Meeting participants included Advisory Councils (ACs), fishing industry representatives, environmental NGOs, and other groups with an interest in the work of ICES.
“We have a huge interest in listening to our stakeholders, and this meeting provided the opportunity for us to hear their feedback, communicate the basis and context of our advice, and generally build confidence in our advisory process,” explained ICES Advisory Committee (ACOM) Chair Eskild Kirkegaard, who chaired the two-day meeting.
Alexandre Rodriguez from the Long Distance Fleet Advisory Council (LDAC) agreed that the increased level of openness and transparency has led to a better understanding of and more confidence in the advisory process.
“Suddenly, the scientific machinery of producing advice does not seem so obscure, and this enlightenment allows more acceptance by the end users of advice, i.e. the fisheries stakeholders. Fishermen, NGOs, and citizens will all benefit from this better understanding of more responsible and sustainable fishing activities from an environmental, social, and economic perspective,” Rodriquez stated.
The meeting also saw stakeholders provide feedback on their experience working with ICES and present their own research and advisory needs.
“These meetings are of great value to stakeholder organizations to get an insight and understanding of the ICES advisory process and discuss issues of mutual interest. The advice prepared is highly appreciated by a wide range of stakeholders. Seas at Risk hopes that ICES continues to strive to be the most independent and reliable source of scientific information for fisheries management. We believe this is needed now more than ever, and look forward to ICES expanding into new areas of marine policy," said Björn Stockhausen from Seas At Risk, an environmental NGO based in Brussels.
Currently over 40 organizations hold observer status to ICES activities. Read more about ICES work with stakeholders and how to apply for observer status.
Participants at the Meeting between ICES, Advisory Councils, and other Observers (MIACO) this week.