Fisheries management | Central Portal
Fisheries Management Challenge


The aim of the Fisheries Management challenge is to produce tables for the whole sea basin of:

  • Mass and number of landings of commercial fish by species and year; and
  • Mass and number of discards and bycatch (of fish, mammals, reptiles and seabirds) by species and year.

These will include data from before and after the Data Collection Regulation was introduced, so far as possible.  Time series will be as long as possible, although the actual length will vary from species to species.  Additionally, gridded data layers are to be produced, showing the extent of fisheries impact on the sea floor, including:

  • Areas where bottom habitat has been disturbed by bottom trawling (numbers of disturbances per month); and
  • Change in level of disturbance over the past ten years.

The data identification phase has been completed and all information is currently being pursued. Data requests for fisheries data (landings, bycatch, discards, kW hours of fishing activity) have been sent to 14 contacts. These include the countries bordering the North Sea project area, the European Commission directly, and any other countries that fish in the Basin, such as the Faroe Islands and Finland. So far, the EC (JRC) have responded and directed us to the latest fisheries data archives: These do not include VMS data which can provide us with kW hours fishing activity data.


The JRC have also informed us that they are also carrying out research activities on the mapping of fishing effort at high spatial-temporal resolution from vessel positioning data (AIS) but this data will become publicly available only in few months.


So far in terms of country response:

  • Sweden are processing our request without cost for the landing and discards and bycatch data, and have sent the VMS data for the last 10 years.
  • Denmark responded to say they process data at a rate of around 1400 euros an hour – our request would total 20-30,000 euros.
  • Germany estimate at least 500 euros for a one off fee and there will be other ‘unestimated’ expenses.
  • Norway will help us with our request in a few weeks but recommend visiting the ICES database for approximations of landings.
  • The MMO from the UK have responded and directed us to several data links, and have said they will help with further data requests if it is required.
  • France require a formal written request, which has been sent.