ICES advice for fisheries is based on annual fish stock assessments. The methodology for these assessments is evaluated every three to five years in a benchmark workshop. Here, all information – ecosystem and fisheries data, stock distribution, assessment model, forecast method and reference points – is reviewed. A benchmark deals with single stock assessment methods, but it also aims to integrate ecosystem information into the assessment.
A benchmark meeting is open to experts and stakeholders and it is reviewed by external experts throughout the process. Preparing for a benchmark process takes about five to seven months, including a data compilation workshop and a final benchmark meeting. ACOM agrees on benchmarks a year in advance.
If you are interested to take part in the process, please contact the ICES Secretariat.