In the European Union, fisheries managers rely on the expertise of scientists to provide scientific advice for the fisheries management process. Yet the boundary between science and policy is not only imprecise, but one that is also socially constructed. Negotiations take place between two main groups, managers and scientists, surrounding the roles and expectations each has towards the other. Pressure is placed upon each group to conform to the role expectations of the other. Taking note of reform attempts of the European fisheries management system which are already under way, we suggest that reform must provide for effective two-way communication between scientists and managers, which recognises their different needs and role identities, and focuses on both areas of conflict and areas of common interest, in order that the system better meets the requirements of each party, ultimately aiding in the shared goal of the sustainable use of fisheries resources.