The ICES Scallop Assessment working group (WGScallop) discusses the key issues surrounding scallop species and is working towards the development and improvement of appropriate stock assessment methods. The WG shares expertise on survey methodologies, advances in technol-ogy and recent studies on scallop species.
In this report, the WG summarises data submitted via the 2020 data call, provides an update on the various data requirements for stock assessments; fisheries catch data (landings and effort), surveys, and studies of the biology of the various scallop species. The WG intends to have an annual data call and will provide detailed feedback to the Secretariat on issues to be resolved prior to the next data call. Progress with annual scientific and industry led surveys were re-viewed across the ICES areas and the various data requirements for stock assessments were dis-cussed in detail by the group.
Exploratory analyses using surplus production models (with and without effort) were run for king scallop in the north Irish Sea. Work towards a full stock synthesis assessment will continue to be progressed for next year. A number of institutes collect data on queen scallops during either species specific surveys or as bycatch in surveys targeted at other species (king scallops and demersal gadoids). An intersessional subgroup was established to facilitate advances on queen scallop stock assessments and an update will be provided at the next WGScallop meeting.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to scallops surveys. Staff ex-change on surveys planned for 2020 were not possible due to restrictions or cancellations but will be attempted again in 2021. The WG agreed that a second Workshop on Scallop Aging (WKSA2) will take place in 2021.