Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP; outputs from 2023 meeting)

The main objective of the Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP) is to review the status, issues, developments, and quality assurance of biological parameters used in stock assessment. The Group aims to plan workshops, exchanges, and validation studies on a range of biological variables with a view to reviewing the quality of information supplied for stock assessment. The group also investigates data availability and develops documentation and methods to improve communication between data collectors and end users and continues to contribute to new and improved functionality for the SmartDots platform. Time was spent in plenary discussion on the Sexual Maturity Staging in Fish (the SMSF maturity scale), and its adoption and implementation. The development of the WGBIOP collection on the ICES library reached a conclusion with the collection being launched and steps being put in place to allow the inclusion of all remaining information going forward. This collection will replace the Data Quality Assurance Repository. A Scientific Session was delivered which focused on developing tools such as AI and Machine Learning and how their applications in the fields of age determination and maturity staging can be supported by the Group. A useful discussion also took place around the creation and utilisation of reference collections. As we move to completion on the majority of tasks under the existing ToRs, a significant part of the meeting was spent in plenary discussion with the aim of shaping the new ToRs for the upcoming three-year term. Agreement was reached on having more emphasis on maturity, new and developing tools and techniques, environment and ecosystems effects and data quality and optimisation. There was also recognition that as the Group moves into new areas of work, it may be necessary to review the membership to ensure that all areas of expertise are covered, but it is expected that this will evolve during the course of the next term. New chairs were nominated, and thoughts were given to how the next three meetings should be run, concluding that the first and last will be hybrid with the middle year being exclusively online. It is hoped that deciding on this format now will give group members the ability to plan attendance more effectively.

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ICES (2024). Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP; outputs from 2023 meeting). ICES Scientific Reports/Rapports scientifiques du CIEM. 6 (2). 80pp..,

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