The ICES has released its advice for pelagic fishing opportunities in 2022 with all but one species being recommended for cuts

The ICES has released its advice for pelagic fishing opportunities in 2022 with all but one species being recommended for cuts

The recommended total allowable catches for pelagic stocks in the Northeast Atlantic have been announced by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) with all but one species being recommended for cuts in 2022. 

Blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) in subareas 1–9, 12, and 14 (Northeast Atlantic and adjacent waters) 

ICES advises that when the long-term management strategy agreed by the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Norway is applied, catches in 2022 should be no more than 752 736 tonnes. 

This signifies a decrease of 19% from the agreed quota in 2021.  

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The stock is in good biological condition and the spawning stock is predicted to be 3.4 million tonnes in 2022. The sum of national quotas indicates that the catch in 2021 will be 1.24 million tonnes. This corresponds to a fish mortality of 0.51, which is above F MSY  (0.32). For blue whiting, the Fpa has been revised from 0.53 to 0.32 and the fishing pressure is therefore also above the precautionary level. If the advice is followed, it is expected that the population will grow in the coming years due to better recruitment. 

Read more here. 

Horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) in Subarea 8 and divisions 2.a, 4.a, 5.b, 6.a, 7.a–c, and 7.e–k (Northeast Atlantic)  

ICES advises that when the MSY approach is applied, catches in 2022 should be no more than 71 138 tonnes, down 13 per cent from the Council in 2021.  

The stock is just above B glue  and it is recommended that fishing pressure be reduced slightly. 

Read more here. 

Horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) in divisions 3.a, 4.b–c, and 7.d (Skagerrak and Kattegat, southern and central North Sea, eastern English Channel)  

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, catches should be no more than 8969 tonnes in each of the years 2022 and 2023. This is a decrease of 12.6 per cent compared to the quota for 2021. 

Fishing pressure on the stock is above the FMSY proxy. No reference point has been defined for the stock size, but the relative index is at a low level. 

Read more here. 

Herring (Clupea harengus) in Subarea 4 and divisions 3.a and 7.d, autumn spawners (North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat, eastern English Channel)  

ICES advises that when the MSY approach is applied, catches in 2022 should be no more than 532 183 tonnes in 2022, of which direct fishing (A-fleet) amounts to 523,438 tonnes, which is up 47 per cent from the agreed quota in 2021. 

Fishing pressure on the stock is below FMSY, Fpa, and Flim; and the spawning-stock size is above MSY Btrigger, Bpa, and Blim. 

According to the MSY approach, ICES recommends a total catch of up to 532,183 tonnes  The stock has been through a minimum method revision this spring / summer to adopt new estimates of natural mortality. ICES believes that changes made in connection with this have led to an improved stock model.  

The results show a weaker negative trend in the spawning stock than what previous stock assessments have shown, which in turn leads to a slight upward adjustment of the spawning stock estimate for recent years. Given that the advice is followed, the spawning stock is predicted to be 1.28 million tonnes in 2022 and above the action point MSY B triggers  1,232,828 tonnes. All reference points have been revised in connection with the minimum method revision and the MSY B trigger  has been adjusted down from 1,400,000 tonnes. The reference point for the recommended fishing pressure Fmsy has been adjusted upwards from 0.26 to 0.31. These changes in the reference points constitute the most important reason for the increase in the quota council. The spawning stock is still in a negative trend due to weak recruitment, but the fishing pressure is at a moderate level. 

Read more here. 

Herring (Clupea harengus) in subareas 1, 2, and 5, and in divisions 4.a and 14.a, Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Northeast Atlantic and Arctic Ocean)  

ICES advises that when the long-term management strategy agreed by the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, and the Russian Federation is applied, catches in 2022 should be no more than 598 588 tonnes, down 8% from the agreed quota for 2021. 

Fishing pressure on the stock is above FMSY and Fpa but below Flim; spawning-stock size is above MSY Btrigger, Bpa, and Blim. 

The stock is in good biological condition, and it is the strong 2016-year class that contributes most to the stock. By summing up the national quotas, ICES calculates that approx. 881,000 tonnes will be caught in 2021, which corresponds to a fish mortality of 0.17. This is above Fmsy at 0.157. 

In 2019, ICES introduced new guidelines for calculating the precautionary reference point Fpa for fishing pressure, so that there is agreement between Fpa and what ICES classifies as sustainable in the evaluations of harvesting rules (Fp05). This year, ICES has updated the reference points for some stocks so that they are in line with the guidelines and has revised Fpa from 0.227 to 0.157 for NVG herring. This means that ICES also classifies the current fishing pressure above the precautionary level. The spawning stock is estimated to have had its lowest point in 2020 (3.4 million tonnes), with a slight increase to 2021 and 2022, but due to weaker recruitment, the stock is expected to fall back in 2023.   

Read more here. 

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ICES releases advice for pelagic fishing opportunities in 2022

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