Working Group on Southern Horse Mackerel, Anchovy and Sardine (WGHANSA)
The ICES Working Group on Southern horse mackerel, anchovy and sardine (WGHANSA) assessed the status of anchovy in Atlantic Iberian waters (ane.27.9a; western and southern components) and horse mackerel in Atlantic Iberian waters (hom.27.9a) in the May meeting. The status of anchovy in Bay of Biscay (ane.27.8), sardine in southern Celtic Seas and the English Channel (pil.27.7), sardine in Bay of Biscay (pil.27.8abd) and sardine in Cantabrian Sea and Atlantic Iberian waters (pil.27.8c9a) will be assessed in the November meeting. The status of jack mackerel in Subdivision 10.a.2 (Azores grounds) (jaa.10.a2) won’t be assessed this year, since the advice is provided biannually.
The stock of anchovy in Atlantic Iberian waters (ane.27.9a) is composed by the western component (distributed in areas 9.a North, Central–North, and Central–South) and the southern component (distributed in area 9.a South). The advice is provided for the two components separately for the management calendar from July to June the following year. Based on the MSE work developed for each component, the advice is based for the first time on constant harvest rate rules. For the western component, the combined PELACUS and PELAGO acoustic biomass estimate is used as an indicator of stock development and the advice is based on the stock indicator for 2023, multiplied by a constant harvest rate of 0.25, with no biomass safeguard. For the southern component, the relative SSB from an analytical assessment conducted with GADGET is used as the index of stock size development and the advice is based on the stock indicator for 2023, multiplied by a constant harvest rate of 0.5 with a biomass safeguard.
The SSB of horse mackerel in Atlantic Iberian waters (hom.27.9a) fluctuated from 1992 (the beginning of the assessment) to 2013 and afterwards has increased continuously to historical maximum values in 2023. In 2023 SSB is estimated at 1 214 200 tonnes, well above MSY Btrigger, Bpa, and Blim. Fishing mortality has been below FMSY over the whole time-series, with a decreasing trend in the last years. Recruitment shows a decreasing trend from 2017 to 2021 but is still above the average of the time series. The lack of the survey index in 2019 and 2020 is reflected in larger confidence intervals for SSB and recruitment in the last years.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee