The ICES Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) was created in 1983. In 2002, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) joined with ICES to co-sponsor the WGFTFB, giving the working group a global mandate.


The directive of the WGFTFB is to initiate and review investigations of scientists and technologists concerned with all aspects of the design, planning and testing of fishing gears used in abundance estimation, selective fishing gears used in bycatch and discard reduction; and environmentally benign fishing gears and methods used to reduce impact on bottom habitats and other non‐target ecosystem components. Areas of focus should also include behavioural, statistical and capture topics.


The Working Group’s activities shall focus on all measurements and observations pertaining to both scientific and commercial fishing gears, design and statistical methods and operations including benthic impacts, vessels and behaviour of fish in relation to fishing operations. The Working Group shall provide advice on application of these techniques to aquatic ecologists, assessment biologists, fishery managers and industry.


In keeping with the spirit of the global mandate, FAO arranged for participation of National Coordinators of the REBYC project EP/GLO/201/GEF to present their work on bycatch management and discard reduction. These meetings provide an opportunity for frank exchange of views and to develop common approaches to addressing problems associated with fish capture technologies.

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