FISHREG scientific staff assure the coordination of the STECF scientific advice process. STECF is the Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries and its advice is used as a basis for Commission proposals to the Council and the European Parliament. STECF is in fact consulted at regular intervals on matters pertaining to the conservation and management of living aquatic resources, including biological, economic, environmental, social and technical considerations. In addition to its coordination and administrative roles, FISHREG is providing scientific input to STECF and its thematic subgroups, and has been chairing selected meetings for which FISHREG has recognized in-house domain expertise. The STECF scientific advice process entails coordination of about 25 STECF meetings annually including the invitation by FISHREG of about 400 external experts. All reports of STECF (plenary reports, written procedure opinions, Working Group reports) become public and are published in the form of "JRC Scientific and Technical reports".
FISHREG collects and maintains fisheries data reported by EU Member States in the framework of the Data Collection Framework (DCF) - previously it was the Data Collection Regulation (DCR). The new DCF framework, adopted in 2008, obliges Member States to provide access to these data for fisheries management advice, scientific publication, public debate and stakeholder participation in policy development. Several times a year, following formal data calls by the Commission, national correspondents upload biological, economic, fishing effort or discards data using a dedicated web site operated by FISHREG. The datasets gathered are first checked for compliance and quality, and then normally placed at the disposal of independent experts participating in Working Groups of the STECF in charge of scientific advice. Challenges addressed by JRC in data collection include the development of quality assurance procedures, common codifications, and aggregation for analysis and assessments.
Specifically for fishing effort management, FISHREG standardizes fleet-specific effort and catch data for most EU sea-basins to enable effective checks for compliance with agreed fishing effort reductions. This results in higher data quality and benefits policy-makers and scientific researchers alike.
FISHREG collects and analyses economic data on the profitability of the EU fishing fleet and the EU fish processing sector. It is instrumental in producing Annual Economic Reports on the European Fishing Fleet (AER) , as well as reports on the economic performance of the EU Fish Processing Industry and Aquaculture Sector. Detailed overviews of data coverage and data quality form essential parts of the economic report by FISHREG. To the extent that missing data allow it, the reports include information on trends and changes EU level. In addition to providing information to policy makers, the Annual Economic Reports have proven to be useful for bio-economic modelling and for evaluating long-term management plans.
FISHREG is actively pursuing opportunities to partner in collaborative research consortia in calls for project proposals. In addition to work mentioned above, FISHREG is also carrying out projects in best practices for energy efficiency in fisheries (https://energyefficiency-fisheries.jrc.ec.europa.eu/) and the development of “from ocean to fork” fish product traceability tools for key commercial species using technologies based on molecular genetics and chemistry (https://fishpoptrace.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ and https://stursnip.jrc.ec.europa.eu/).
For a list of on-going and past research projects see https://fishreg.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects.
For a list of FISHREG's scientific publications see https://fishreg.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications.