Atlantic cod in the Celtic Sea, Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 11 November 2019
- Cod (Gadus morhua) in divisions 7.e–k (Western English Channel and southern Celtic Seas)
- Stock Status
Very high risk
The status of the cod stock in ICES Divisions 7e-k (Celtic Sea) has been scored a very high risk. This is because spawning stock biomass is outside safe biological limits implying that there is a risk of impaired breeding and hence recruitment of young fish into the stock.
ICES has advised a zero TAC for 2020, because it has not been able to advise any level of catch which would result in this stock returning to inside safe biological limits during 2020.
The management of cod in the Celtic Sea (ICES Divisions 7e-k) has been scored a moderate risk. Although management decisions are informed by an annual stock assessment, it has proved difficult to control catches of cod in this fishery because it is predominantly caught in mixed fisheries with haddock, whiting and other species.
The bycatch impact of the demersal otter fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because bycatch of non-target species in the demersal otter trawl fleet is potentially relatively high compared to other fisheries in the world. Demersal otter trawls have the potential to take relatively high quantities of bycatch of vulnerable species in certain circumstances.
The habitat impact of the demersal otter fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because the doors of the demersal otter trawl penetrate the seabed resulting in the abrasion of habitat features and the ground ropes, sweeps and bridles of the trawl can have similar abrasive impact. Some spatial management is in place and further measures are being developed, such as a network of Marine Protected Areas, to reduce the impact of this gear on vulnerable marine habitats.