In 2018, PGDATA started a second 3-year programme with renewed terms of reference. After having achieved some practical and concrete objectives in its first 3-year programme, PGDATA entered a round of discussions with ICES on its future and considered some of the weaknesses that appeared in the first years. The new objectives assigned to PGDATA were to focus on the development of the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) for both fishery-dependent and fish-ery-independent data, create links between the different expert groups, promote the statistical improvements and good practices for implementation and make them easily accessible to the public.
An ICES structured approach for a Quality Assurance Framework is proposed, taking into ac-count all ICES initiatives in the field of collection, processing and storage of fisheries dependent and independent data. This framework, compliant with the principles developed in the Euro-pean Statistical Standard, has been presented to ICES in 2019 and is now integrated in the ICES Quality Assurance Framework for advice.
The accessibility to recommendations and good practices has been addressed through a restruc-turing proposal of the ICES Quality assurance repository. The proposal makes use of the ICES website development and search facilities and will need the involvement of several ICES work-ing groups to help with the implementation. PGDATA is ambitious on this accessibility of past reports and guidelines and would like to set the stage for a longer-term achievement with living documents classified by topics – this would include all recommendations and good practices produced by the wealth of ICES technical workshops and working groups.
The communication and feedback on data issues with assessment working groups was given a special focus, acknowledging the previous difficulties in establishing active interaction and try-ing to learn from this experience. A large collation of exploratory figures produced by the assess-ment working groups in their reports has been undertaken and classified by topics in an annex of the PGDATA 2018 Report. The objective was to demonstrate the large creativity undergoing in this field, to propose a catalogue of what is done for every end-user group and set the stage for a forum like WGCATCH and WGISDAA to take over some ideas and develop generic figures capturing the main information needed for the end users. It is the belief of PGDATA that the exploratory figures used on the entry data for assessment models are the link between the data collection and processing world, the QAF and the assessment and advice world.
PGDATA also proposed a theme session on data collection for the ICES ASC 2019 and 2020 ses-sions, but these proposals did not reach the stage of being eventually included in the ASC pro-grams. The idea was to prepare an edition of a special issue in a journal (ICES J. Mar. Sci.) on the findings.
At the end of this 3-year programme, PGDATA proposed to discontinue its activities and pro-posed a new working group dedicated to support ICES in implementing a QAF on the data col-lection field named WGQUALITY.