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Pollack in the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland (ICES subareas VI and VII), Gillnet

Stock Status

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In the Celtic Seas and West of Scotland, pollack is mainly caught by demersal otter trawl and set gillnet fisheries targeting mixed finfish species. Bycatches of pollack are most prevalent in the otter trawl fishery (ICES, 2015).

Annual landings of pollack averaged 4789 tonnes per year between 2000 and 2013 (Figure 1). Landings gradually decreased from a high of around 10 000 tonnes in 1986 to stabilise at around 4500 tonnes over the last decade. Almost all (99%) of the landings originated from the Celtic Sea (Sub-area VII) in 2013. The United Kingdom, France and Ireland took the majority (99%) of the pollack landings (ICES, 2015).

Figure 1 Pollack in subareas 6 and 7. Landings by subarea, as estimated by ICES (ICES 2017).


Stock structure and recruitment

Limited information on the structure and recruitment of this data-limited stock is available (ICES, 2015). Although spawning areas have not been identified, adults in the Western English Channel have been observed to leave inshore waters in November or December and migrate into deeper water where they form dense spawning aggregations in spring. For two to three years, the pelagic juveniles are found near the coast inhabiting rocky areas, kelp beds, sandy shores and estuaries. Juveniles can be found individually but also can form schooling aggregations with Saithe (Pollachius virens).


Data gaps and research priorities

More information on the structure and recruitment of the pollack stock in the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland (Sub-areas Vl and Vll) is required. In addition, limited information on the characteristics of both the commercial and recreational fisheries is available. Additional sampling should be undertaken to provide an improved understanding of the biology of the stock and characteristics of the fisheries (ICES, 2015).



Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2015).

ICES. 2015. Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) in Subareas VI-VII (Celtic Seas and the English Channel).

ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort. Celtic Seas Ecoregion. ICES Advice 2015, Book 5, Section 5.3.40.

ICES. 2017. Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) in Subareas VI-VII (Celtic Seas and the English Channel).

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