Jann Martinsohn works since 2006 for the European Commission Joint Research Centre, where he is Sector Head of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector within the Water and Marine Resources Unit, which provides scientific advice to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management under the remit of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Jann holds a Diploma of Marine Science, obtained at the University of Otago (New Zealand) and a Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunogenetics, obtained at the University of Cologne (Germany). Before joining the JRC, he worked for several years as a Marie Skodowskał-Curie fellow in the department of Evolutive and Medical Molecular Genetics of Miroslav Radman at the hospital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris on the use of bacterial and phage recombination and mutation processes for in vivo directed evolution.

His research activity in the JRC is focussed on the transfer of applications based on genetics and genomics to fisheries policy making and governance. He has co-authored articles and book chapters on the subject and written a JRC Reference Report, which has been presented to the public by former Commissioner Damanaki and was also presented to the European Parliament.

Jann Martinsohn has organised and chaired various high-level international conferences and meetings, has been steering committee member of internationally acclaimed projects, as well as invited participant and chair of FAO fisheries expert groups, and is member of the Working Group on Applied Genetics for Fisheries and Mariculture (WGAGFM) of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

CCMAR ● Campus de Gambelas ● Faro ● Portugal ● email: euromarine.ccmar@gmail.com

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a major policy framework, under which 28 European Union (EU) Member States (MS) share the management of the common natural renewable resource fish and shellfish. The CFP aims to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and that they provide a source of healthy food for EU citizens. To that end it insists on the provision of “best available scientific advice”, that should underpin major goals such as moving towards maximum sustainable yield as well the implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. Paving the way for sustainable and profitable wild capture marine fisheries and aquaculture is a challenging policy endeavour. Both activities rely on the health of complex and vulnerable ecosystems that are hardly understood. Also fisheries and aquaculture are embedded in a complex social and economic environment, compete with other activities and depend highly on global trade patterns. It is now generally accepted that a shift towards a sustainable and profitable exploitation of marine natural resources requires the integration of knowledge derived from various sources. Here, the rapid progress in the field of genetics and genomics offers major opportunities to strongly support marine resource management, particularly when integrated with other approaches. And yet, while the CFP provides a fertile environment to integrate scientific advice into its policy cycle, the incorporation of genetic and genomic information under its scientific advice mechanisms remains surprisingly marginal. This presentation will discuss the current status of the application of genetic and genomic approaches for fisheries and aquaculture management with emphasis on the CFP. Needs emerging from this major EU policy that might be addressed with genomic approaches will be depicted. Moreover, a selection of examples will illustrate value and successes, but also specific challenges and pitfalls.


Fisheries Genomics and the Common Fisheries Policy: A square peg in a round hole?