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The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) coordinates and promotes marine research  on oceanography, the marine environment, the marine ecosystem, and on living marine resources in the North Atlantic, including the adjacent Baltic and North seas.

ICES is a network of more than 1600 scientists from 200 institutes linked by the ICES Convention, an intergovernmental agreement, to add value to national research efforts.

Scientists working through ICES gather information about the marine ecosystem. Besides filling gaps in existing knowledge, this information is developed into unbiased, non-political advice.

​Photo courtesy of the European Union.
Marine Strategy Framework Directive - Descriptor 3+

ICES releases report on assessing GES for Descriptor 3
ICES has published a report on the process it undertook to support EU Member States in the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Descriptor 3 – commercially exploited fish and shellfish.
 
Five steps have been identified to assess Good Environmental Status (GES) for Descriptor 3, and different approaches for directing these steps towards assessment are applied in five case studies: the Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Northeast Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast), Northeast Atlantic Ocean (North Sea), and Northeast Atlantic Ocean (Celtic seas).
 
An analysis comparing the outcomes of the GES assessments, based on indicators with reference levels (from stock assessments) and without reference levels (from monitoring programmes), demonstrated some consistency but also revealed that the GES assessment based on indicators with reference values is stricter than the one based on indicators without reference values.
 
Three possible definitions of GES at the criterion level are considered, reflecting different levels of ambition. The examples provided in the report confirmed that the interpretation of GES has important consequences for the outcome of the GES assessment.
 
The report also discusses the potential role of “ecosystem” indicators collected under the fishery Data Collection Framework (DCF) to support assessments of other MSFD Descriptors.
 
Read the full report online.
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International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES),
H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44–46
DK-1553 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tel: (+45) 33 38 67 00


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