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  1. #421
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    No western herring quota for Baltic fishermen

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/no-w...ltic-fishermen

    ICES has provided its advice to the European Commission (EC) to set the fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2019. Despite fishermen’s full compliance with the quotas proposed, a growing stock biomass and fishing pressure in line with scientific advice, the prospects for some stocks are not promising – including herring.

    Particularly in the western Baltic, Skagerrak and Kattegat areas, ICES is recommending a zero catch in 2019. Fishing industry body Europêche is requesting that the European Commission take into consideration not only the good progress of the stock during the last few years but also the massive socio-economic impact for the small-scale fishermen who rely on this stock.

    Since 2011, science shows a continuously growing biomass accounting for an overall increase of about 41%. However, ICES decided last year to revise the indicators of what they consider sustainable levels of biomass (increased from 110,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes). Therefore, what was considered a healthy stock now is considered to be in bad shape, leading to a clear reduction of catches or, in this case, the closure of the fishery.

    ‘We fail to understand on that scientific basis this extreme decision was taken,’ a Europêche spokesman said, commenting that the multiannual management plan (MAP) for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea adopted in 2016 was supposed to ensure the long-term sustainable management of these species. Europêche argues that despite the scrupulous compliance of our fishermen with the MAP harvesting the western herring stock at sustainable levels, science inexplicably recommends the closure of the fishery.

    ‘Closing a fishery is simply incorrect management when the stock and the abundance of a target species have been growing for years,’ said Peter Breckling of German fishermen’s organisation Deutscher Fischerei Verband (DFV).

    ‘Moreover, the scientific performance is not convincing when the target values are each year increasing by more than 30%. We therefore call on the Council of the EU to stick to the Baltic Sea plan and accordingly limit the quota reduction to 22%.’

    The Western Baltic spring spawning stock is found in the Skagerrak and Kattegat around Denmark and south of Norway. The European Union and Norway have jointly managed this shared stock since 2014. The herring fishery consists of many small-scale pelagic trawlers and it has one of lowest levels of by-catch recorded, at less than 1%.

    Source: Europêche

  2. #422
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    Fisheries Control: the Commission’s proposal for a revised regulation published

    https://www.eaa-europe.org/news/1254...published.html

  3. #423
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    Reduced limit for North Sea nephrops fishing explained

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/r...hing-explained

  4. #424
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    Mackerel claims making waves

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/mack...s-making-waves


    Jens Christian Holst claims that the mackerel stock in the North Atlantic is much larger than ICES and IMR are prepared to admit

    The mackerel population has exploded over the last decade

    Hook & Net carries an extensive interview with Jens Christian Holst

    Pumping herring on a purse seiner

    The controversy over the volume of mackerel in the North Atlantic and the reluctance of the marine science community to enter into a dialogue with figures outside the establishment has begun to spread as both the industry and the mainstream media have picked up on the issu

    The mackerel controversy, which hinges on the ICES evaluation of the mackerel stock as being just over 3 million tonnes while other estimates put it at as high as 40-50 million tonnes, emerged, with a report compiled by Jens Christian Holst.

    Fiskerforum reported on the publication of the report earlier this month, since when the UK broadsheet The Sunday Times ran with this last weekend and Norwegian trade newspaper Fiskeribladet has also carried a report, as has online fishing industry magazine Hook & Net, which carries an extensive interview with Jens Christian Holst, in which he explains the thinking behind his claims on both mackerel and Atlanto-Scandian herring.

    He estimates the size of the spawning stock of mackerel to be between 20 and 40 million tonnes, and points to the Institute of Marine Research’s own surveys that indicate that mackerel density has doubled while its distribution area has tripled over a ten-year period.

    'Something is terribly wrong', he said.

    ‘If we multiply the estimated spawning stock in 2008 of 2.80 million tonnes by six, as indicated by the trawl survey, we will get a spawning stock in 2018 of 16.80 million tonnes. This is a spawning stock significantly more in line with what the fishermen experience at sea, and the reality in the ocean in my view,’ he said.

    He is convinced that this large, hungry mackerel stock is the reason for food sources for most marine stocks and many seabird populations being heavily overgrazed, leading to stocks of salmon, sprat, sandeel and other species suffering - either from lack of feed or themselves becoming feed for the mackerel.

    ‘Today, a seven-year-old mackerel weighs half of its weight of ten years ago,’ he said, commenting that this is a clear sign of the overgrazing and lack of food.

    The full interview with Jens Christian Holst can be read in Hook & Net. https://main-hookandnetmag-hookandne...nt.pugpig.com/

    Source: Hook & Net

  5. #425
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    2019: North Sea mixed bag

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/2019...-sea-mixed-bag

    ICES recommendations for North Sea demersal fisheries in 2019 show good news for saithe, hake and plaice, but the situation for cod looks confused as spawning stocks appear weaker than had been predicted, and one fishermen’s association is wondering where more than 100,000 tonnes of cod has disappeared to.

    German industry association Deutscher Fischerei Verband has welcomed the recommended increases in plaice (9%), saithe (21%) and hake (27%) quotas while the advice for brill and turbot remains unchanged and ICES recommends reductions of 27% for haddock and 18% for sole and whiting.

    ‘But the situation for North Sea cod is confusing,’ the association points out.

    ‘Last year, ICES had predicted a spawning biomass of 216,000 tonnes for 2019. This prediction was reduced in several steps to the present stock estimate to just 116,000 tonnes. The fishing industry can not understand this ‘disappearance’ of 100,000 tonnes. There are doubts about the quality of the scientific stock assessment, because nature rarely makes such big leaps from year to year.’

    According to Deutscher Fischerei Verband, this can be attributed to a lower than expected catch rate of the 2013 and 2016 year classes during research. ‘On the other hand, there has been a correction of the amount of cod reaching maturity – the threshold at which juvenile fish are added to the spawning stock. It remains to be seen whether ICES will submit further corrections to its forecast. The ICES recommendation for 2019 now stands at a 47% reduction in total catch. For the current year, total catches have been set at 52.884 tonnes based on the ICES recommendation. Next year, according to the Council of Ministers, the current recommendation of a total catch of 25,302 tonnes should not be exceeded.’

    Deutscher Fischerei Verband makes the point that it is a small consolation to the fishing sector that it can not be held responsible for this development, after having been actively seeking long-term reconstruction measures for the stock and recommended quotas have ben adhered to.

    ‘Overall, the situation remains that overfishing in the North Sea is largely a thing of the past. Even if the fisheries sector constantly faces challenges with sustainably managed, naturally fluctuating stocks, there are clear signs of success in following sustainability principles,’ the association states.

    ‘In addition, we also notice that consumers increasingly appreciate wild caught fish. With stable prices, the sales problems of earlier years are also a thing of the past.’

    Source: Deutscher Fischerei Verband

  6. #426
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    Mackerel quota slash advice

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/mack...a-slash-advice


    ICES has recommended a 42% reduction in mackerel catches in 2019

    The decision by ICES to advice a 42% reduction in mackerel quotas for next year has triggered an angry response from the Norwegian industry. The wider industry is unable to accept that this is a reasonable reduction considering the extent of mackerel distribution across the North Atlantic.

    ICES advised a 550,948 mackerel quota for 2018, and now recommends a 318,403 tonne quota for 2019, a 42% cut compared to the 2018 recommendation.

    ‘This is one situation the industry is not able to accept,’ said Audun Maråk, director of Norwegian fishing vessel owners’ federation Fiskebåt.

    ‘Coastal states have to demand a new review of methodology behind the quota advice on mackerel. The sharp decline in the spawning stock has not been enough. Until the quality of advice and methodology is verified, coastal states should set quotas based on last year’s advice,’ he said.

    A letter from the Norwegian fishing industry to the Institute of Marine Research requests that the Institute reject the entire quota advice for 2019, as the uncertainty contained in it is too great.

    ICES bases its recommendations on a reduced spawning stock and falling recruitment since the stock is believed to have peaked in 2011. Fishing pressure has also been above recommended levels for some years.

    Other advice is for a reduction in fishing fro blue whiting from 1,387,872 tonnes in 2018 to 1,143,629 tonnes next year, a 24% increase in western horse mackerel to 145,237 tonnes in 2019 and an increase in deep sea redfish to 53,757 tonnes in 2019 and 55,860 tonnes by 2020.

    Source: Fiskebåt

  7. #427
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    Uncertainty over 2019 mackerel advice

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/unce...ackerel-advice

    The ICES perception of the stock is contrary to that witnessed by fishermen on the fishing grounds, according to Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, commenting on the news that ICES advises a cut in the 2019 mackerel catch.

    ‘There is considerable uncertainty over the accuracy of this year’s scientific assessment due to a number of factors, including concerns over how the assessment model uses data from tagged mackerel, which has pulled down the calculated Spawning Stock Biomass figure,’ Ian Gatt said.

    ‘Tagged mackerel data has only been used in the assessment process in recent times, and because its data shows a much higher biomass reduction, it is at odds from other data in the scientific process and throws doubt on the overall stock assessment. The ICES perception of the stock is also contrary to that witnessed by fishermen on the fishing grounds.’

    He commented that the assessment uses updated egg survey information from two years ago, and with new egg survey data available next year, the SPFA is hopeful this will ensure a more accurate assessment of the stock. Scientists specialising in mackerel will be forming a working group in the early part of next year to look at the issues with the tagging information and how the data is processed by the assessment model.

    ‘As a responsible industry, we are committed to ensuring a sustainable fishery, and we will be working with our partners in the EU, Norway and Faroes on how we can all work closely together to aid this process of ensuring the best possible science when assessing the stock. We are also committed to working with Scottish and UK governments and coastal states fisheries managers to find an acceptable solution to managing the 2019 fishery,’ Ian Gatt said.

    The SPFA’s chief scientific officer Dr Steven Mackinson added that the 2018 stock assessment for mackerel indicates that the spawning stock biomass is just below 2.57 million tonnes, the biomass considered to give maximum long term yield, but could be between 1.75 to 3.75 million tonnes.

    ‘ICES believe that low recruitments in 2015 and 2016 combined with high fishing pressure are important contributors to the declining trend, with the result that ICES advice for catches in 2019 is 42% less than the advised catch for 2018,’ he said.

    ‘ICES considers the assessment to be uncertain because of its sensitivity to scientific survey data that are relatively new and vary from year to year. This year in particular, there are significant concerns regarding how the assessment model uses data from tagged mackerel, which is leading to lower estimates of stock abundance due to an apparent low survival rate of the tagged mackerel.’

    He commented that another important uncertainty, which affects predictions of future stock size and catch, is that recruitment estimates have not been quantified for 2016 and 2017 due to the data being unavailable at the time of the assessment.

    Source: SPFA

  8. #428
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    Cuts and increases proposed for deep-sea TACs

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/cuts...-deep-sea-tacs


    An increase in the grenadier TAC has been proposed

    The Commission has proposed Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for a number of species for 2019 and 2020, in an effort to restore deep-sea fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Based on scientific advice, these new measures will enable stocks to gradually rebuild to sustainable levels.

    ‘Our proposal invites Member States to apply a precautionary approach to reverse the worrying situation of declining deep-sea fish stocks,’ said Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

    ‘It is in our shared interest to ensure that we have healthy fish stocks in deep-sea waters, for the sake of our fishermen and coastal communities, their livelihoods and for our marine ecosystems. Evidence also shows that sustainable fish stocks go hand in hand with a thriving industry.’

    The Commission's proposal is based on precautionary scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), and takes into account the Landings Obligation that comes into force on 1st January 2019.

    The Commission’s proposals reduce catch limits for seven species, including alfonsino and black scabbard, while fishing for orange roughy will remain at zero

    Positive scientific advice concerning red seabream around the Azores and roundnose grenadier in south-western waters, has allowed the European Commission to propose increased quotas for these species over the next two years.

    The proposal is also to cancel the TAC management system for greater forkbeard in the north-east Atlantic, roundnose grenadier in the North Sea and black scabbard in the North Sea and Skagerrak, as these are fished in small quantities which does not prevent them from reproducing.

    The scientific advice for deep-sea sharks was delivered on 5th October and is currently being analysed. The Commission will complete the current proposal in view of its adoption by EU Member States in the Council, currently scheduled for 19-20th November.

    Source: European Commission

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