Local and regional authorities have a good knowledge of fisheries and some even have legal and financial powers in the fisheries sector. They also play a very important role in implementing the Common Fisheries Policy. In recent years, there has been a progressive shift of attention to the level of stocks and the effects of fishing on the marine ecosystem. An enhanced system for collecting, managing and using data will make it easier to measure fishing’s impact on ecosystems. This is one of the reasons that President Geblewicz wants to ensure that consultation with local or regional authorities from coastal areas with legal or financial powers in the fisheries sector takes place and that they are provided with the relevant information. While he generally supports the objective of tailoring the availability of data more closely to management needs, the rapporteur warns against the cost-use analysis suggested by the Commission. His primary concern is that, for certain data, surveys at sea cannot be replaced with less expensive methods. The Westpomerania President is also concerned by the definition of “end-users”, especially as they can be important players in defining data-needs. In his view, data end-users should be divided into those end-users that can define data-need and those that only can get access to data. Lastly, he calls upon all stakeholders to work, where possible, towards ensuring the open availability of collected data in a format that can be used by relevant users, including local and regional authorities.

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