the DCF, principally stock-based biological parameters from sampling of fishery and survey catches (age, growth, maturity, fecundity, sex ratio) and fleet related variables (discards estimates and length/age compositions of landings and discards). The PGs goal is to ensure that data sets and parameters supporting assessments and advice for the ICES area are based on statistically-sound sampling schemes; correct and consistent interpretation of biological material such as otoliths and gonads; enabling technologies; comprehensive and easily sourced documentation, and efficient collaboration between PGCCDBS and other groups and bodies in relation to data collection. For example, ICES stock assessment Expert Groups each have a data contact person who feeds back data quality issues and requests for advice to PGCCDBS.
The multi-annual work plan of PGCCDBS includes inter-calibration studies to promote agreement among scientists classifying calcified age structures such as otoliths and gonads of specific species or groups of species, using web-based tools to facilitate this work. The PGCCDBS also proposes a wide range of methodological workshops and study groups to establish the basis for interpretation of biological material, sampling survey design, statistical analysis of data and development of data quality indicators. These workshops are generally applicable to most areas, species and fisheries, and their reports are stored on the online PGCCDBS Documents Repository.
PGCCDBS is attended by around 40 people, and until 2013 has met in parallel with the Mediterranean Planning Group for Methodological Development (PGMED) with which it has many common interests and shared work.
Participants at the 2013 PGCCDBS meeting held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.