European Commission special request on spatial distribution, stock status, and advice on Dipturus species
The larger Dipturus cf. intermedia occurs in the northern North Sea and off the northwest coast of Scotland, and D. cf. flossadais the predominant species in the Celtic Sea and around Rockall. The two species overlap over a wide part of the Celtic seas ecoregion. There are insufficient data to delineate the more southerly and offshore distributional limits of the two species.
In the North Sea, Celtic seas, and the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic Iberian waters, the Dipturus complex is considered to be depleted. Advice in each area is that there should be no targeted fishery for either Dipturus cf. flossada or Dipturus cf. intermedia, based on the precautionary approach for data-limited stocks, and measures should be taken to minimize bycatch.
Additional measures should be identified that can regulate exploitation of the complex. Such measures may include seasonal and/or area closures, technical measures, and tailored measures for target fisheries. Such measures should be developed by stakeholder consultations, considering the overall mixed fisheries context.
Information on identification is provided to enable fishers, port staff, and enforcers to separate the two species.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee