The long-term objective of the Programme is self-sufficiency in research and management in partner countries, through the development and strengthening of their institution.
The Programme carries out field work through surveys with the research vessel 'Dr. Fridtjof Nansen' and produces basic information on resource abundance and distribution to satisfy immediate management needs.
The implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries by 2010, indicated by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002) as a necessary framework for achieving sustainable ecosystem use, is a new challenge worldwide. The basic principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries are embedded in the UN Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries and, for this reason, elements relevant to this new approach are included in the Nansen Programme.