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Maritime Forum

Study on: Improving the cost-efficiency of fisheries research surveys and fish stocks assessment using next generation genetic sequencing methods

The FishGenome final report is now available. The project explored the possibility to incorporate novel genomic techniques into the data collection practices, in particular into research surveys. The FishGenome project was funded by the EMFF.


In response to the EC call for tenders EASME/EMFF/2018/015, the work done in the FishGenome service contract enabled the evaluation of the potential of three High Throughput Sequencing genetic tools: Close Kin Mark Recapture, epigenetic Age Determination, and environmental DNA. Contractors rigorously explored their potential for use in the assessment of fish stocks and in the production of the scientific advice needed for a sustainable management of EU fisheries. The service approach combined an exhaustive update and critical review of the state of the art with field tests of an exploratory nature for three species of major commercial interest (cod, hake and ballan wrasse) in the North Sea, in the northern waters of Iberian Peninsula, and in the Mediterranean. The project delivered, among other outputs, detailed application protocols and guidelines and outlined possible implementation scenarios. For the latter, FishGenome proposes a detailed roadmap for implementation with specific objectives, strategic pillars, and intervention initiatives with a total of 45 specific actions of a diverse and supplementary nature. Those aimed at involving all interested parties in a coordinated approach for a progressive adoption of these new technologies, envisioning their implementation at full scale in the long term.

EC Publication details

FishGenome final report