Working Group for the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE)
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 will also be 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, 2023).
For a number of the reviewed stocks no new advice was provided this year (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, cod.27.6a the results of which were presented to the group. Analytical assessments using age-structured mod-els were conducted for 12 of the 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. Assessment of pol.27.67 was conducted based on Data-Limited Methods, specifically the application of the ‘rfb’ rule (ICES, 2020).
Of the 12 stocks for which status could be assessed relative to MSY reference points to date (16 June 2023); five were fished below FMSY and were above MSY Btrigger, four were fished above FMSY and were below MSY Btrigger , two stocks were fished above FMSY and were above MSY Btrigger and one stock was fished below FMSY and was below MSY Btrigger. For six data-poor stocks refer-ence points were unknown.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee