Report of the Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian waters Ecoregion (WGBIE). 13-19 May 2016, ICES HQ, Copenhagen, Denmark
|Contributor(s)||Drogou Mickael, Fifas Spyros, Lissardy Muriel, Villanueva Ching-Maria|
|Abstract||The ICES Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberic waters Ecoregion (WGBIE) met in Copenhagen, Denmark during 13–14 May 2016. There were 22 stocks in its remit distributed from ICES Divisions 3.a–4.a though mostly distributed in Sub Areas 7, 8 and 9. There were 21 participants, some of whom joined the meeting re-motely. The group was tasked with conducting assessments of stock status for 22 stocks using analytical, forecast methods or trends indicators to provide catch forecasts for eight stocks and provide a first draft of the ICES advice for 2016 for fourteen stocks. For the remaining stocks, the group had to update catch information and indices of abundance where needed. Depending on the result of this update, namely if it would change the perception of the stock, the working group drafted new advice.
Analytical assessments using age-structured models were conducted for the northern and southern stocks of megrim and the Bay of Biscay sole. The two hake stocks and one southern stock of anglerfish were assessed using models that allow the use of only length-structured data (no age data). A surplus-production model, without age or length structure, was used to assess the second southern stocks of anglerfish. No ana-lytical assessments have been provided for the northern stocks of anglerfish after 2006. This is mostly due to ageing problems and to an increase in discards in recent years, for which there is no reliable data at the stock level. The state of stocks for which no analytical assessment could be performed was inferred from examination of commer-cial LPUE or CPUE data and from survey information.
Three nephrops stocks from the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian waters are scheduled for benchmark assessments in October 2016. The WGBIE meeting spent some time review-ing the progress towards the benchmark (see Annex 6) together with longer term benchmarks (2017 and after, see section 1.) for sea bass in the Bay of Biscay, all an-glerfish and hake stocks assessed by the WG. For the northern megrim stock, the sched-ule an inter-benchmark meeting was completed successfully and the group reviewed the outcome and accepted the category 1 update assessment.
A recurrent issue significantly constrained the group’s ability to address the terms of reference this year. Despite an ICES data call with a deadline of six weeks before the meeting, data for several stocks were resubmitted during the meeting which lead to increased workloads during the working group, as in that case, the assessments could not be carried out in National Laboratories prior to the meeting as mentioned in the ToRs. This is an important matter of concerns for the group members.
Section 1 of the report presents a summary by stock and discusses general issues. Sec-tion 2 provides descriptions of the relevant fishing fleets and surveys used in the as-sessment of the stocks. Sections 3–18 contains the single stock assessments.