Report of the Scallop Assessment Working Group (WGScallop) ,10-12 October 2018 York, UK

Type Expertise
Date 2018
Language English
Ref. ICES CM 2018/EPDSG:13
Other localization
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Foucher EricORCID, Fifas Spyros
Sponsor CIEM

The ICES Scallop Assessment Working Group (WGScallop) met in Aberdeen (2016), Belfast (2017) and York (2018) with an average of 16 participants from 8 countries. The main terms of reference for the working group were to update and provide data and exchange knowledge on the various scallop fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic region. This included the compilation of available scallop fisheries data and the production of maps to better identify stock boundaries and inform spatial management. The WG also considered the various assessments for scallop stocks and reviewed the recent developments in the English Channel. The scallop stocks in the Baie ds Seine have experienced extremely large recruitment events over the past few years and the group has discussed the fisheries management measures in this region. Over the last few years, the English Channel has also seen the re-introduction of a scallop data collection programme, a cooperative industry survey and stock assessment. The WG reviewed the approaches and made recommendations on the methodologies which were accepted and included in the most recent assessment. A main focus of the group has been understanding the scallop ecosystem and the impacts of fishing. A number of work areas have been delivered which examined marine spatial planning and potential benefits of seasonal closures, Marine Protected Area’s and European marine sites as conservation zones and possible recruitment supply areas for scallop populations. A number of projects have recently been established through the EU Interreg programme and the WG is keen to see how these develop over the next few years. The WG has made significant progress in terms of establishing an international scientific forum where resources, knowledge, experience and insights can be exchanged. This is evident in the recent advances in the use of use of camera systems to complement existing survey work. Image surveys are expanding due to information exchange; presently they are being conducted in Canada, Iceland and the United States; further cameras are increasingly being used to examine dredge performance and habitat and are used or being trialled in various UK surveys. The overall objective of the group continues to be providing scientific advice on scallops and defining a common approach to the assessment of scallop stocks. In 2018, for the first time all stocks were assessed using an independent fisheries survey. The WG understands there are still limitations and uncertainties surrounding future funding sources for surveys and are also considering fishery dependent indicators and their possible uses to inform stock status. The growing need for global assessment and advice of scallops is becoming increasing apparent and the group plans to use the Baie Des Seines/English Channel and the Irish Sea/Isle of Man fisheries as case studies to explore possible management frameworks and to continue with the progress of assessments for all scallop stocks.

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