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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

  9. #429
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    Proposals for 2019 TACs and quotas, ahead of December Council

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/prop...cember-council

    Ahead of this year’s December Council, the European Commission has laid out its proposals for 2019 TACs and quotas for Atlantic and North Sea fisheries, which for the first time will come under a full Landings Obligation that enters into force on 1st January 2019.

    The European Commission has set out proposals for 89 TACs, of which 62 are either increased or unchanged, while there are proposals for 22 to be reduced and for five of these to be set at zero.

    ‘Five new by-catch TACs have been introduced for stocks for which scientists advise zero catch in 2019. These low-level TACs are intended to prevent the closure of mixed whitefish fisheries that catch these stocks as unavoidable by-catch in their haul and are subject to a number of conditions, including full catch documentation,’ the Commission states, adding that fifteen more TACs will be proposed at a later stage, while five are delegated to an individual Member State.

    According to the European Commission, there are several high-value stocks that are not within the current proposals, which rules out a monetary comparison against 2018, but the Commission estimates that the overall value of the 2018 TACs for the Baltic, North Sea and Atlantic and including accompanying species, was around €5.3 billion, representing €1.4 billion in profits.

    Landing Obligation

    As of 1st January 2019 the landing obligation will fully apply to all commercial catches.

    This is described as a turning point for European fisheries as each and every fish caught will have to be landed and accounted for.

    ‘Discarding will not be allowed any more. The landing obligation has been enforced in the Baltic Sea since 1st January 2015 and since 1st January 2016 it has been in place for certain demersal species in the North Sea and the Atlantic,’ the Commission states.

    ‘The calculation of fishing quotas (TACs) for 2019 reflects this change: the previously discarded or unwanted catches are included in the total TAC. From this total TAC figure, a deduction can apply if the fishery concerned benefits from exemptions under a discard plan.

    Such exemptions include de minimis exemptions whereby percentages of discards are still allowed because it is very difficult to increase selectivity in the specific fishery, as established by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) analysis. Another exemption is based on the high survivability rate of certain species incidentally caught.

    Chokes

    The Commisson states that besides measures to promote increased selectivity, there are a number of tools available to Member States to implement the landing obligation and avoid choking, such as inter-species and inter-area flexibilities or quota swaps. Multiannual management plans are also important as they take into account the specificities of regional fisheries and allow the setting of TACs within ranges.

    ‘In order to avoid choke situations with major economic consequences, while reducing the fishing pressure on fragile stocks, the Commission has proposed in five cases a combination of zero TACs for targeted fisheries and limited by-catch TACs for the same stocks for 2019.The stocks concerned are cod in West of Scotland and cod in the Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay/Iberian Waters, whiting in the West of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, and plaice in the southern Celtic Sea and southwest of Ireland. The by-catch TACs are proposed at a low level to reduce the fishing pressure on the stocks and create an incentive to increase selectivity.’

    Bass

    For northern sea bass, the Commission is proposing a set of measures, expressed in catch limits (not TACs), following the latest scientific advice. The proposed limit is set at 1789 tonnes and higher catches are proposed for hook-and-line fisheries with 7 tonnes/vessel (5 tonnes/vessel in 2018). The Commission is extending the bag limit for recreational fisheries to one fish/day for seven months, while such bag limit was only available for three months in 2018.

    Source: European Commission

  10. #430
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    Compromises on deep sea stocks

    http://fiskerforum.dk/en/news/b/comp...eep-sea-stocks

    The European Commission has put forward proposals to follow precautionary advice for virtually all deep sea stocks, and Commissioner Karmenu Vella commented that there is frequently incomplete knowledge on the state of these vulnerable stocks.

    ‘We have adopted important decisions on deep sea stocks. These are very vulnerable species that need decades to grow and reproduce. But we know one thing for certain; many of these stocks have been overfished for years’ he said.

    ‘I am satisfied that Council has followed these proposals for the large majority of stocks.’

    This has made it possible to increase fishing opportunities in some cases, in line with scientific advice, such as for red sea bream in area 10. But fishing pressure has been reduced for all stocks for which the science recommended a reduction – such as for red sea bream in areas 6-8.

    ‘Member States made additional commitments to adopt national measures to protect juveniles,’ Kermenu Vella added.

    ‘Decisions today will also help our industry to avoid choke situations, such as where they would otherwise have to stop fishing for one stock because they ran out of quota for another. This is very important because it shows that solutions can be found to the landing obligation, which will enter into force on 1st January next year,’ he said.

    ‘These decisions will allow all EU fleets fishing deep sea stocks to remain profitable in 2019. This is particularly good news for some of the artisanal and small-scale fisheries that fish for deep sea species. I think this gives us a solid basis from which to progress further towards environmental, economic and social sustainability.’

    EMFF

    Karmenu Vella also said that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund has bene under discussion, commenting that after four and a half years of its existence, only 13% of the Fund has been implemented.

    ‘I have informed Ministers that there is a clear risk of losing part of the funds that could otherwise benefit our fishermen, local communities or scientists. In fact, we are now mid-November and more than €400 million is at risk of being lost at the end of the year,’ he said.

    ‘I have asked them to take all possible measures to accelerate the implementation of the projects on the ground and offered them the full support of the Commission.’

    Source: European Commission

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