From TAC to bottom

Our main recipients of advice, being the Dutch government and the EU, request for ecosystem advice in addition to the single species advice. ICES scientists however struggle substantially on how to provide this advice and make it operational such that managers can balance trade-offs between ecosystem impact and economic result from fish exploitation.

New quantitative methods need to be developed to provide these ecosystem impacts of fishing in one go together with the single species advice. One of these impacts is seafloor impact, caused by bottom trawling and hereby reducing benthic biomass and abundance of long-lived species. Illustrating the trade-off between single species quota and seafloor integrity is one type of ecosystem advice for which the knowledge is available, but a standardized method to perform the underlying calculations is lacking.