The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries in Norway has issued regulation on cod, haddock and pollack pollock north of 62 degrees north for 2023 Norwegian Cod Advice 2024 rising sea temperatures celtic

The Director-General of DG MARE has replied to a request from NWWAC regarding the inclusion of rising sea temperatures effects on Celtic Sea cod

The Director-General of DG MARE, Charlina Vitcheva has informed the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) that until ICES changes and includes rising sea temperatures in its assessments, the EU will continue following the present advice from ICES.

The Director-General was replying to advice from the Advisory Council which recommended including the problem of rising sea temperatures in the assessment of Celtic Sea cod.

The AC stated in its advice that the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), by not taking into account rising sea temperatures, is skewing the understanding of the future viability of cod fisheries in the Celtic Seas.

In their recommendation, the NWWAC referred that temperatures in the Celtic Sea was affecting cod reproduction, and cod spawning frequency has become unpredictable.

The also suggested the Director-General to consider research in the North Sea and Irish Sea that showed cod spawning was taking place earlier in the year stating, “Earlier spawning has the potential to create a mismatch with larval prey, and as the mismatch index increases, the recruitment rates will decrease through food limitation impacting survival. Therefore, temperature dependency of spawning times has the potential for decreasing productivity as waters warm.”
Based on this research, the NWWAC recommended that DG MARE request that ICES in its assessment would consider how ocean warming is affecting cod survivability in the Celtic Sea.

In her reply to the Advisory Council, Charlina Vitcheva said she appreciated the AC’s concerns and that “we are all concerned” about the implications of climate change on the oceans, “as we are already witnessing alarming in creases in ocean temperatures.”

She continued:

“The impacts on particular stocks are often unpredictable and difficult to quantify. You point to recent publications that provide clear evidence of the consequences for cod in the Northeast Atlantic. A growing body of evidence also highlights the potential impacts of climate change on the distributional footprint of stocks in the Northeast Atlantic, WKFISHDISH and WKFISHDISH2. Changes in fish distribution as well as changes in stock productivity presents management challenges that will also need consideration.

“As with all stocks, both productivity and sustainability are influenced by fishing pressure and wider environmental factors. Disentangling these is difficult. ICES notes that “forecasting the consequences of climate change for recruitment and overall productivity of commercially targeted fish stocks remains challenging. To date, there are no examples of where environmental drivers are used to routinely forecast recruitment [1].”

“While I acknowledge that the environmental elements affecting Celtic Sea cod may well place negative pressure on stock productivity, the stock has also been subject to excessive fishing pressure for many years. We must provide as much support as possible to aid cod recovery and therefore we should continue in our efforts to reduce catches as much as possible. Regarding the inclusion of climate change considerations in scientific advice on fishing opportunities, I note that ICES has started to question how the influence of climate change on aquaculture, fisheries, and ecosystems should be accounted for in ICES advice (WKCLIMAD). This is an important step, which has potential implications for fisheries management and our decision making. DG MARE will follow these developments closely.

Once more, thank you and members of the NWWAC for your active involvement and views regarding fisheries management issues.”

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