Nephrops, South Minch (Division 6.a, FU12), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 04 June 2019
- Nephrops in South Minch; Functional Unit (FU) 12
- European Union
- Stock Status
Nephrops in the South Minch has been scored low risk for stock status. This because the harvest rate is below the advised rate for Maximum Sustained Yield (FMSY), and the stock is estimated to be above the level at which it can be sustainably harvested level (MSY Btrigger). Consequently, this stock is considered to be harvested sustainably within safe biological limits.
The management of the stock of Nephrops in the South Minch has been identified as a low risk. This is The functional unit (stock) is assessed annually by ICES. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is set for the West of Scotland (ICES Sub area 6) 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 these individual functional units.
Surveillance of enforceable measures outside of quota management can be considered moderately effective with adequate enforcement and compliance.
The fishery scored a high risk for bycatch. 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 implemented as a statutory requirement. There also features of trawl design which can reduce discards which can be implemented on a non-statutory basis.
The habitat risk of this fishery are scored as a high risk. Nephrops trawlers target specific habitats containing burrowing mud communities. Changes in the biodiversity of these areas have been associates 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.