The main focus is the wide range of data that ICES uses to support its stock assessment and advisory process. It is essential that the quality of the data, and how this impacts on analyses and advice, is understood before they are used. For example, have they been collected using statistically-sound methods, or derived from ad hoc or poorly documented methods? Data are often expensive to collect, and it is therefore important to know how their collection should be prioritised to deliver the best possible outcomes for end users.
The group intends to develop a framework to help end users evaluate changes to existing data collections or proposed new data collections in terms of their impact on assessments and advice in relation to costs, as well as addressing other aspects of data needs and end-use.
In June 2016, PGDATA organized a workshop on cost benefit analysis of data collection in support of stock assessment and fishery management (WKCOSTBEN). The group also organized Theme Session O at the ASC 2016 in September: When is enough, enough?" Methods for optimising, evaluating, and prioritising of marine data collection.
PGDATA evolved from the ICES Planning Group on Commercial Catches, Discards and Biological Sampling (PGCCDBS) which established a quality assurance framework for collection and interpretation of fishery and biological data. The PGCCDBS is now dissolved into three separate but synergistic expert groups – the Working Group on Commercial Catches (WGCATCH), the Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP) and PGDATA itself - all falling under the remit of the joint SCICOM-ACOM Steering Group on Integrated Ecosystem Observation and Monitoring (SSGIEOM).
The group is dynamic and membership may change according to the data needs and specific ToRs. It needs people with specialist skills for specific tasks, for example management strategy evaluations and other models to evaluate cost-benefits of data collection. People interested in contributing to PGDATA should initially contact the chairs.
PGDATA at their meeting in San Sebastian in March 2016.