International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Technical Guidelines - Advice on fishing opportunities

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posted on 2016-12-16, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

ICES classifies the stocks into six main categories, based on available data and knowledge, to identify which advice rule to apply when giving advice on fishing opportunities.

Category 1 – Stocks with quantitative assessments. Includes stocks having full analytical assessments and forecasts as well as those with quantitative assessments based on production models.

Category 2 – Stocks with analytical assessments and forecasts that are only treated qualitatively. Includes stocks with quantitative assessments and forecasts that, for a variety of reasons, are considered indicative of trends in fishing mortality, recruitment, and biomass.

Category 3 – Stocks for which landings and/or catch and reliable stock size indicator(s) exist. Includes stocks for which survey or other indices are available that provide reliable indications of trends in stock metrics, such as total mortality, recruitment, and biomass.

Category 4 – Stocks for which only reliable catch data are available. Includes stocks for which a time-series of catch can be used to approximate MSY.

Category 5 – Landings-only stocks. Includes stocks for which only landings data are available.

Category 6 – Negligible landings stocks and stocks caught in minor amounts as bycatch. Includes stocks where landings are negligible in comparison to discards and stocks that are primarily caught as bycatch species in other targeted fisheries.


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

  • ACOM


ICES Advice Technical Guidelines

Recommended citation

ICES. 2016. Technical Guidelines - Advice on fishing opportunities. ICES Advice Technical Guidelines. 1 pp.

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    ICES Technical Guidelines