The North European fish stocks are assessed annually by ICES working groups. The results are evaluated biannually in two meetings of the Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management (ACFM) at ICES. Based on the working group assessments, ACFM formulates an advice for 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 Oktober 1998 meeting. For many of the fish stocks the precautionary approach is still in the process of implementation, however for most of them the management and target reference points have been fully defined by now.