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 effects of fishing technology on benthic impacts, vessels, and perhaps most importantly, the behaviour of fish in relation to fishing. WGFTFB advises aquatic ecologists, assessment biologists, fishery managers, and industry on the application of these techniques.
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 the agreement between ICES and FAO, FAO hosts the meeting every third year at a location of its choosing.
WGFBFT shares interests with the Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST), and consequently partners with them every third year to hold a joint session under a topic of mutual interest.