Its main focus is the wide range of data that ICES uses to support its stock assessment and advisory process. It is essential that before data is used, their quality and the impacts on analyses and advice is understood. 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 collection should be prioritized to deliver the best possible outcomes.
The group intends to develop a framework to help end users evaluate changes to existing data collections or proposed new collections. This is so collections can be looked at in terms of their impact on assessments and advice and in relation to costs and other data needs.
PGDATA evolved from the 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 interrelated expert groups: the Working Group on Commercial Catches (WGCATCH), the Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP) and PGDATA itself.