Members of MIRIA include regional fisheries and environmental commissions and competent authorities of ICES member countries. MIACO participants are organizations and individuals which hold observer status at ICES, including representatives from EU Advisory Councils, fishing organizations, and environmental NGOs.
"We have a huge interest in a good and open dialogue with our stakeholders, and these meetings provide the opportunity for us to hear their feedback, communicate the basis and context of our advice, and generally build confidence in our advisory process," explained ICES Advisory Committee (ACOM) Chair Eskild Kirkegaard, who led both meetings.
The importance of stakeholder collaboration was outlined by Conor Nolan from the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC), a participant in MIACO.
"Meeting the challenges of the landing obligation in North Western Waters must be underpinned by science and integrate the roles of all stakeholders. MIACO offers a valuable opportunity to address the key issues, and the NWWAC is committed to working with ICES and other members to achieve common goals."
MIRIA meanwhile gives clients the chance to further their awareness of how the advisory process works and explore common challenges.
"Our work on managing fisheries in the high seas of the Northeast Atlantic relies on receiving high quality scientific advice from ICES," said Stefan Asmundsson from the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). "MIRIA meetings increase the managers' understanding of the advice process. They are also an opportunity for NEAFC and its Contracting Parties to elaborate on what information they are most interested in for management purposes, therefore constituting a forum for good communication between scientists and managers, without blurring the lines between their separate roles."
Emily Corcoran of the OSPAR Commission added, "As a recipient of ICES advice, the MIRIA meetings provide an important opportunity to ensure we are getting the best possible advice both in content and, critically, in timing of delivery. The meeting enables a catch-up on recent progress within ICES on issues such as the application of the ecosystem approach to undertaking assessments of the marine environment – an area of mutual interest – as well as to consider where future issues may emerge."
Currently, over 40 organizations hold observer status to ICES activities. Read more about ICES work with stakeholders and how to apply for observer status.