Nephrops in Division 7f,g (Celtic Sea, FU22), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 31 October 2019
- Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) in divisions 7.g and 7.f, Functional Unit 22 (Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel)
- Stock Status
Nephrops in Divisions 7f,g (Celtic Sea, FU22; The Smalls), has been scored moderate risk. The stock is just below MSY Btrigger, and the harvest rate is close to the FMSY.
Nephrops in Division VIIf,g (Celtic Sea, FU22; The Smalls), has been scored a low risk. The stock is assessed annually by ICES. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is set for ICES Subarea 7 as a whole, which could lead to increases in fishing effort on individual functional units. However, there are safeguards under the Multi Annual Plan for the management of Western Waters fisheries to avoid overexploitation of individual functional units.
Surveillance is generally effective with adequate enforcement and compliance.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored high risk. This is because the overall bycatch and discard rates are high in Nephrops trawls due to the small cod end mesh requirements of the target species and due to relatively high discard rates of Nephrops themselves. There is also a moderate risk to Protected, Endangered and Threatened (PET) species; these are likely to be impacted by the fishery but have high survival rates. However, measures to reduce bycatch and discards in these fisheries have been the subject of much research over the years, resulting in technical measures which improve selectivity, which in turn have been implemented as statutory requirements.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because Nephrops trawlers target specific habitats containing burrowing mud communities. Changes in the biodiversity of these areas have been associated with trawling. There is a process in place under the OSPAR convention and UK Marine Acts to avoid adverse impacts through the designation of Marine Protected Areas of which two are designated within these FUs, one containing area that may be vulnerable to the gear.