Fisheries management, but also the implementation of rules along the supply chain, rely to a great extent on the identification of fish species and also the geographical origin, including on processed products. Examples include the management of mixed fisheries, the identification of stocks and stock boundaries and the reduction of discards.
It is generally acknowledged that discarding is a wasteful practice, impacting the endeavour of moving towards sustainable fisheries. This is why a number of countries and the European Union attempt to tackle the issue of discarding through dedicated fisheries management measures. To this end, the European Union is currently implementing the Landing Obligation. However, the complexity inherent to the present fishing practices confronts both the industry and authorities that are mandated with monitoring and controlling with unprecedented challenges.
To support the advancement of mixed fisheries management, the stock identification and the reduction of discards, opportunities offered through the recent progress in genetic and genomic technological and analytical applications should be tapped into. However, it is necessary to ensure a mutual understanding between scientists and end-users to identify end-user needs and the most critical issues to be addressed, and to clarify which issues relevant for the Landing Obligation can be tackled by genetic approaches and also to render limits of such approaches evident.
Based on an initial assessment, carried out by the the Working Group on Application of Genetics in Fisheries and Aquaculture (WGAGFA) and first documented feedback by stakeholders, this workshop will help to clarify to what extent genetic and genomic approaches can support the aforementioned key components of fisheries management, and which are the necessary steps to enable a successful technology and knowledge transfer.