In the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) adopted in December 2002, emphasis was put on the improvement of the scientific basis for the advice needed by the EU for fisheries management. Today, more than ever before, when so many fish stocks are heavily exploited, decisions on fisheries management need a solid basis in science. The relevance and effectiveness of measures taken under the CFP depend to a large extent on the quality and timeliness of the scientific advice on which they are based. The European Commission also recognises the importance of aquaculture in the framework of the reform and the necessity to develop a strategy for the sustainable development of this sector supported by EU-wide research. Finally, assuring the quality and safety of the seafood supply in response to consumer needs while enhancing the competitiveness of the European seafood industry is also a priority for the Fisheries DG. Research activities carried out under the fifth framework programme in the field of fisheries concerned three key actions of the thematic programme u0091Quality of lifeu0092 (QoL): u0091Food, nutrition and healthu0092, u0091Control of infectious diseasesu0092 and u0091Sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and integrated development of rural areas including mountain areasu0092. Special attention was given to quality monitoring and traceability throughout the food chain, to the development of strategies to identify and control infectious diseases, to the improvement of the scientific basis for fisheries management, to the improvement of aquatic production, to the integration of environmental requirements, and to the investigation of the economic dimension of sustainable fishing and aquaculture.