ICES Advice 2015

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Science Advice for Main Stocks – Briefing at Marine Lab
1 June 2014

Advice has been drafted on the basis of one of the following (in order);

1. Management Plan
2. MSY (or transition to MSY)
3. Precautionary Approach
4. Implement Data-Limited Stocks procedure.

In addition to the headline advice presented by ICES, they also produce an outlook table which presents several different scenarios which can serve as an aid to managers. North Sea Summary Species catch landings % change TAC Basis Cod 35,486 26,713 -20 Man Plan Haddock 54,580 48,176 +8 MSY Approach Whiting(IV&VIId) 28,317 17,190 -15 Man Plan Saithe 80,097 72,854 -15 Man Plan Plaice 179,301 128,376 +15 Man Plan Sole N/A 10,973 -8 Man Plan Herring N/A 461,664* -9* 2008Man Plan Hake (northern) 78,457 -4 MSY Approach Nephrops F. Unit Landings %change TAC Basis Fladen 10,759 +20 MSY Forth 1,769 +25 MSY Moray Firth 1,185 +60 MSY Farn Deeps 983 -4 MSY Noup 32 -36 Data-Limited Devil’s Hole 383 -36 DLS Botney Gut 1,043 +4.3 DLS Horn’s Reef 1,136 +2.4 DLS Norway Deeps 625 -12 DLS Others 409 -33 DLS North Sea (IV) 18,324 +12 *See comments relating to Herring –2014 Management Plan (-5% TAC Change) Additional Comments: Cod – Although F is still going down and SSB still going up, the picture in relation to reference points has not changed due to downscaling in SSB (apparently overestimated previously). Outlook Table Options Include: Landings SSB 2016 SSB – % Change % TAC Change 26,713 109,100 +35 -20 33,391 101,700 +26 0 36,730 98,200 +22 +10 Haddock – Following a Benchmark this year, the stock is now assessed as a Northern Shelf Stock (III, IV & VIa). Initial thoughts from the Benchmark were that the management allocation to each Division be based on a survey based indication of distribution. The advice drafting group accepted that assessment by combined area was appropriate but has avoided offering advice on the allocation, noting that there were different options. The Advice Drafting Group indicated that options require further investigation and should be done with stakeholders. Solution for allocation should take into account the initial reasons for assessing the stock as one and should consider consequences of inappropriate allocation. NB: Latest advice sheet text has been altered and no longer refers to stakeholders. Need to press Marine Scotland on allocation across areas and ensure split is based on sound principles, taking account of reasons for assessment as one stock. Benchmark advice for split: • North Sea = 78.68% • Skaggerak = 1.84% • West of Scotland = 19.47% Whiting – Stock size more driven by natural mortality than fishing. The revised natural mortality estimates in 2012 led to a significant revision of the perception of the stock. Allocation = 13,678T for IV and 3517 for VIId. Saithe – Assessed as Northern Stock (IIIa, IV & VI). Allocation: • Division IV & IIIa 66,006T • Division VI 6,848T Herring – 429,797 for the A Fleet (Directed fisheries in the North Sea. By-catches in the Norwegian industrial fisheries are included). The science advice is based on the 2008 Management Plan. However, a new (2014) EU/Norway Management Plan is under evaluation by ICES, and, if accepted will form the basis of ICES advice for 2015 (477,885 T, equating to a 5% reduction). Nephrops – Appears to be growing concerns that management at FU level may not be effective. Comments on Fladen included; Should the catch in this FU be lower than advised, the difference should not be transferred to other FU’s.   West of Scotland Summary Species catch landings % change TAC Basis Cod No directed fishery. Bycatch and discards to be minimized. 0 MSY & PA Haddock Assessed as Northern Shelf Stock Whiting No directed fishery & bycatch to be minimized. 0 Precautionary Megrim IV / VI 5950 0 MSY Cod – Rockall 70 0 DLS Haddock – Roc 4310 2930 +142 MSY Whiting – Roc 11 – 0 DLS Megrim Roc Advice in Autumn Anglerfish Advice in Autumn Herring VIa North 22,690 -19 Man Plan VIa South & VIIb,c Zero catch 0 Precautionary VIIa South & VIIg-k 15,140 -32 MSY VIIa North (Irish Sea) 4,854 -8 MSY Nephrops Advice in Autumn ANG VII / VIII 37,458 0 DLS Additional Comments: Cod – No new data available to change the perception of the stock from advice given in 2013. Considering low SSB and low recruitment, it has not been possible to identify any non-zero catch option that would be compatible with the MSY or precautionary approach. The contribution of seal predation to total cod mortality is likely to be significant and this may impair the ability of the cod stock to recover. Haddock – following the Benchmark this year, West of Scotland is now assessed along with North Sea and Skaggerak. Although an 8% increase in catches from the combined area, at this stage we are unaware of the allocation to West of Scotland. Whiting – F at record low, SSB increasing but remains very low compared to historic estimates. Text relating to effective technical measures should be implemented to reduce discards in the TR2 fleet was removed from advice sheet. Megrim – Biennial advice still valid. Cod / Rockall – Biennial advice still valid. Haddock / Rockall – With stock increasing and dependent on incoming year-classes, FMSY of 0.3 was considered inappropriate, reduced to 0.2. Generally felt that the outcomes from the MSY approach were not really precautionary. Significant increase in landings estimated. Further management measures may be required to reduce discard, catches of small haddock and to protect incoming recruitment. Herring VIa North – F fluctuated around FMSY recently and recruitment lower than historic period. SSB at low levels compared with 20 years ago. Herring VIa South + – All approaches showed a depleted stock. Industry Management Plan evaluated by ICES but still needs to address trans-boundary issues. Herring VIIa South & VIIg-k – SSB has fallen to around MSYTrigger. MSY approach will result in SSB being below MSYTrigger in 2015. Angler VII / VIIIa, b – Advice for this stock was previously based on combined species. However, the DLS approach implied an increase on catches but when considered at species level, this seemed inappropriate. Both stocks assessed separately (based on historic split of catches) and resulting advice for same as last year.