The Planning Group on Commercial Catches, Discards and Biological Sampling [PGCCDBS] (Co-Chairs: Mike Armstrong, UK, and Gráinne Ní Chonchúir, Ireland) met in Horta, the Azores, 17th February – 21st February 2014. The PGCCDBS was established in 2002 in response to the EC-ICES Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) requesting ICES to provide support for the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF). It implements the ICES Quality Assurance Framework to ensure that data sets and parameters supporting assessments and advice for the ICES area are based on i) statistically-sound sampling schemes; ii) correct and consistent interpreta-tion of biological material such as otoliths and gonads; iii) technology that improves accuracy and Cost-effectiveness of data collection; iv) comprehensive and easily sourced documentation, and v) efficient collaboration between PGCCDBS, expert groups and other bodies in relation to data collection. The 2014 meeting of PGCCDBS focused on work completed since last year, and planned work for 2014 and 2015, in the following topics which formed the basis of the Terms of Reference: - Stock-based biological parameters from sampling of fishery and survey catches (age, growth, maturity, fecundity, sex ratio), - Fleet/métier related variables (discards estimates and length/age composi-tions of landings and discards) and statistical design of sampling schemes, - Data collection technology and databases (hardware, and software such as WebGR and the Regional Data bases). - Implementation of the ICES Quality Assurance Framework, - Addressing recommendations and requests for advice from ICES expert groups (including through PGCCDBS data contact persons), and RCMs. PGCCDBS met in plenary to review the outcomes of a wide range of workshops and age exchanges conducted since PGCCDBS 2013 and the work plan for 2014. On the basis of this and the PGCCDBS long term planning process, further workshops and exchanges were proposed for 2015 and beyond. These include: - Age and maturity workshops; - Sampling design workshops; - Large-scale age exchanges. PGCCDBS 2014 also updated the list of national age readers and co-ordinators, and this updated list was uploaded onto the European Age Readers Forum (EARF). Other proposals developed by PGCCDBS are: * Proposals for study contracts on - Collaborative Study on anglerfish (Priority 1) - Collaborative Study on improvement of WebGR (Priority 1) - Improving accuracy in fish age estimation through understanding of the link between environmental conditions and physiological responses recorded in the otolith macrostructure (Priority 2) - Exploration and Development of new facilities in RDB-FishFrame 5.0 (Priority 1) - Support design based regional data collection programmes (Priority 1) PGCCDBS further developed a work plan for intersessional work to more widely test prototype Quality Assurance reports for fishery sampling with selected ICES stock as-sessment expert groups, for evaluation by WGCATCH in November 2014. The new ICES Working Group on Commercial Catches (WGCATCH) and the Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP) will take over many of the responsibilities of PGCCDBS. Cessation of PGCCDBS would lose many other important capabilities. A proposal was developed for a major revision of the PG to focus more on the end use of data. Renamed as the Planning Group on Data Needs for Assessment and Advice (PGDATA), the new group would: design a Quality Assurance Framework for assess-ment EGs to evaluate data quality and its impact on assessments, particularly within the benchmarking process, and test this in regional case studies; develop and test ana-lytical methods for identifying improvements in data quality, or collections of new data, that have the greatest impacts on the quality of advice; engage with end users (ICES EGs & SSGs, RCMs/RCGs; stakeholder Advisory Committees, STECF, European Commission and other RFMOs) to raise awareness of what types and resolution of management decisions (e.g. by fleet or area) can realistically be supported by present or proposed data collections; advise on objective methods to apply criteria (e.g. as pro-posed by STECF EWG 13-02 on Review of DC-MAP) for evaluating requests by end-users for new or amended data collections within the new DCF/DC-MAP; and plan workshops and studies focused on specific methodological development needs. The proposal will be submitted to ACOM and SCICOM for consideration.