CEFAS, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, is responsible for providing the scientific advice required to manage the exploitation of fisheries resources of interest to the UK. Information is collected from fishermen’s logbooks and fish markets on the catches and fishing activity of the English and Welsh fleets, and length and age compositions of the more important commercial species are sampled from landings and, where possible, from fish that are discarded at sea. Supporting biological data are collected on surveys conducted by research vessels or chartered commercial boats. For some species’ populations, fishery‐independent estimates of abundance are also made from egg surveys. These data are combined with those from other countries exploiting common fisheries and used in analytical assessments carried out by international working groups at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. The results provide the basis for negotiations of each year’s total allowable catches at the European Council of Ministers.
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