EU request on special management measures for skates and rays
ICES concludes that current scientific information provides some broad insights, but these are not sufficient to answer the initial EC request (Special request from the European Commission, part 1 – Annex 1) as it is formulated. Given regional differences in skate assemblages and fisheries, management measures would best be developed on a case-by-case basis with the participation of the fishing industry. ICES could, upon request, set up a process that includes scientists and stakeholders, outlining a scientific study that would take into account: (1) specific spatial and temporal closure options and other technical measures, (2) mixed-fisheries issues, (3) impacts of fleet behavior, (4) stakeholder input, (5) the biology and behaviour of the relevant skates and rays in the area, and (6) the additional scientific information required to inform such a request.
ICES provided the Commission with a short literature review in July 2013 in response to the initial EC request. This review, incorporated in the present document, demonstrates the scope of the issues involved and consolidates the available scientific knowledge on the subject. However, to fully answer the request, a specific study would be required, and in some instances, improved data collection may also be required. ICES could prioritize the data required and specific elements of such a study, if requested. Answering the request would benefit most from developing the work in collaboration with the RACs. ICES could potentially host a joint ICES–RAC meeting to develop management measures for a particular case study.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee