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 2024-01-25, 08:11 authored by ICESICES

For the current advice, ICES updated the initial catalogue of innovative fishing gears for EU fisheries produced in 2020 (ICES, 2020a). This updated catalogue provides an overview of relevant state-of-the-art technologies, innovations, and their expected impacts, all of potential relevance to EU fisheries. The current advice is based on the innovative gear catalogue, which contains an additional 75 factsheets and includes two updates to innovations of gears from the previous advice.

In 2020, ICES proposed a framework for assessing the ecological performance of innovative fishing gear. The main criteria were catch efficiency, gear selectivity, and impact on marine ecosystems, evaluated on a relative scale (i.e. scored relative to the existing conventional gear). Technological complexity and technology readiness level (TRL) were applied as criteria for evaluating the suitability and readiness of an “innovative gear”. For the current advice, additional performance criteria were included, such as the capital cost and return on investment (ROI). Also, some information was used related to operational and health and safety considerations. These criteria were used to support the understanding of the level of uptake of innovative gears.

Almost 80% of the 75 innovative gears were categorized as having a high level of technological readiness, while only 4% were categorized as having a low level of technological readiness. Most innovative fishing gears were considered to result in an improvement in catch efficiency, gear selectivity, and impact on the marine ecosystem. In about one-third (37%) of the cases, the gear innovation requires a low investment (capital cost) and results in a positive ROI: that is, they are economically viable.

While a large proportion of gear innovations were found to be ready for uptake by industry, the level of uptake and the main drivers influencing the uptake remain to be identified. To this end, ICES has developed a new strategic PESTEL framework containing political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors for evaluation of the barriers and opportunities for innovative fishing gears to be systematically applied.


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

  • ACOM


ICES Advice: Special requests

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Recommended citation

ICES. 2023. EU request on review of innovative gears for potential use in EU waters and their impacts. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2023. ICES Advice 2023, sr.2023.13.

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