Workshop on Fish of Conservation and Bycatch Relevance (WKCOFIBYC)
Updated October 10 2022.
WKCOFIBYC was convened to develop a list of species of conservation and/or bycatch interest, that could be used to prioritize and plan for future work within ICES. WKCOFIBYC compiled a list of fish species (including non-commercial and commercial) of conservation concern (threatened, sensitive, or already listed in legislation) that could be included in future assessments by ICES. This is termed the Comprehensive Species List (CSL). This list is composed of international and national hard law, along with national hard law designations, in addition to relevant red lists of extinction risk and various academic exercises to identify sensitive species. Through the work of WKCOFIBYC, for the first time, lists of priority sensitive species for future conservation/biodiversity-concern assessment have been developed: the regional assessment lists (RALs). The workshop also compiled ecoregion-level lists (regional bycatch lists or RBLs) of fish species of bycatch concern, which can be used for future planning. To avoid duplication, the RALs and RBLs exclude species for which ICES or other bodies already provide quantitative assessments. Additionally, the RBLs exclude most remaining species already advised upon by ICES or equivalent bodies. A set of guidelines for establishing assessment units are presented in the report.
This process started by identifying over 4501 species from the Northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean, including some brackish water and diadromous species, from the ‘Lists of Fishes of Conservation Interest’. However, 1282 of these species were deemed not relevant, mainly due to not being representative of the main fish fauna of the regions (as determined by regional experts)3. The list is structured by relevance, geography, and according to which legal, scientific, or other designations of being sensitive to overexploitation were relevant. The ICES ecoregions or Mediterranean subregions where the species occur are indicated. Also, the listing of each species in hard and soft law is noted. Hard law includes the EU Habitats Directive, the Common Fisheries Policy Prohibited Species list, and (where EU law may not apply)4 national legislation in the UK and Iceland. Where species are listed in various Red Lists of extinction risk, this is also noted.
The methodology by which the lists were compiled is provided. A key challenge for ICES will be to maintain the list and ensure it remains current. As WKCOFIBYC is a one-off initiative, it remains unclear how the lists will be maintained going forward. The attention of ACOM is drawn to this matter.
1 Number revised down from 597 in 2022 based on reviewer comments.
2 Number revised down from 193 in 2022 based on reviewer comments
3 The text in parenthesis was included in 2022 based on reviewer comments.
4 The text in parenthesis was included in 2022 based on reviewer comments
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee