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Atlantic cod in the North-East Arctic (ICES subarea 1 and 2), Longlines

fish

Gadus morhua

Content last updated
19th Oct 2018

Stock:
Cod in the North-East Arctic (ICES subareas 1 and 2)

Management:
Russia and Norway

Overview

Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua is a well-known commercial fish which is a traditional food in many European countries, particularly England from antiquity. In the western Atlantic Ocean, cod has a distribution north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and around both coasts of Greenland and the Labrador Sea; in the eastern Atlantic, it is found from the Bay of Biscay north to the Arctic Ocean, including the Baltic Sea and areas around Iceland between shoreline and 600 m, mostly 10 – 200 m. The species can grow up to 200 cm total length and 96 kg in weight, but lengths of up to 100cm are more typical. The cod can live up to 25 years. It is an omnivorous predator that feed primarily on invertebrates and fish, including young cod.

 

The Northeast Arctic cod stock is the largest cod stock in the world and it is fished throughout the year. Most of the stock is found in the Barents Sea, on the warm side of the Polar Front, reaching to 76°N and 50°E. In warm years the cod distribution extends farther to the north and east. In autumn 2007, cod was found as far north as 81°N (north of Spitsbergen) and 56°E (southern tip of Novaya Zemlya). In the first quarter of the year NE Arctic cod migrate southwards to spawn in February–April in the Vestfjorden and around Lofoten. Once spawned, planktonic eggs, larvae and juveniles drift north and east into the Barents Sea where they remain until they are 5–6 years old and sexually mature.

 

Northeast Arctic cod is a target species caught in a mixed fishery together with haddock and saithe. The fishery is conducted both with an international trawler fleet and with coastal vessels using traditional fishing gears. In coastal areas, this cod and “coastal cod” (which is a different stock) are caught in the same fishery at certain periods of the year.

Stock Status

less risk

more risk

Northeast Arctic Cod (ICES Subareas 1 and 2) has been scored a very low risk. This is because the stock is at safe levels and harvested optimally.

The spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been above precautionary levels (above Bpa and MSYBtrigger) since 2002. The SSB reached a peak in 2013 and now shows a downward trend. Fishing mortality (F) was reduced from well above Flim (outside safe biological limits) in 1997 to below FMSY in 2008. It remained below FMSY until 2017 when it became equal to FMSY.

There has been no strong recruitment since the 2004 and 2005 year classes.

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Management

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more risk

Northeast Arctic Cod in ICES Subareas 1 and 2 has been scored a very low risk. This is because scientific stock assessment is carried out regularly based both on fishery dependent and independent data and there is management plan for the stock. There is also adequate enforcement of fishery control rules by Norway and Russia regulated by agreement through the Joint Russian–Norwegian Fisheries Commission (JR-NFC). Catches are in line with the current JN-RFC managment plan which is considered precautionary by ICES.

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Bycatch

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more risk

The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. ICES has identified that by catches of golden redfish which is outside safe biological limits  and Norwegian coastal cod should be minimised and regulatory measures are not sufficient to control catches of these species. The bycatch of non-commercial unregulated species is minor and there are virtually no discards.  Seabird mortality is very low, and no marine mammal mortality was recorded.

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Habitat

less risk

more risk

The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a low risk.  This is because habitat impact is limited and is due mostly to that from anchors, and backbone line moving on the ground at hauling. There is a system of designated marine protected areas, in proximity to which fishery is prohibited and there is adequate enforcement.

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Outlook

Type Current Risk Status Outlook Reason

Stock

Very low Stable/ deteriorating

The stock biomass is declining though still significantly above the target reference point. Fishing mortality is increasing and currently at the target reference point.

Management

Very low Stable

A management plan agreed by the Joint Russian–Norwegian Fisheries Commission (JR-NFC), has been in effect since 2004, aimed at maintaining high long-term yield, year-to-year stability of catches.

Bycatch

High Stable

The bycatch of non-commercial unregulated species is minor and there are virtually no discards. However, ICES has identified that by catches of golden redfish which is outside safe biological limits and Norwegian coastal cod should be minimised and regulatory measures are not sufficient to control catches of these species.

Habitat

Low Stable

The habitat impact is limited and is due mostly to that from anchors, and backbone main line moving on the ground at hauling. Although spatial measures are in place to limit the overlap between fishing and vulnerable habitats, the gear still has some ground contact so there is always a residual risk of causing damage to benthic habitats.

Nutritional Information

 
Energy
75 (kcal)
4%*
LOW
Fat
0.6 (g)
1%*
LOW
Saturates
0.2 (g)
1%*
LOW
Sugar
0 (g)
0%*
LOW
Salt
0.2 (g)
3%*

*per 100 g

Nutritional information from 100g raw product

Rich in Omega-3 | Protein | Vitamin B12 | Selenium | Iodine

Good Source Of Potassium | Phosphorus

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