EV ILVO has been created by the Flemish Government as a legal entity with a corporate personality (Decree of the Flemish Government of 23 December 2005 (BOJ 30.12.2005). EV ILVO is an independent scientific research institute and service provider with 420 employees.
The institute works collaboratively to promote sustainable agriculture, fisheries and agro-food production in Flanders, Belgium, Europe and the world. The institute performs multidisciplinary, innovative and independent research aimed at economically, ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture, food and fisheries. Through this research, the institute accumulates fundamental and applied knowledge which is vital for the improvement of products and production methods for quality control and the safety of end products, and for the amelioration of policy instruments as a foundation for sector development and agricultural policy for rural areas. The research activities are split into four units that work closely together: Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, Technology and Food Science, and Social Sciences.
The research domain ‘Fisheries and Aquatic Production’ supports fisheries management based on accurate information about the fish stocks and their place in the ecosystem, thorough understanding of the efficiency and the effects of fishing methods, and insight into the socio-economic aspects of the fishing industry. A multidisciplinary team with an extensive network is supported by a technical team that does the field work on land as well as at sea. In addition to the marine fisheries research, the Institute also has a team researching how to build sustainable aquaculture systems. It also provides services to support businesses, government agencies and other scientific institutions in their scientific research.
The main focus of the Fisheries Biology research group is the management of the Belgian and European fisheries. The group provides advice for this management based on research about the state of the fish stocks, the dynamics of the marine ecosystems and the effects of fisheries policy in terms of the fish stocks and the fisheries sector. The basis of this research is collected data on the size and composition of fish stocks and about the exploitation of the commercially important fish species. After processing these data we can give policy-supportive advice in relation to the European Communal Fisheries Policy. Modelling is an essential part of the research and advisory process and consists of stock assessment models, fleet dynamics models, seafloor disturbance models and a central ecosystem model that is in the development stage. This research group strives for a strong and productive interaction between researchers and the fisheries industry with the goal of innovation and optimization of the fisheries data and determination of the state of the fish stocks.
The fisheries research groups are supported by the ‘Environmental Monitoring and Quality’ research domain that evaluates the environmental quality as well as the quality of the biological marine products. We use an integrated approach for evaluation. Using biological, toxicological and chemical tests, we study the human effect on the marine environment (sand and gravel extraction, dumping of dredging material, building wind farms, fisheries, introduction of exotic species) and different types of pollution (pollutants, garbage) on marine life. We also study the genetic and (bio)chemical quality, freshness and authenticity by developing analyses and applying them to fish and shellfish. This research includes continual, long-term monitoring as well as specific research projects.
Role In Project
Researchers at EV ILVO will contribute to the Iliad project by;
(1) Provide oceanographic and fisheries data, gathered by 4 Belgian fishing vessels, by sending output from the VISTools system (a national Belgian digital twin of fishing activity) to Iliad (North Sea Region).
a. Organise legal issues regarding data-sharing with fishing companies in Belgium
b. Setup and adaptation of data-gathering infrastructure on board of 4 fishing vessels
c. Push high resolution spatio-temporal fishing vessel data to Iliad platform, conform Iliad procedures and data-formats (push data at fixed intervals from 4 fishing vessels)
(2) Assist in developing advanced analysis, data fusion and meta-processing tools.
(3) Contribute to ecosystem modelling and MSE based on expertise in Ecopath with Ecosim and fleet dynamics. (North Sea Region).
(4) Contribute to fishery impact and stock assessment tasks, based on in-house modelling and stock assessment expertise (North Sea Region).
(5) Participate in workshops, communication and dissemination.