EU standing request on catch scenarios for zero TAC stocks 2022; cod (Gadus morhua) in Division 6.a (West of Scotland); cod (Gadus morhua) in Division 7.a (Irish Sea) and whiting (Merlangius merlangus) in Division 7.a (Irish Sea)
ICES has provided estimates of the likely catches of several stocks under the assumption that TACs for the target stocks are set in line with ICES advice.
· For cod in Division 6.a, catches in 2023 are estimated to be between 1642 tonnes and 2562 tonnes, assuming fishing mortality on cod does not change or increases by the same proportion as the change advised for haddock. Under the scenario resulting in lower catch, spawning-stock biomass (SSB) in 2024 is expected to decrease by 5.6% while the higher catch option is expected to result in a decrease in SSB of 44%.
· For cod in Division 7.a, catches in 2023 are estimated to be around 159 tonnes, assuming that the fishing mortality on cod changes by the same proportion as the changes advised for haddock and Nephrops fleets and that the fleets operate in a similar way as in the past 3 years. Under this scenario spawning-stock biomass (SSB) in 2024 is expected to increase by 8.3% from 2023 to 2024.
For whiting in Division 7.a, forecasted bycatch levels in 2023 are 1125 tonnes, using a model of whiting bycatch in the Nephrops fishery and assuming 8476 tonnes of Nephrops catches in 2023. This is expected to result in a 1% increase in SSB in 2024.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee