Working Group on Spatial Fisheries Data



WGSFDWGSFDTrueJeppe Olsen, Patrik JonssonHAPISG12/3/2012 2:23:00 PMjepol@aqua.dtu.dk, Patrik.jonsson@slu.se650Working Group on Spatial Fisheries Data

The Working Group on Spatial Fisheries Data (WGSFD) collates and analyses spatial fisheries data in order to evaluate fishing effort, intensity, and frequency in European waters.


WGSFD provides estimates of spatial distribution of fishing effort and develops further methods and indices, for example those representing fishing intensity and frequency. This includes indicators supporting advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)​. In the future the group will continue fostering the development of new methodologies and develop concepts related to the investigation of interactions between fishing and the ecosystem.

Spatial fisheries data are essential to understanding interactions between fisheries and the ecosystem and thus have become a key issue in European maritime policies. In order to describe fishing distribution – and considering its ecological footprint – the group uses VMS and logbook data provided by ICES member states.

So far, much effort has been made in data compilation, quality control and harmonization. Standards for VMS and logbook data are defined, advice is provided for data requirement, and requests are answered from, for example, HELCOM and OSPAR. Analytical techniques are regularly reviewed and adjusted to meet criteria set up by other ICES expert groups, to fulfil policy requirements, and to anticipate future scientific questions.

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Surface abrasion pressure expressed as the swept area ratio from VMS data from 2013 in part of the OSPAR region with most data.

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