11 June 2014 (Reference: 03-14)
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) published its Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14 today, 11 June 2014.
Cefas' achievements, measured against key performance indicators, are reported in the document. The agency exceeded demanding performance targets set by Defra Ministers. They included making an operating surplus (£2.8m) and achieving high customer satisfaction scores (86%). Scientific publications reached a new high level at 184 papers in high impact scientific journals and Cefas remains one of the top performing Civil Service organisations for staff engagement.
Cefas CEO Mike Waldock said:
"It has been a good year for Cefas and we can move forward taking great pride in the valuable contribution we make to society, delivered through the application of our world-class science and the professionalism and expertise that all staff, both scientific and non-scientific, bring to the organisation.
Over the past year we have tackled increasingly complex requests for expert advice and scientific evidence to support policy reform, marine strategy and conservation. We continue to innovate across the business and to provide strong assurance to our customers of our professionalism and the consistency of our business processes."
The report also contains highlights from the past financial year including key work programmes aiming to support the economy, safeguard public health and protect the environment:
Reforming fisheries policy, promoting sustainability:
Cefas' science and advice has enabled the UK to secure a deal in the EU that is good for both the sustainability of fisheries and the UK fishing industry. Cefas scientists have been touring the country to assist fishers in preparing for a discard ban, to present the first national assessments of crab and lobster stocks, and produce a pioneering report on the £1.23 billion recreational sea angling activity in England.
This year marked a step-change in our ambition to expand Cefas science services globally. In the first of major partnerships abroad, Cefas is working with the Environment Public Authority of Kuwait to harmonise their marine monitoring programme and build local capability for marine management.
Food security and sustainability:
Good progress was made during the year to support the Government goal of long-term goal of increased availability to the public of healthy, safe fish and shellfish. The high health status of UK aquatic animals was also sustained this year. A surveillance programme of fish and shellfish farms and fisheries, completed for all 18 listed aquatic animal diseases, confirmed the UK's high health status and contingency planning and exercises ensured we will be prepared in the event of a listed disease outbreak.
Collecting evidence for Marine Conservation Zone Designations (MCZs):
Since November 2011 we have delivered 7,077 Cefas staff days, 164 days on Cefas Endeavour, 300 commercial charter days, visited over 60 recommended MCZ sites and collected over 20 terabytes of data. Analysis and interpretation of seabed acoustic data, video footage, photography and seabed biological samples provided the essential evidence that Defra needed to support the designation of the first tranche of 27 MCZs in 2013.
Assessing and monitoring UK seas:
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is becoming a significant driver of marine monitoring, together with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in coastal waters. Cefas' technical experts have helped shape the specification for MSFD monitoring through working groups in Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR), International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and other EC fora, including drafting guidance co-ordinated by the Joint Research Council (JRC).
- As an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Cefas is accountable to Ministers and Parliament. The document was formally laid before Parliament earlier today.
- The financial accounts are fully audited by the National Audit Office and approved by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
- Copies of the Cefas' Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14 were placed in the library of the House of Commons today, 11 June 2014.
- Cefas is the UK's leading and most diverse centre for applied marine and freshwater science. We advise UK government and private sector customers on the environmental impact of their policies, programmes and activities through our marine evidence and impartial expert advice. For more detail about Cefas' work, visit other sections of this website: www.cefas.defra.gov.uk.
- The UK's marine sectors support around £49bn of annual economic activity as agreed by the Productive Seas Evidence Group.
- This publication is available for download from this website at www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/publications-and-data/annual-report-and-accounts.aspx