Nephrops on the Porcupine Bank (FU16), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 29 October 2019
- Nephrops in ICES Divsions VIIb, c, j, k (Procupine Bank) FU16
- Stock Status
Very high risk
Very high risk
Nephrops in Division 7b,c,j,k (Porcupine Bank, FU16) has been scored a moderate risk. There is no reference point for stock biomass but the biomass appears to be stable and of low vulnerability (sealifebase score 14/100), but the fishing mortality is above the long term average and exceeds the optimum level for maximum sustainable yield.
Nephrops in Division VIIb,c,j,k (Porcupine Bank, FU16) has been scored moderate risk. This is because whilst the functional unit is assessed annually by ICES, the assessment is still data limited.
Although a limit is set on catches within a TAC for the whole of Sub Area 7 is considered generally adequate to protect the stock from overexploitation, surveillance of these measures including quota management can only be considered moderately effective. Compliance and enforcement are patchy with some under-reporting or misreporting being recognised.
Bycatch for this fishery has been scored a very high risk. This is because the bycatch and discard rates are high in Nephrops trawls due to the small cod end mesh requirements of the target species. 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 requirements.
The habitat impact of this fishery has been scored a very 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 avoid adverse impacts through the designation of Marine Protected Areas of which four are designated in this FU, two bordering the area and one with an overlapping area that may be vulnerable to the gear. The EU has brought in regulations (EU 227/2013) protecting these habitats from fishing by prohibiting fishing on all of the habitats listed as vulnerable on the Porcupine Bank