International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
46 files

Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE)

Version 2 2024-05-24, 09:41
Version 1 2024-01-25, 08:07
posted on 2024-05-24, 09:41 authored by ICESICES

Update 24/05/24: New chapters and annexes were added following the autumn meeting of WGCSE. Introduction and executive summary have been updated to include all stock assessments.

The Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE) performs stock assessments on demersal stocks in Rockall, West of Scotland, Irish Sea, West of Ireland, Western English Channel, Bristol Channel, Celtic Sea and Southwest of Ireland. The working group provides updated fisheries data and reviews for twelve Nephrops stocks, five sole, five plaice, three cod, three haddock, three whiting, two megrim, two sea bass, one anglerfish and one pollack stock. For most of the stocks, advice is drafted in May for June release. Advice for Nephrops, anglerfish and Rockall megrim are not issued until autumn to take account of the 2022 survey information. In 2023, cod.27.7a advice was also issued in Autumn. Cod in division 6a (cod.27.6a) which was previously assessed by WGCSE will be addressed by WGNNSK as part of the North Sea Ecoregion, due to its close linkage with other North Sea cod stocks and fisheries (ICES, 2023a).

This year, analytical assessments using age-structured models were conducted for 12 fish stocks. Advice based on the application of the precautionary buffer was issued for five data-deficient stocks. A surplus-production model, without age or length structure, was used to assess lez.27.4a6a and lez.27.6b. Assessment of pol.27.67 was conducted based on Data-Limited Methods (ICES, 2020). Advice for pol.27-67 was revised following the ICES ADG working group to a category 2 SPICT assessment. For a number of stocks updates were presented, but no new advice was issued this year as previous multiannual advice remains in place (ple.27.7e, ple.27.7fg, ple.27.7h-k, had.27.6b, nop.27.6a, whg.27.6b)

Two stocks have gone through a benchmark procedure in the past year; pol.27.67 and cod.27.6a. These benchmarks resulted in a recommended change in assessment type for pol.27.67, from DCAC to SPICT, and a transfer of cod.27.6a to a multi-stock model as part of the cod.27.46a7d20 assessment by ICES WGNSSK.

Of the 14 fish stocks for which status could be assessed relative to MSY reference points; five were fished below FMSY and were above MSY Btrigger, five were fished above FMSY and were below MSY Btrigger, two stocks were fished above FMSY and were above MSY Btrigger and two stocks were fished below FMSY and were below MSY Btrigger. For three fish stocks for which advice was issued in 2023 reference points were unknown.

Underwater TV (UWTV) survey-based assessments were conducted for ten nephrops functional units, with category 5 data-limited advice provided for the areas outside of functional units and subarea 7 and division 6a. Of the nephrops stocks with UWTV assessments, eight were fished below FMSY and two stocks were fished above FMSY, five were above MSY Btrigger, and four were below MSY Btrigger. For one nephrops FU Btrigger not yet defined.


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)

Ruth Kelly; Jonathan White

Contributors (Authors)

Gianfranco Anastasi; Mikel Aristegui Ezquibela; Alessandra Bielli; Paul Bouch; Liz Clarke; Rufus Danby; Helen Dobby; Jennifer Doyle; Mickael Drogou; Timothy Earl; Ailsa Ellis; Niall Fallon; Edward Farrell; Chris Firmin; Simon Fischer; Kieran Hyder; Andrzej Jaworski; Ruth Kelly; Gwladys Lambert; Vladimir Laptikovsky; Mathieu Lundy; Claire Moore; Sara-Jane Moore; Sofie Nimmegeers; Zachary Radford; Pia Schuchert; David Stokes; Jonathan White



Recommended citation

ICES. 2023. Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE). ICES Scientific Reports. 5:32. 1370 pp.

Publication language

  • en

File format(s)

  • PDF

Usage metrics

    ICES Scientific Reports



    Ref. manager