Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE)

Type Article
Date 2021
Language English
Author(s) Ices
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Drogou Mickael, Robert MarianneORCID
Source ICES Scientific Reports/Rapports scientifiques du CIEM. (2618-1371) (ICES), 2021 , Vol. 2 , N. 40 , P. 1461p.

The Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE) performs stock assessments on de-mersal stocks in Rockall, West of Scotland, Irish Sea, West of Ireland, Western English Channel, Bristol Channel, Celtic Sea and Southwest of Ireland. In this report, the group provides updated fisheries data and assessments for twelve Nephrops stocks, five sole and plaice stocks, four cod and whiting stocks, three haddock stocks, two each of megrim and seabass, one anglerfish, one saithe and one pollack stock. For most of the stocks advice is drafted in May, but for Nephrops, anglerfish and Rockall megrim it is not issued until autumn to take account of the 2020 survey information. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most up to date survey information could not be included for anglerfish and Rockall megrim. This year advice for the Celtic Sea gadoids (cod.27.7e–k, had.27.7b–k and whg.27.7b–ce-k) was delayed until autumn to due to ex-tension of the Benchmark workshop on Celtic Sea stocks (WKCELTIC) to allow evaluation of the French data processing and resubmission of a full dataseries. For a number of other stocks (ple.27.7h–k, whg.27.6b and whg.27.7a,), no new advice was provided this year. Last year advice for pok.27.7–10 was requested for the first time, and was postponed until 2021 after a benchmark workshop. Since the last Working Group meeting, seven stocks have gone through a benchmark procedure; cod.27.6a, whg.27.6a, sol.27.7h–k, sol.27.7fg, cod.27.7e–k, had.27.7b–k and whg.27.7b–ce–k, the results of which were presented to the group. In light of the disruptions caused by COVID-19 in 2020, abbreviated advice sheets were drafted for the majority of stocks, except for the stocks that went through a benchmark. Analytical assessments using age-struc-tured models were conducted for 11 of the 24 demersal fish stocks. A surplus-production model and a Depletion-Corrected Average Catch model, without age or length structure, was used to assess lez.27.4a6a and pol.27.67 respectively. The state of the eleven fish stocks for which no an-alytical assessment could be performed was inferred from examination of catch/landings data or the use of a survey index or biomass index as indicator of stock development. UWTV survey based assessments were conducted for ten of the twelve Nephrops stocks. Overall the stock status across the ecoregion is very similar to that presented last year. Of the 36 stocks assessed this year, 19 were fished below FMSY, six stocks were fished above FMSY and eleven stocks had unknown status relative to FMSY; 15 were above MSY Btrigger, and seven were below MSY Btrigger, with 14 unknown relative to Btrigger.

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