Azores ecoregion – Fisheries overview
The majority of the fisheries
in the Azores ecoregion are targeted by Azorean vessels. Only a small
proportion of catch is taken by surface longliners from mainland Portugal and
Spain targeting swordfish and blue shark. The fisheries are classified as small
scale, because around 60% of the vessels are less than nine metres in length
and target many different species. The most important targets are tuna and
tuna-like species, deep-water demersal species, and small pelagic species. The
most important fishing methods are handline and bottom longline, followed by
pole and line (bait boats). Surface longline is also used but mainly by
non-regional vessels that operate outside a 100 nautical mile area. The Azores
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is recognized as a no-take area for nets
(including a trawl ban) excluding a few small coastal gillnets and
purse-seiners for small pelagics.
Fisheries in the ecoregion are managed under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), with some fisheries managed by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), and national Portugal and regional Azores governments.
The status of the 12 stocks in this ecoregion assessed by ICES remain unknown. These stocks are considered as data limited and are managed following the precautionary approach (category 3–5 stocks).
Is supplemented by
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee