WGECON addresses the need to bring fisheries economics into ICES science and advice. Its tasks include mapping current work and identifying future needs, looking into links with international organizations, reporting on information needed for trade-off analysis of fishing impacts and ecosystem services, and assessing the economic significance of fishing.
Nations are concerned about fish stocks and marine ecosystems, not least because they can contribute to human wellbeing and have an economic value. This economic dimension should be an integral part of science and advice regarding the use and conservation of marine resources.
Demand to address economics is increasing, but ICES does not currently engage many economists or address economic issues in many member countries.
Many recent meetings have concluded that there is need to expand engagement. Other drivers include Blue Growth, maximum economic yield management, and a desire to understand economic consequences of human-induced changes in the sea. It is also desirable to add economic metrics to ICES ecosystem overviews to better recognize people and their livelihoods as part of the ecosystem. In the longer term, potential overviews of aquaculture activity will also require economic inputs.