Report of the Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP), 2 – 6 October 2017, Sardinia, Italy

Type Working document
Date 2017
Language English
Ref. ICES CM 2017/SSGIEOM:08
Other localization
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Mahe KeligORCID, Quinquis Jerome
Publisher ICES

This was the third year for the multi-annual Terms of References (ToRs) for the Work-

ing Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP). The group met in Cagliari, Sardinia,

Italy, 2–6 October 2017. The overall aim for WGBIOP this year was to review the status

of  current  issues,  achievements  and  developments  that  falls  under  the  remit  of

WGBIOP, identify future needs in line with the ICES objectives and Science Plan and

the wider marine environmental monitoring and management within Europe and pro-

pose a future/alternative work plan.

ToR a) continued in the task of identifying broad sets of new and existing biological

parameters that are emerging as critical components of modern assessment. This work

is based on a literature review, input from experts, and collaboration with other ICES

Working Groups.  

ToR b) further dealt with the issue lists for upcoming benchmark species from 2018

and beyond and formulated the Quality indicators for biological parameters. Guide-

lines for qualitative evaluation of biological parameters and a flow scheme from data

collection to stock assessment were also produced.

ToR c) was a generic ToR for the group handling the reviewing of calibration exercises

on biological parameters, their outcomes and recommendations for such actions. All

the tables containing detailed information about national experts’ contacts, stocks han-

dled and techniques used in age reading, were updated and greatly improved. In ad-

dition,  the  guidelines  for  age  reading  and  maturity  exchanges/workshops  were

updated following the learned experienced from occurred inter-calibration exercises.

The     WGBIOP     Data    Quality     Assurance    Repository    (

nity/Pages/PGCCDBS-doc-repository.aspx) is an open source containing all this kind

of information and related reports traced back in time.

Under Tor d) a web meeting was held between ICES Secretariat and WGBIOP in order

to endorse the implementation of a new template for categorizing the nature of the

recommendations  and  facilitate  an  operational  recommendation-system.  This  tem-

plate, integrated into the already existing fields of the ICES database, clarifies the struc-

ture  of  recommendations  and  the  tasks  of  each  participant  in  the  recommendation

system facilitating swift and effective replies.  

The major focus within ToR e) was on SmartDots, a new software developed by ILVO

(Belgium) and taken on board by ICES. A proof of concept of the SmartDots age read-

ing platform was presented during the meeting and received with great enthusiasm.

Following the presentations, demonstrations and hands-on time the group officially

adopted the SmartDots platform as the tool for age reading exchanges and workshops

from 2018 onwards. This tool will facilitate the carrying out and reporting of events

related to age reading, making it an easier process with an improved management sys-

tem for otoliths metadata.  

Given that this is the third year of WGBIOP, future needs in line with the ICES objec-

tives  and  Science  plan  were  identified  and  a  future/alternative  work  plan  was  pro-


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