Report of the Annual Meeting between ICES and the Regional Advisory Councils (MIRAC)
The Chair opened the meeting, welcomed the participants and mentioned that ICES had experienced staff changes with Poul Degnbol as new Head of the Advisory Ser-vices and himself as the new chair of ACOM.
The ICES General Secretary drew attention to the Marine Strategy Framework Direc-tive where RACs could be usefully involved. RACs agreed, but lack the resource to do so. There is a risk that parts of the MSFD may be implemented without the benefit of neutral, quality assured, and peer reviewed scientific advice. RACs are accustomed to receive such advice and could request that a similar process could be implemented in the MSFD.
RACs realise the importance of environmental issues, but their membership has not given them a mandate to get involved and they have limited human and financial resources. RACs recognise that the ICES partnership would be helpful in the context of the MSFD and expressed that view in national meetings. It is expected that the evolution of the CFP and of the MSFD over time will imply that the role of RACs, ICES and environmental commissions will also evolve. There was agreement that quality controlled and peer reviewed work should be the standard as the basis for political decisions for the CFP as well as for the MSFD.
Environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) are not fully involved in all the activities of all the RACs. The reason could be that the discussions are some-times highly technical and civil society does not have the expertise to get involved in them. Discussing broader issues might help to mobilise ENGOs.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee