Northeast Atlantic Mackerel, Handlines
- Content last updated
- 20 September 2019
- Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in sub areas 1–7 and 14, and in divisions 8.a–e and 9.a (Northeast Atlantic)
- North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), EU-Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Russia
- Stock Status
Very low risk
Northeast Atlantic mackerel has been scored a low risk. This is because both spawning stock biomass and fishing mortality are assessed as at safe levels. However, the fishing mortality is assessed as higher than that associated with maximum sustainable yield.
The status of the stock has changed since the previous advice given by ICES in October 2018 for catches in 2019. This is as a result of an inter-benchmarking process carried out in in March 2019, at which scientists met to examine the assessment and its data inputs.
The management of Northeast Atlantic mackerel has been scored a moderate risk. ICES Scientific advice uses an analytical assessment to advise on a Long –term management strategy, which is agreed by some, but not all, of the parties exploiting the stock.
Not all the catches from this stock are managed under the Coastal States’ international management arrangements, and this has previously resulted in catches higher than advised by science. Therefore, an agreement covering the management of the whole of the stock’s catches is needed.
The bycatch in the Northeast Atlantic mackerel handline fishery has been scored a low risk. This is because bycatch levels in the handline fishery are low (< 15% of catch weight) and bycatch of vulnerable species is possible but very rare.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a very low risk. This is because handlines do not interact with seabed habitat, and therefore habitat abrasion and penetration is unlikely. There is a small chance that the gear will snag on biogenic structures.