WGFTFB initiates and reviews investigations concerned with all aspects of the design, planning, and testing of fishing gears used in abundance estimation, bycatch and discard reduction, and reduction in impact on the seabed and other non-target ecosystem components.
The group examines the effect of fishing technology on benthic impacts, vessels and perhaps most importantly the behaviour of fish in relation to fishing. WGFTFB provides advices on the application of these techniques to aquatic ecologists, assessment biologists, fishery managers and industry. The partnership between ICES and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) extends the reach of this expert group globally.
WGFTFB meets annually and works intersessionally via correspondence. Under agreement between ICES and FAO, FAO hosts a meeting every third year at a location of its choosing. The shares interests with WGFAST, and consequently partner with them every third year to hold a joint session under a topic of mutual interest.