Arctic Fisheries Working Group (AFWG)
Assessments run at AFWG provide the scientific basis for the management of cod, haddock, saithe, redfish, Greenland halibut, and capelin in subareas 1 and 2. Taking the catch values provided by the Norwegian fisheries ministry for Norwegian catches and raising the total landed value to the total catches gives an approximate nominal first-hand landed value for the combined AFWG stocks of ca. 20 billion NOK or ca. 2 billion EUR (2018 estimates). NEA cod and coastal cod were benchmarked in 2021. For NEA cod this resulted in updates to the existing SAM assessment model. For coastal cod, the stock has been split into two components. North of 67°N the coastal cod is now assessed with a SAM assessment model, while between 62°N and 67°N the coastal cod is assessed using a category 3 approach based on a CPUE time-series. AFWG is currently working towards running a benchmark (and subsequent HCR evaluation) for Greenland halibut, which is planned for 2022–2023.
The key feature driving the stock assessments this year was that several key surveys (the ecosystem survey, winter survey, and the Lofoten survey) all came in with low totals for the main AFWG stocks. This has led to downward revisions of many of the stocks described here. Several data errors were discovered following the AFWG meeting in April 2021. These had very minor impacts on the NEA cod and haddock assessments (which are not updated in this report), but revised the quota for northern coastal cod from an initial estimate of zero catch to 7865 t (version in this report based on the corrected data).
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee