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Fisheries science: Science advice

Science advice is Step 3 in the Data to Decision process.

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Providing science advice

Science advice is usually provided through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Science Advisory Reports or Science Responses. These reports help decision makers understand information about a particular fish stock. Science advice may also be provided through international bodies such as the North Atlantic Fishing Organization.

Science Advisory Reports or Science Responses can contain:

Peer review and transparency

Peer review ensures the best available evidence is available to make fisheries decisions. Peer review is the evaluation and quality control in our science advice of all:

Science advice is provided via DFO’s Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS), which ensures an inclusive and transparent scientific process involving experts from:

When participants of the peer review meeting generally agree on the conclusions

The cycle of science advice

After the data have been collected and analyzed, the stock assessment results and conclusions are summarized in the form of science advice. This can include estimated stock status, and estimates of potential impacts of management actions on the stock.

This becomes part of the annual cycle of science advice, which includes:

  1. data collection and monitoring
    • research, surveys, fishery data (landings, effort), biological data
  2. stock assessment
    • data analysis, population modelling, status estimation, forecasting
  3. science advice
    • peer review (Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat), science advice documents
  4. consultation
    • advisory committees (Indigenous groups, provinces, industry and environmental non-governmental organizations)
  5. management recommendation
    • total allowable catch, licensing, management measures, rebuilding plans
  6. fishing season
  7. post-season review
    • quota reconciliation, sample processing, data on landings/effort

This cycle is repeated each year, but some of the steps from 3-5 might happen only once every two or more years depending on how the stock is managed.

Learn more about the scientific review process and explore our science advisory publications.

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