The North-European fish stocks are assessed annually by ICES working groups. The results are evaluated twice annually in two meetings of the Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management (ACFM) at ICES. Based on the working group assessments, ACFM formulates an advice for the fisheries management and suggests a total allowable catch (TAC) which is based strictly on biological grounds. The summaries of the state of some selected stocks which are given here, are derived from the ACFM advice, formulated during the most recent October 1999 meeting. For many of the fish stocks the precautionary approach has been implemented now, and for most of them the target reference points have been defined. As a result, most of the stocks are outside safe biological limits or are harvested in disaccordance with the precautionary approach. Only 10 stocks of those evaluated during this autumn meeting were found to be within safe biological limits.