Within our strategic vision for science and advice, ICES has been working with various parameters in terms of existing and new biological knowledge, productivity knowledge from assessments, reference points, fish population dynamics, and how these can be incorporated into ICES advice, such as within a productivity overview, or fisheries and ecosystem overviews.
This work corresponds with that of PANDORA, a European Commission Horizon 2020 project that wants to “improve the stock assessment for many important fish species in Europe" (Stefan Neuenfeldt, DTU Aqua and PANDORA Project Coordinator). The project (2018–2022) which has just concluded sought to “create more realistic assessments and projections of changes in fisheries resources by utilizing new biological knowledge (spatial patterns, environmental drivers, food-web interactions and density-dependence) including, for the first time, proprietary data sampled by pelagic fishers". ICES has been a partner on PANDORA as the project developed biological knowledge, resource assessment and projection, and management options for advice and stakeholder engagement.
A major aim of the project was to develop a publicly accessible online resource - a toolbox that includes assessment modelling and stock projections code, economic models, and region- and species-specific decision support tools. These tools should increase ownership and contribution opportunities from the industry to the fish stock assessment process through involvement in data sampling and training in data collection, processing and ecosystem-based fisheries management.
This resource has been named PANDORA's Toolbox and is now live on ICES website. For those curious about the content, the toolbox contains scientific knowledge - links and references, or hosted content related to various aspects of PANDORA including modelling scenarios, web applications, publications, guidance videos and factsheets and will benefit many including ICES community experts, other scientists, and researchers. The tool is built on a dynamic content management system and any additional resources related to Pandora can be incorporated as needed.
Vera Köpsel, University of Hamburg, Germany, led the project Work Package for Stakeholder Engagement, Outreach and Communication. "The toolbox is a great legacy of PANDORA as it brings together all the great research resulting from the project. The main focus is stock assessment and fisheries management, but the toolbox covers a wide range of science-related to these issues - from new ecological findings to marine social science and economics such as the socio-economic circumstances under which small-scale fisheries operate in the Mediterranean. For this reason, the audience of the toolbox is just as diverse: there is content for stock assessors working with ICES, papers and code for researchers from many disciplines, and also material for students to work and learn with."
Being hosted on ICES website, gives linkages beyond the timeframe of the project. The toolbox will continue to be available online after the project ends– it is hoped that the visibility provided by ICES website will disseminate PANDORA's work to a larger number of experts, stakeholders, and managers. The resource contains a lot of new knowledge that now has the possibility of being discovered by ICES expert groups and incorporated into assessments that are the basis for different kinds of ICES advice.
The main challenge for the toolbox is considering how to organize the wealth of content around the end-use cases that make the most sense to site visitors.
Explore PANDORA's Toolbox now.