Haddock in the Celtic Sea and West of Ireland, Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 14 March 2019
- Haddock in ICES Divisions 7b-k Celtic Sea and West of Ireland
- Stock Status
The status of the haddock stock in Divisions 7 b-k has been scored a low risk. This is because the stock is at safe levels but the exploitation rate is higher than optimal.
The spawning stock biomass has remained above the recommended level (MSYBtrigger) since 1996 and fishing mortality has been above the optimal rate (FMSY) but below precautionary levels since 2003. This corresponds to sustainable, but not optimal, harvesting.
This stock is subject to large variations in catch due to variations in year class strength.
The management of haddock in the Celtic Sea (ICES Divisions 7 b-k) has been scored a moderate risk. This is because management decisions are informed by an annual stock assessment known to be precautionary and a comprehensive regulatory framework has been put in place.
However, in recent years catches have exceeded those specified by scientific advice, although controls have been effective in maintaining spawning stock biomass above recommended levels (MSY Btrigger) but not in decreasing fishing mortality to the value giving long term maximum sustainable yield (FMSY).
The bycatch of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because discarding of haddock is estimated to be high at around 34% of total international catch weight between 2011 and 2013, and bycatches of non-target species in the demersal otter trawl fleet can make up a relatively high proportion of catch weight. Demersal otter trawls have the potential to take bycatches of protected, endangered and threatened (PET) species in certain circumstances.
The habitat impact of the demersal otter fishery for haddock in Division 7 b-k has been scored a high risk. This is because demersal otter trawls interact with seabed habitats resulting in abrasion and penetration from ground gear, sweeps and bridles. A number of areas permanently or seasonally closed to fishing have been established in this Division.