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EU request to ICES on the effect of increased quota flexibility in 2015–2016 on pelagic stocks

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posted on 2022-05-23, 07:41 authored by ICESICES

ICES response
The proposed  flexibility  for  the pelagic  stocks  would,  if  utilized,  result  in  reduced  F  in  2015.  If  fully  utilized  the transfer  of  fishing  possibilities  to  2016  would result  in  an  increase  in  F  in  2016  of  a  similar  magnitude  to  the  flexibility  (approximately +20% or +30%). Thus it is expected that if ICES MSY advice is followed for 2015 and 2016, F   would have a greater than 50% probability  of  being  below  FMSY  in  2015  and  a  greater  than  50%  probability  of  being  above  FMSY  in  2016. ICES  considers  that the mean F over the two years would be similar to the F resulting from 100% of each annual TAC being taken in its respective year.  This  is  likely  to  have  a  slightly  positive,  but  effectively  negligible  impact  on  precautionary  biomass  considerations  defined by the probability of SSB < Blim in 2015 and 2016.
For  Northeast  Atlantic  mackerel  and  blue  whiting  stocks,  there  are  concerns  that  F  is  already too  high  and  needs  to  be  reduced.  Although  not  taking  quota  in  2015  would  reduce  F  in  2015,  banking  this  excess  quota  and  not  accounting  for  it  in  setting fishing opportunities for 2016 may result in very high Fs in 2016, well above what is advised.
While  a  continued  flexibility  of  10%  is  unlikely  to  be  of major  concern,  flexibilities  of  20—30%  carried  forward  over  several  years and not accounted for in the advice may be a problem if biomass is close to or below MSY Btrigger.
ICES has not provided MSY advice for Northeast Atlantic mackerel, blue whiting, North Sea horse mackerel, and herring west of Scotland and west of Ireland. For these stocks there are additional considerations given below


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ICES Advice: Technical services

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