Fisheries, an important part of the blue economy, provides food, generates gross profit of around EUR 1,342 billion and accounts for more than 150,000[1] jobs, and contributes to coastal social cohesion and resilience. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regulates access to and use of the marine living resources. The CFP seeks to apply the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, with fishing in line with the Maximum Sustainable Yield concept and minimizing the effect of fishing on the ecosystem[2]. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires that fish and shellfish stocks are in good environmental status[3]. The Maritime Spatial Planning Directive[4] aims to regulate uses of the marine environment. The design of such policies can be better served with a holistic, integrated approach. For successful policy implementation an improvement of our predictive capacity of environmental impacts on marine biogeochemistry and productivity, food webs and ecosystem structure and functioning, is required. Considerable effort to scientifically and technically support these policy objectives goes hand in hand with filling considerable gaps in basic knowledge and providing predictive tools available for integrated management.

Building on related work done in previous research and innovation framework programmes and in other EU-funded programmes, research activities shall fill in knowledge gaps which hinder an efficient, ecosystem-based approach to the management of fisheries (e.g. biological characteristics and assessment of marine habitats; links of environmental factors and abundance, health, growth, reproduction etc. of fish stocks and human health and consumption etc., taking into account sex and gender differences if and where relevant; relations of different trophic levels in the food chain; efficiency of management measures protecting the ecosystem, interactions with and impacts from/on other uses of the sea). The proposals shall integrate existing and new knowledge in modelling or other applied tools/methods which can be used by scientific advisory bodies in sustainable fisheries management.

Following the principles of responsible research and innovation, proposals will ensure that societal players work together during the whole research and innovation process. Proposals should also test the efficiency of the proposed solutions across Europe.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 8 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

For more information, see the Call in Funding & Tenders Portal.