Atlantic Cod, Iceland, Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 22 March 2019
- Icelandic cod ICES div 5a
- Icelandic National
- Stock Status
Very low risk
Very low risk
Icelandic cod has been scored a very low risk. This is because the spawning stock biomass is inside safe levels and exploitation levels are optimal. The spawning-stock biomass (SSB) of Icelandic cod is increasing and is higher than has been observed over the last five decades. Fishing pressure has declined in the last two decades and is presently at a historical low. Year classes are estimated to have been relatively stable since 1988, but with the mean around the lower values observed in the period 1955 to 1985.
The management of Icelandic cod has been scored a very low risk. This is because the stock is assessed annually by ICES, a management plan is in place and the fisheries are effectively managed by the Icelandic government.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a moderate risk. This is because although trawl fisheries are liable to bycatch problems, the fisheries’ targeting, selectivity and management measures all militate against bycatch risks; discarding is banned and all commercial species are landed. There are measures in place to manage the main bycatch species. Some vulnerable species such as grey (common) skate are caught at low levels and there is a need for further information to assess the risks to these stocks.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a moderate risk. The seabed habitat impacts of the otter trawl fishery are dependent on the types of seabed habitats affected; there are vulnerable habitats within the range of this fishery, most of which are protected. The Icelandic government, in collaboration with the fishing industry is actively engaged in mapping the remaining vulnerable habitats, which the fishermen avoid anyway because they interfere with the functioning of the gear.