The ICES Working Group on Application of Genetics in Fisheries and Aquaculture (WGAGFA) is composed of 51 members from 17 ICES Member States. There is a high level of commitment by the WGAGFA members to their group: During the WGAGFA cycle 2018 to 2020, the annual working group meetings were attended in average by 26 delegates from 11 ICES Member States.
The expertise of the working group members covers a broad range within the field of genetics and also with respect to the marine realm and activities, from marine ecology to applied science in fisheries and aquaculture. WGAGFA members are affiliated to academic as well as to govern-mental and policy institutions.
From 2018 to 2020 the WGAGFA tackled four Terms of Reference (ToRs) focusing on policy and management advice and advice needs of the industry. The ToRs discuss farmed and wild salmon interactions (ToRa), genomic selection of aquaculture species (ToRb), genetics underpinning fisheries management (ToRc) and environmental DNA (ToRd) in support of ocean governance. These ToRs covered equally wild capture fisheries and aquaculture, and touched upon ICES strategy priorities as well as global objectives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. They have purposely been tailored to address imminent policy needs, for example under the European Union Common Fisheries Policy (ToRc), industry relevant state-of-the-art approaches (ToRb) and most recent developments that can efficiently underpin marine conservation strategies and biodiversity preservation (ToRs a and e). During the reporting period, impact has been assured through:
• Interaction with policy stakeholders, from the European Commission and the European Parliament (ToRc);
• Dissemination through the production of a WGAGFA leaflet;
• Interaction with other working groups through the organization of an Annual Science Con-ference Theme Session (2018);
• The provision of a highly successful training course;
• Peer reviewed publications (ToR a and e);
• A topic sheet on environmental DNA (eDNA, ToR e), which will be an ICES science high-light.