International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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EU request on review of innovative gears for potential use in EU waters and their impacts

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posted on 2023-08-22, 09:17 authored by ICESICES

ICES defines “innovative gear” as a gear or a significant component of a gear that is different from the baseline in the current EU regulations or, in the absence of such legislation, different from the gear commonly used in a specific sea basin (area) in EU waters.

For the current advice, ICES created an initial catalogue of innovative fishing gears for EU fisheries. This  catalogue, in its current form, provides an overview of relevant state-of-the-art technologies,  innovations, and their expected impacts. It contains 33 example factsheets that are indicative of gear innovations in different areas in EU waters. 

A proposed framework for assessing the performance of innovative fishing gear includes catch efficiency, gear selectivity, and  impact  on  marine  ecosystems  as the main criteria,  evaluated  on  a  relative  scale  (i.e.  scored  relative  to  the  existing  gear). Complexity and technology readiness levels (TRLs) are proposed as criteria for evaluating the suitability, readiness, and potential adoption of an “innovative gear”. In the ensuing innovation matrix, three assessment criteria highlight the main areas where innovation is currently happening.

ICES advises that technical innovations are always sociotechnical. The level of uptake and sociotechnical aspects associated with the innovation should therefore be part of the development of a more comprehensive state-of-the-art review.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • ACOM


ICES Advice: Special requests

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Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. EU request on review of innovative gears for potential use in EU waters and their impacts. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2020. ICES Advice 2020, eu.2020.12. 8 pp.

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