International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Report of the Workshop to consider the basis for reference points for all stocks (WKMSYREF2)

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posted on 2022-04-21, 11:18 authored by ICESICES

The Workshop to consider the basis for reference points for all stocks (WKMSYREF2) was co-chaired by John Simmonds, ICES, and Einar Hjörleifsson, Iceland at ICES Headquarters, 8–10 January 2014, The meeting had 17 participants from 10 ICES countries.

The workshop was convened in order to evaluate the basis for reference points for ICES fish stocks, and propose operational definitions. Including reference points within the ICES MSY framework (MSY Btrigger, FMSY), and Blim (acting as a constraint on MSY reference points, since <5% probability of B< Blim must be ensured) and, where relevant, Bescapement.

The meeting was organised around the analysis of 7 stocks, in order to determine the basis for the approach and to test software and the utility of different aspects. The stocks chosen were cod stocks in North Sea, Irish Sea, West of Scotland and Celtic Sea, Faroe Saithe, Kattegat sole and North Sea sprat.

The report provides a description of a protocol for the estimation of FMSY and Btrigger in the context of Blim. Details of aspects to be considered in the evaluation and sensitivity analysis are given. Sotware packages are recommended and a summary of the results of the analyses on the selected stocks presented. More detailed results are given an annexes. A discussion of intervals around FMSY is provided.

The workshop has provided a basis for estimation of FMSY and Btrigger that conforms to ICES MSY framework and is compatible with the ICES precautionary approach and the definition of Blim. F reference points (Flim and Fpa) were not explicitly considered. 

Potential FMSY and Btrigger values for Kattegat sole, Faroe saithe, NS sprat and the four cod stocks are proposed. Irish Sea and Celtic Sea cod have higher FMSY than North Sea or West of Scotland cod. Only a limited evaluation was conducted but there are indications that the lower values for North Sea and West of Scotland may be due to the inclusion of discard data in the assessment and analysis. Thus FMSY for Celtic Sea and Irish Sea cod may not fully reflect the current fisheries. It is possible that all these fisheries will change with the implementation of a landing obligation in 2016 onwards.


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

  • ACOM

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



ICES Expert Group Reports

Recommended citation

ICES. 2014. Report of the Workshop to consider reference points for all stocks (WKMSYREF2), 8-10 January 2014, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2014/ACOM:47. 91 pp.