International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
NWWG2020_Full report.pdf (53.66 MB)

Northwestern Working Group (NWWG)

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Version 2 2022-06-27, 09:29
Version 1 2022-01-18, 14:49
posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The Ministry of Industries and Innovation in Iceland decided considering the Covid-19 outbreakthat Iceland would be without ICES advice for the 2020/2021 fishing year for stocks that are consideredlocal to Iceland. For NWWG these stocks are cod (cod.27.5a), haddock (had.27.5a), saithe(pok.27.5a), Icelandic summer spawning herring (her.27.5a) and Icelandic slope beaked redfish(reb.27.5a14). The assessments for these stocks were therefore not discussed at the NWWG 2020meeting in April. Only tables (landings, survey indices and results of the assessment) were updated.Capelin in the Iceland-East Greenland-Jan Mayen areaIn October 2019, the Icelandic Marine & Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) advised an intermediateTAC of 0 tonnes based on an acoustic survey in September and based on surveys inJanuary–February 2020 this advice was not changed. All advice was based on the HCR fromICES WKICE (2015).There were no capelin fisheries or landings in the fishing season 2019/2020.In October 2020, MFRI advised an intermediate TAC of 0 tonnes based on an acoustic survey inSeptember. Final advice for 2020/2021 will be based on surveys in January-February 2021.In November 2020, ICES advised an initial quota of 400 000 tonnes for the fishing season2021/2022.The stock is proposed to go through a benchmark in 2022.Offshore West Greenland CodThe West Greenland offshore stock component is comprised of the NAFO subdivisions 1A-E inWest Greenland. The East Greenland stock component is comprised of the area NAFO subdivision1F in South Greenland and ICES Subarea 14 in East Greenland.Some mixing occurs between the two stocks in West Greenland which at present is consideredto act as a nursing area for juveniles of the East Greenland stock component. An annual TAC of5000 tonnes was set in 2015-2018 and the average catches have been 3000–4000 tonnes per year.TAC in 2019 was set at 2000 tons, 900 tons was fished. Cod ages 6-8 years dominates the catches.Both the German Groundfish survey and Greenland Shrimp and Fish survey indices show thatthe biomass and abundance increased in the period 2010–2015 due primarily to the 2009 YC andin part the 2010 YC. In the period 2016-2018, the German survey did not cover the area, and in2019 only covered the southern part (NAFO 1E). The Greenland survey showed a reduction inbiomass in 2016, due to a decrease in the 2009 and 2010 yearclasses at age 6 and 7 yrs whichwhere historically high at age 5 and 6 yrs in 2015. The decrease has been attributed as an effectof fishing and migration inshore and eastward. The abundance of older cod (age >7 yrs), however,increased since 2017 compared to previous years where older cod where almost absentindicating that not all cod has migrated out of the area and/or they returned from the inshorearea. The Greenland survey show a massive increase in biomass and abundance in 2019, but iscaused by two very large hauls. The dominating yearclass is the 2015 YC, which was also dominatingthe German survey in 2019 in NAFO 1E.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • FRSG

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Kristján Kristinsson

Contributors (Authors)

Birkir Bárðarson; Höskuldur Björnsson; Jesper Boje; Helle Torp Christensen; Luis Ridao Cruz; Bjarki Thor Elvarsson; Einar Hjörleifsson; Teunis Jansen; Kristjan Kristinsson; Anja Retzel; Frank Farsø Riget; Petur Steingrund; Helga Bára Mohr Vang; Karl-Michael Werner



Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. North Western Working Group (NWWG). ICES Scientific Reports. 2:51. 670 pp.