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At an early stage prior to introducing or transferring a marine species, the country contemplating such a measure and having found it justified should request advice from ICES on the feasability of the project in accordance with what is said in the Code of Practice, para 1(a).

The request should have the form of a proposal containing detailed information on the objective, the distribution, biology and ecology of the species in question, known risks regarding introductions or transfers of parasites and diseases, area of origin, place of introduction, possible impact on the natural environment at the introduction site, and protective measures to be taken.

The request should be sent via the ICES delegate(s) of the country (or via an appropriate official body) to the General Secretary of ICES.

The general secretary will forward the proposal to the Chairman of the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers. The group will examine the proposal in detail in accordance with the recommendations and rules in the Code of Practice, the Guidelines and the Manual of Procedure. The work can be carried out by correspondence and, if necessary, in a meeting, preferably the yearly meeting of the group.

When required, the group is free to contact relevant outside expertise. It can also make direct contact with the proposer for further information and consideration. Such discussions may lead to modifications in the original proposal.

After the Working Group has completed its task, its chairman will send back the proposal together with the results of the examination to ICES.

The flow chart below summarizes the handling of a request:

ProposerProposerExternal Expertise
Delegate or authorized institution
ICES General Secretary
ICES Working Group on Introduction and Transfers of Marine Organisms
ICES General Secretary
Delegate(s) of country

The proposer who gets positive advice to go on with the introduction or transfer should see to it that the implementation of the project is carefully carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Working Group and the Manual of Procedure in its relevant parts.

The project should further be followed up by at least yearly reports on the activity, sent to ICES and forwarded to the Working Group. Should the group find that there are negative results it should have the opportunity to intervene with new advice or recommendations.



  1. A documented proposal for introduction or transfer of a new species of fish either from a country outside Europe into Europe, or between European countries, should be transmitted via the appropriate Government authority to the National EIFAC correspondent. This assumes that such an introduction would not contravene national laws and that the earlier steps of the Protocol for evaluating introductions would already have been completed by the proposer.

  2. The National Correspondent would forward the request to the Secretariat of EIFAC, accompanied by documentation on the scope and purpose of the introduction, the source of the stocking material, the locality into which it is to be stocked and as much detail on the biology and ecology of the species as is available.

  3. The Secretariat would transmit this to the Chairman of the Working Group.

  4. The Working Group would then consider each request, passing it to a task force if necessary, and would recommend the rejection or acceptance of the proposal or request further information according to the Protocols laid down for evaluating proposed introduction.

  5. The advice of the Working Group should be transmitted through the appropriate Sub-Commission to the plenary session of EIFAC for endorsement.

  6. This decision would then be transmitted by the Secretariat to the National Correspondent who would inform the original proposer.

  7. The Commission may consider giving a mandate to the Chairman of the Working Group to directly communicate advice to the proposer via the National Correspondent in exceptional circumstances.

Flow chart for considering request


National correspondent


Working Group Task force

Appropriate Sub-Commission


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