To give access to evidence based information on the status of marine stocks and fisheries.

The Global Record of Stocks and Fisheries service will provide the basis for computing regional or global indicators on the status of stocks, and will contribute to systematize a yearly production of FAO’s Global State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) resources (
It is expected that by 2017, the Global Record of stocks and related status reports will contain 2000 stocks, enabling a regular computation of more reliable indicators on stock status. The Global Record will also contain 2000 fishery records, a realistic number given the effort needed to compile the cross-domain information. The potential to expand relies on co-funded new activities. The target number of requests for information from the global record is 100000. The global record service will dynamically synchronize three main global references, of stocks, and extract additional stocks and related information from another five organizations.


 The Global Record of Stock and Fisheries (GRSF) VRE in a nutshell

Blue Growth scenario: 

Provide an on-line knowledge base on the Global Record of Stocks and Fisheries for a Blue Growth audience of ecologists, resource managers, market parties, and the general public with the long term objective to provide an evidence based information on the status of marine stocks and fisheries and promote responsible consumption.


Information on the status and trends of stocks (the exploitation level) and fisheries (the ecological and economic sustainability) depends on a multi-stakeholder analysis of a complex web of data and information to produce a shared opinion. This opinion is mostly based on stock assessment information and an assessment of the management capacity to ensure future sustainability of the fish and the fishery. It is not uncommon that there are differences in opinion between different assessment groups, and a single and definite GRSF is not the objective, but rather a clear and insightful overview of the best available data and practices. 
Without this information, it is hard, and thus expensive, for parties not directly involved in the stock assessment to use this information for market based decisions, such as ecolabelling, consumer communication etc. 
Vice versa, it is difficult for stock managers to find a cost effective way to communicate on the status of their stocks without expensive and indirect assessment methods.
The main challenge is to provide an effective communication mechanism on stocks and fisheries that builds on existing information resources, but renders these:

  • More accessible through an effective single web-interface for currently separated knowledge bases (KB); 
  • Clear and easy to understand for users (e.g. using traffic lights);
  • Manageable at authorization levels, e.g. data managers and users will have different data views;
  • Transparent; with traceable and well described information provenance and ownership metadata’;
  • Communicative, by having a KB integrated with query and display features, including a map-interface;
  • Dynamic, by delivering tools and services for data owners to collect and merge data with the GRSF KB.

The challenge in this VRE lies in complexity of defining a GRSF and the KB to host this information effectively. The stock assessments used can be very different, the widely varying quality and availability of data, and the different assessments made by different interest groups is difficult to contain in a work-flow. 
The use of a semantic KB seems particularly suited to a transparent and collaborative approach to capture the currently existing information in a single environment. A semantic KB offers the flexibility to contain different data structures. 
For organizations with an interest to generate and use Stocks and Fisheries Status information, for instance to promote fish from sustainably managed resources, the capacity offered through this VRE potentially boosts visibility and availability of the information, and improve the quality by providing provenance metadata.

Scope/Thematic area

Fisheries Information Management and Dissemination

Short Description (high level):

Adaptation of existing information sources to dissemination through a unified Knowledge base on Stocks and Fisheries.


  • Data integration of current information sources using a set of minimal data requirements

  • Data harmonization to dissemination standards with a special focus on provenance

  • Data publication = Data output tools

  • Data provenance management

  • Data merging and mapping tools

  • Data repositories (LOD)

  • Metadata management and Master Data Management

Direct beneficiaries: 

  • Resource managers (Countries, regional fisheries management organizations)

  • Fisheries organizations (commercial sector)

  • Fisheries products marketing and sales organizations 

  • Consumers organizations 

  • Students and general public

Expected Outcomes: 
  • Structured Semantic Knowledge Base

  • Management Indicators

  • Visual presentations; maps and graphs

  • Reports and Fact-sheets

  • Knowledge base content (Global record of Stocks and Fisheries)

Existing or similar solutions:

>    The following datasets will guide development:

>   We intend to further develop the following tools:

Where to access:

Click here to find out more about the VREs that have been released so far