EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Community framework relating to scientific data and advice

This summary has been archived and will not be updated. See 'Collecting data to assist in fisheries sector management' for an updated information about the subject.

Community framework relating to scientific data and advice

Data regarding fleet activities, catches, fish stocks and their impact on the marine ecosystem is required to optimise scientific evaluation in the fisheries sector. This Regulation defines a rational and consistent Community framework for collecting, managing and using these data for which Member States are responsible, as well as for procuring scientific advice.


Council Regulation (EC) No 199/2008 dated 25 February 2008 concerning the establishment of a Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy.


This Regulation establishes a Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and to obtain the necessary scientific advice for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

These biological, technical, environmental and socio-economic data relates to fleets and their activities as well as catches and the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem. The data concerns all fishing activities, namely: commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries *, aquaculture activities and industries processing fisheries products.

Framework for the collection, management and use of data

Multi-annual national and Community programmes constitute the framework for the collection, management and use of data. They are adopted for a period of three years.

The Commission, assisted by the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture, establishes the Community programmes. On this basis, Member States develop national programmes, consisting of:

  • Multiannual sampling programmes which enable evaluation of the fisheries sector and activities based on biological, ecosystem and socio-economic data. Collection relates to vessels and companies in the sector, at landing locations or by consulting registers and economic data;
  • A data collection programme on board commercial and recreational fishing vessels, if necessary. Observation activities at sea are undertaken on board the vessels by scientists or, for practical or security reasons, by the vessel's crew for a self-sampling programme;
  • A programme of research surveys at sea in order to measure the impact of fishing on the environment and the abundance and distribution of fisheries resources;
  • A programme for managing and using the data for scientific purposes.

Member States provide protocols and methods for the collection and analysis of data in their national programmes.

Member States cooperate with each other and with third-party countries if they are in the same marine region. For this reason, Member States coordinate their national programmes, particularly by Regional Coordination Meetings organised by the Commission, so as to avoid a duplication of data collection.

The Commission approves the national programmes and monitors their implementation. Both are based on assessments by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) as regards compliance and scientific and technical execution of national programmes. The Commission also estimates the associated costs. In cases of non-compliance, Member States amend their national programmes when requested by the Commission.

The European Union (EU) contributes 50% of the finance for data collection. A maximum sum of €300 million is earmarked for the period from 2007 to 2013, within the framework of Community financial measures for the implementation of the CFP.

The Commission may suspend or recover financial assistance if the execution of the national programme does not comply with the stipulated rules, such as compliance with deadlines, control of quality, and validation and transmission of data collected. A reduction of aid is also stipulated under certain conditions, but this is proportionate to the degree of non-compliance and must not exceed 25% of the annual cost of the national programme.

Management and use of data within the framework of the CFP

The data collected are stored in secure computerised national databases. These data, whose quality is controlled by Member States, are not only primary data * but also detailed data * and aggregated data * which results from processing the primary data.

Transmission of these data to end-users for scientific analysis is regulated. These data may also be used to support discussions in Regional Advisory Councils within the framework of the CFP for policy development and for scientific publications by researchers. Data-processing methods can be provided.

The deadline for data transmission depends on the type of use, which needs to be specified in the request. In certain cases, Member States can refuse to provide these data. The Commission can examine refusals. If they are not justified, the Member State must provide the data to the end-user within one month. Should they fail to do this, the refusal may constitute a reason for reducing financial assistance. End-users may also have their access to data restricted or prohibited if they do not comply with certain obligations.

The data collected as part of research surveys at sea are transmitted to the international scientific organisations and to scientific committees for the relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO).

Support for scientific advice

National experts are encouraged to participate in RFMO and international scientific authorities' meetings, in which the Community participates.

For this purpose, Member States and the Commission work together to improve the reliability of scientific advice and the quality of RFMO programmes and working methods within a context of openness and impartiality.


This Community framework is the result of an extensive consultation with Member States, national scientific institutes responsible for data collection and key end-users, such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

It is part of the EU’s integrated maritime policy and replaces the Community framework implemented in 2000 with effect from 1 January 2009.

Key terms in the act

  • Primary data: data associated with vessels, natural or legal persons or individual samples.
  • Detailed data: data based on primary data, in a form which does not permit the identification, either directly or indirectly, of natural or legal persons.
  • Aggregated data: summarised data established from primary or detailed data for specific analytical purposes.
  • Recreational fisheries: non-commercial fishing activities exploiting living aquatic resources for recreation or sport.



Entry into force

Timescale for transposition into Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 199/2008



OJ L 60, 5.3.2008


Commission Decision 2010/93/EU of 18 December 2009 adopting a multiannual Community programme for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector for the period 2011-2013 [Official Journal L 41 of 16.2.2010]. This Decision establishes a Community programme for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector for a period of three years. The programme contains four modules and defines precision levels and sampling intensities. This Decision will replace Decision 2008/949/EC on 1 January 2011.

Commission Decision 2008/949/EC of 6 November 2008 adopting a multiannual Community programme pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 199/2008 establishing a Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the common fisheries policy [Official Journal L 346 of 23.12.2008]. The multiannual Community programme covers the collection of information with a view to using it to carry out scientific analysis, and the management of this information. The programme contains four modules and defines levels of precision and sampling intensities. The modules are as follows:

  • module of evaluation of the fishing sector;
  • module of evaluation of the economic situation of the aquaculture and processing industry sectors;
  • module of evaluation of the effects of the fishing sector on the marine ecosystem;
  • module for management and use of the data covered by the data collection framework.

Last updated: 10.09.2010