Nephrops in the Celtic Sea, South East and West of Ireland (FU19), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 20 September 2019
- Nephrops in ICES Divisions 7a, g, j (South East and West of Ireland) FU19
- Stock Status
Nephrops in Division 7a, g, j (South East and West of IRL, FU19) has been scored a moderate risk for stock status. This is because, although the harvest rate (F) is below that of maximum sustainable yield (FMSY), the Nephrops stock in FU19 is below the trigger reference point of MSY Btrigger.
The management of Nephrops in Division 7a, g, j (South East and West of IRL, FU19) 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 of enforceable measures outside of quota management can be considered moderately effective with adequate enforcement and compliance.
The bycatch for this fishery has been scored high risk. This is because the overall bycatch and discard rates are high in Nephrops trawls at 44% 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 a statutory requirement. Further measures, such as modified trawl designs, have been implemented on a non-statutory basis.
The habitat impact 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 4 are designated for this FU.