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Haddock in the North Sea, Skagerrak and West of Scotland, Demersal otter trawl

fish

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Content last updated
31st May 2018

Stock:
Haddock in Subarea 4 and Divisions 6a and 3a West (North Sea, West of Scotland and Skagerrak)

Management:
European Union

Overview

Overview

Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a widely distributed roundfish that inhabits temperate northern waters at depths ranging from 10 to 450 m. In the Northeast Atlantic, haddock are distributed from the Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen, the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya and around Iceland to southern Greenland. This species has a maximum age of 20 years old and can reach up to 112 cm in length and 16.8 kg in weight. They feed mainly on small bottom-living organisms including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, worms and fishes; and they are preyed on by other fish, marine mammals and sea birds.

In the North Sea, West of Scotland, and Skagerrak, the haddock stock is exploited predominantly by fleets from the United Kingdom (Scotland), Norway and Denmark. Landings of haddock in these areas have ranged from 30 750 tonnes to 233 290 tonnes between 1972 and 2014. Over the last decade, landings have declined to lowest levels on record at around 30 000 to 50 000 tonnes. A contributory factor to the lower landings in recent years has been the maintenance of a low fishing mortality rate.

Stock Status

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North Sea and West of Scotland Haddock has been scored a moderate risk. This is because the sparwning stock biomass is above precautionary reference levels, though fishing mortality is above that required to achieve MSY. Recruitment in recent years has also been below the long-term average.

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Management

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The management of the North Sea haddock has been scored a moderate risk. The stock is assessed annually by ICES, and has been recently benchmarked with a re-evaluation of the reference points. However, there is some uncertainty as to the effect of the implementation of the Landings Obligation will have on control and accounting for catches because there is a risk of continued undocumented discarding.

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Bycatch

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The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a moderate risk. This is because the fishery has potential to take and discard at risk stocks such as West of Scotland and North Sea cod.  A range of measures and/or incentives are in place to manage the fisheries, these measures, where adopted, will act to improve the selectivity of the fishery for some other species taken in the same fisheries depending on size and behaviour.

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Habitat

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The habitat risk of this fishery is scored as a high risk because otter trawls are considered to have the potential to cause significant adverse effects especially to deeper water habitats. This is because, although otter trawls are considered to have the potential to cause significant adverse impacts, , However, the risk of impact is to some extent mitigated by the fact that the ‘core’ otter trawl fisheries are spatially well defined and there has been a significant reduction in effort in this fishery over recent decades.

 

Spatial management measures have been implemented by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to reduce potential impacts to deep water vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and habitats through the establishment of bottom fishery closures. However, not all deep water VME has been identified and protected through closures so it is likely that some sensitive seabed habitats remain at risk of bottom trawling impacts.

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Outlook

Type Current Risk Status Outlook Reason

Stock

Moderate Stable or Improving

Haddock fluctuates naturally, though recent trends would suggest that the stock is increasing again

Management

Moderate Improving

Management is in transition and it is unclear how the Landings Obligation will work out in practice

Bycatch

Moderate Improving

The bycatch impact of the demersal otter trawl fishery is likely to improve in the future as technical and spatial management measures are continuously being developed. The progressive implementation of the landings obligation to demersal fisheries from 2016 onwards will reduce discarding, but it is not yet known to what extent this will reduce total catches and fishing mortality.

Habitat

High Improving

Otter trawls have the potential to affect sensitive seabed habitats, especially deeper water habitats, but spatial management measures are continuously being developed and will likely reduce the risk in the future. As planned networks of Marine Protected Areas become established, larger areas of sensitive habitat not previously intensively fished will become protected from any future trawling.

Nutritional Information

 
Energy
75 (kcal)
4%*
LOW
Fat
0.4 (g)
1%*
LOW
Saturates
0.1 (g)
1%*
LOW
Sugar
0 (g)
0%*
LOW
Salt
0.17 (g)
3%*

*per 100 g

Nutritional information from 100g raw product

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

Good Source Of Vitamin B6 | Potassium | Phosphorus

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