Nephrops, Moray Firth, Functional Unit 9, Creel Fishery
- Content last updated
- 17 July 2019
- Nephrops in Moray Firth, Functional Unit FU 9
- European Union
- Stock Status
Very low risk
Nephrops in Moray Firth, FU9 has been scored a low risk. This is because the stock is at safe levels and it is exploited optimally.
The biomass has been above the level associated with sustainable harvesting (MSYB trigger) since 1997. Harvest rate has fluctuated around that associated with Maximum Sustainable Yield (FMSY) for the period 2013-2015 and is currently at this level.
Nephrops in the Moray Firth, FU9 has been scored low risk. The functional unit (stock) is assessed annually by ICES. Although the TAC is set for the North Sea as a whole, which could lead to uncontrolled increases in fishing effort on individual functional units, there are safeguards under the Multi Annual Plan for the management of North Sea fisheries to avoid overexploitation of these individual functional units.
The Nephrops creel fishery scored a low risk for bycatch. There are no routine discard surveys of creel fisheries. Although bycatch levels are quite high survival is considered to be good for most species. Measures to improve selectivity are available but the extent of their use is not known. Ghost fishing from Nephrops creels is, based on experimental observations and considered negligible. There are interactions with some benthic species (sea pens) which are considered to be of conservation importance but little evidence of serious effects.
Nephrops creel scores a very low risk. Nephrops creelers target specific habitats containing burrowing mud communities. Whilst there is no immediate concern for the effects of creeling on these communities, 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.