Marine Scotland Science: directory

Details of specialists working for Marine Scotland Science.

This document is part of a collection

Dr Coby Needle

Fisheries Assessment and Advice Programme Manager
Chief Fisheries Advisor for Scotland


Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, UK

Details of specialism

My work falls into four main areas:

  • advice on marine fisheries and fish stocks to policy colleagues, fisheries managers and all relevant stakeholders
  • stock assessment (principally North Sea demersal species) and method development
  • people and resource management for the Fisheries Assessment and Advice Programme, and an active member of the MSS Board
  • teaching and student supervision through ICES and academia

The main driver behind this work is to try and ensure sustainable use of our marine ecosystems while maintaining the viability of fishing fleets and dependent coastal communities.  Within the broad science topic areas, my particular foci currently include:

  • development of methods for survey-based assessment and advice
  • spatial assessment and advice approaches for cod in the North Sea and neighbouring areas
  • scientific applications of fisheries data from remote electronic monitoring (including VMS and CCTV)

Main policy links

  • Scottish Government: Marine Scotland (Sea Fisheries, Compliance)
  • UK Government: Defra

External committees and responsibilities

Papers of relevance

Needle CL (2015) Using self-testing to validate the SURBAR survey-based assessment model. Fisheries Research 171, 78–86. 

Needle, CL, Dinsdale R, Buch TB, Catarino RMD, Drewery J and Butler N (2015) Scottish science applications of Remote Electronic Monitoring. ICES Journal of Marine Science 72, 1214-1229. 

French G, Mackiewicz M, Fisher M, Holah H, Kilburn R, Campbell N and Needle CL (2019) Deep neural networks for analysis of fisheries surveillance video and automated monitoring of fish discards. ICES Journal of Marine Science 77, 1340-1353. 

Needle CL (2016) North Sea haddock: The EU-Norway management procedure evaluation. In C Edwards and DJ Dankel (eds), Management science in fisheries: an introduction to simulation-based methods. Routledge, Oxon and New York, Chapter 12 pp. 232–256.

Rindorf A, Cardinale M, Shephard S, Oliveira JAAD, Hjorleifsson E, Kempf A, Luzenczyk A, Millar C, Miller DCM, Needle CL, Simmonds J and Vinther M (2017) Fishing for MSY: using “pretty good yield” ranges without impairing recruitment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 74(2), 525–534.

Details of linked research pages

Coby Needle’s ResearchGate profile



Marine Scotland Science
Scottish Government
Marine Laboratory
PO Box 101
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB


+44 (0)131 244 2500


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