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

The NWWAC and PelAC have issued a joint recommendation approving new measures for sprat fishing in English Channel (areas 7d and 7e)

Advisory Councils Recommend New Measures for Sprat Fishing in the English Channel

The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) and the Pelagic Advisory Council (PelAC) have jointly proposed recommendations for the management of sprat stocks in the English Channel, particularly in areas 7d and 7e.

The recommendations follow the latest advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which advises limiting sprat catches to 5,250 tonnes from July 2024 to June 2025 to ensure sustainability.

The councils emphasise the critical role of sprat as a forage fish within the ecosystem and highlight the need for ecosystem-based management approaches. They support ongoing genetic stock-identification projects to better understand sprat populations and suggest developing a comprehensive management strategy once stock boundaries are clarified.

The advisory councils also call for the urgent prioritisation of stock identification work to improve the scientific basis for future ICES advice on sprat. They advocate for spatial measures to be evaluated for their impact on sprat and other species, aiming for more effective and sustainable management of the fishery.

Emiel Brouckaert, Chairman of NWWAC, and Sean O’Donoghue, Chairman of PelAC, have addressed these recommendations to Ms. Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission, urging immediate action to safeguard the future of sprat stocks in the region.

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