NWWAC and PelAC issue a joint recommendation to the European Commission for sprat in the English Channel (areas 7d and 7e) for 2023 NSAC Advice Sprat Box ICES has recommended a 48% cut in the 24/24 TAC for sprat Division 3.a and Subarea 4 but an increase in the TAC for divisions 7.d and 7.e

ICES has recommended a 48% cut in the 24/25 TAC for sprat Division 3.a and Subarea 4 but an increase in the TAC for divisions 7.d and 7.e

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has announced its recommended total allowable catch for Sprat in Division 3.a and Subarea 4 (Skagerrak, Kattegat, and North Sea) and in divisions 7.d and 7.e (English Channel) for 2024/25.

 

ICES advice on fishing opportunities in Division 3.a and Subarea 4 (Skagerrak, Kattegat, and North Sea)

ICES advises that when the MSY approach is applied, catches in the period from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 should be no more than 75,321 tonnes.

Theis is a 48% reduction in quota for the previous advice for the 2023/24 fishery.

ICES advice on fishing opportunities in Divisions 7.d and 7.e (English Channel)

ICES advises that when the MSY approach is applied, catches in the period from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 should be no more than 5,250 tonnes, an increase from the 2,437 tonne TAC recommended for 2023/24.

Norwegian Institute of Marine Research

Sprats are a species with a rather short life, rarely living more than two or three years. The population size varies a lot up and down in line with recruitment, and due to poor recruitment in 2023 there will now be a 48% decrease in the quota council for sea sprat, according to Cecilie Kvamme, marine researcher and population manager for sprat at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.

For sprats, the quota years run from July to June of the following year. For the quota year between July 2023 and June 2024 in Division 3.a and Subarea 4, the quota was set at 143,598 tonnes. For the quota year from July 2024 to June 2025, ICES recommends a quota of 75,321 tonnes.

“Since it is a short-lived stock, the size of the stock varies up and down in line with recruitment. So the size of the stock can vary quite a bit from year to year,” says Kvamme.

With a total quota of 75,321 tonnes, Norway will receive a quota of 7,532 tonnes (10 per cent).

Prerequisite: No more fishing this season

For the current quota year, approximately 67 percent of the quota has been fished so far – most of it by Danish fishermen. But since there tends to be little fishing for sprat towards the end of the quota year, the researchers do not believe that much more is fished than this.

“The new council assumes that you do not fish the rest of this quota,” says Kvamme.

The quota advice comes from an assessment of the current state of the stock (from a model) and a prediction of the coming quota year, which includes catch data from the fisheries, an acoustic trawl trip in the summer and two bottom trawl trips.

 

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