ICES Advice 2021 Striped Red Mullet

ICES has released advice on fish stocks in relation to Red Striped Mullet quotas in 2021

The ICES has issued stock advice on Striped Red Mullet (Mullus surmuletus) in subareas 6 and 8, and in divisions 7.a–c, 7.e–k, and 9.a (North Sea, Bay of Biscay, southern Celtic Seas, and Atlantic Iberian waters) for 2021.

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, landings should be no more than 1280 tonnes in each of the years 2021, 2022, and 2023. ICES cannot quantify the corresponding catches. 

The ICES framework for category 5 stocks was applied (ICES, 2012). For stocks without information on abundance or exploitation, ICES considers that a precautionary reduction of catches should be implemented unless supporting information clearly indicates that the current level of exploitation is appropriate for the stock. 

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The precautionary buffer was last applied in 2017. Currently there is no information on stock biomass or exploitation levels; therefore, the precautionary buffer is applied again this year. Discarding is known to take place, but could not be fully quantified.

Due to COVID-19 disruption, the previous advice for 2018-2020 was applied.

Previous ICES advice also advised that a precautionary approach was  applied, with landings to be no more than 1600 tonnes in each of the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, although 1855 tonnes was estimated to have been landed in 2019.

Regular biological sampling of striped red mullet catches is expected to continue under the EU Data Collection Framework; however, the frequency is currently insufficient to calculate catch-at-age outside the Bay of Biscay (divisions 8.a–b) and divisions 7.e–h.

Discarding is estimated to be non-negligible for this stock. For 2016 the (incomplete) estimate of discards is 392 t in 2018.

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Brian J McMullin Solicitors
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