There is some uncertainty in the fisheries science–policy interface. Although progress has been made towards more transparency and participation in fisheries science in ICES Areas, routine use of state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative tools to address uncertainty systematically is still lacking. Fisheries science that gives advice to policy-making is plagued by uncertainties; the stakes of the policies are high and value-laden and need therefore to be treated as an example of “post-normal science” (PNS). To achieve robust governance, understanding of the characteristics and implications of the scientific uncertainties for management strategies need to come to the centre of the table. This can be achieved using state-of-the-art tools such as pedigree matrices and uncertainty matrices, as developed by PNS scholars and used in similar science–policy arenas on other complex issues. An explicit extension of the peer community within maritime systems will be required to put these new tools in place. These new competences become even more important as many countries within the ICES Area are now embarking on new policies.
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