Thomson Unicomarine audits 30 labs and fish teams for NMBAQC fish component scheme

The latest Annual Report for the fish component of the NMBAQC (NE Atlantic Marine Biological Quality Control) scheme has been published on the NMBAQC website. This concludes the 2014 -2015 year which saw Thomson Unicomarine audit 30 laboratories and fish teams for fish identification.

Our fisheries experts identified a total of 320 fish specimens in the Reverse Ring Test, whereby fish laboratories submit up to 15 specimens collated from
surveys for verification. A ring test is the second of the exercises where laboratories are tested on identifying a set of 15 fish specimens. Results
along with identification keys and any new research is discussed in the reporting of these exercises.

The NMBAQC aims to work towards setting a high standard across the UK and Europe for fish identification and monitoring particularly focusing on the North
East Atlantic. The scheme was developed on behalf of the Competent Monitoring Authorities to promote best practice for species identification. Originally
set up to provide best practice standards for the identification of benthic invertebrates, the scheme has since been extended to include phytoplankton,
zooplankton, macroalgae, epibiota and fish, and fish from marine, transitional and freshwaters are all included.

The benefits of the scheme include confidence in identification, development of a fish reference collection and a forum to discuss advances in taxonomy,
fish identification and distribution trends.

Thomson Unicomarine is committed to raising and maintaining quality assurance standards in the industry and has welcomed participants already to the new
NMBAQC scheme year for 2015 – 2016.

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