English whelk fisheries, whelk pots
- Content last updated
- 18 May 2016
- English whelk (Buccinum undatum)
- English Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and EU
- Stock Status
The English whelk stocks have been scored a high risk. This is because catches are increasing and the minimum landing size is smaller than the size at sexual maturity thereby risking depletion of the localised spawning stocks.
The management of whelks has been scored a high risk. The minimum landing size is not suitable for the species in these waters (see stock status), and effort controls are insufficient to cap fishing effort. Several of the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) are in the process of introducing measures to improve management inside the 6 mile limit; see individual RASS profiles.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored as low risk. Catch of protected, endangered and threatened species is minimal. “Ghost fishing” by lost pots is not considered to be a problem because once the bait us used up the pots cease to fish.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored as low risk. This is because evidence suggests fishery impact on the bottom is restricted to some abrasion caused by dragging pots and anchors during hauling and tide and wave action (Grieve et al., 2014). The static gear used to prosecute the fishery is in contact with the bottom, but unlikely to have significant interaction with vulnerable habitats. Vulnerable marine habitats are protected within Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR, 2013) and any kind of fishery there might be controlled if deemed necessary References Grieve C, Brady D.C. and Polet H. (2014) Best practices for managing, measuring and mitigating the benthic impacts of fishing – Part 1. Marine Stewardship Council Science Series 2: 18 – 88. OSPAR, 2013. 2012 Status Report on the OSPAR Network of Marine Protected Areas. 65 pp. [http://www.ospar.org/ospar-data/p00618_2012_mpa_status%20report.pdf] [Date Accessed: 17-Dec-15]