Project Objectives

Well-designed indicators are a recognised tool to help assess progress towards policy objectives, as well as to provide a basis for adjusting policies and communicating with stakeholders. Ultimately, the use of indicators should promote action to improve management systems in pursuit of policy goals and objectives. The purpose of INDECO is to ensure a coherent approach to the development of indicators at EU level, in support of environmental integration within the CFP and in the context of international work on indicators.

The principal objectives of INDECO are:

  • To identify quantitative indicators for the impact of fishing on the ecosystem state, functioning and dynamics, as well as indicators for socio-economic factors and for the effectiveness of different management measures.
  • To assess the applicability of such indicators.
  • To develop operational models with a view to establishing the relationship between environmental conditions and fishing activities.

Priority will be given to the impact of fishing on:

  • Benthic communities
  • Sensitive species
  • Trophic structure

Indicators for measuring the success of a number of other management objectives will also be looked at. All of this will be done within a clear policy framework, using current CFP management objectives as a starting point.

The existing methods developed to evaluate changes in marine ecosystems from environmental and fisheries perspectives will be reviewed. Generic indicators (including Ć«headlineĆ­ indicators) will be identified to analyse ecosystem-wide effects of fishing and to distinguish these from changes in marine ecosystems due to other factors, such as eutrophication, where possible.

INDECO aims to identify robust and operational indicators making efficient use of available data. The work will be designed and co-ordinated to ensure general applicability across a range of fishery zones, including the Mediterranean, and major habitat types, including sea regions prone to eutrophication. In summary, the project aims to undertake a review of existing research, synthesise and present the state of the art on fisheries/environment indicators, identify gaps in the current research, data collection and statistical work, and examine necessary policy and institutional changes needed to fill these gaps. This will be achieved by bringing together key scientific and policy experts, as well as end-users and relevant stakeholders in the EU and other regions of the European Research Area, including those currently less focused on using indicators as a management tool.