Plaice in the Eastern English Channel, Trammel net
- Content last updated
- 31 May 2018
- Plaice in Division 7d (Eastern English Channel)
- Stock Status
Very low risk
The status of the plaice stock in Division 7d (Eastern English Channel) has been scored a low risk. This is because spawning stock biomass has continued to increase above the trigger level (MSY Btrigger; below this level management action would be required) since 2011 and fishing mortality has remained below the optimal target rate associated with Maximum Sustaianable Yield (FMSY) since 2009. Consequently, the stock is harvested sustainably at full reproductive capacity.
The management of plaice in Division 7d (Eastern English Channel) has been scored a moderate risk. Management decisions are informed by an annual stock assessment, catches of plaice have closely followed the agreed Total Allowable Catches (TAC) over the last 5 years, and a comprehensive regulatory framework has been put in place. Management controls are derived from an analytical stock assessment, known to be precautionary and within the range specified by scientific advice. However, there is a mismatch the assessment areas which constitute ICES Divisions 7d and 7e and the TAC area which consists of ICES Division 7d and e combined (Eastern and Western Channel). Although this has introduced some uncertainty into the assessment and control of catches, the controls have been effective in maintaining spawning stock biomass and fishing mortality above and below the value giving Maximum Sustainable Yield, respectively. Stock trends are similar in the Western English Channel ICES Division 7e stock, however there are concerns that the combined TAC may not control catches in the Division 7e stock (see Plaice in 7e profiles).
The bycatch in the trammel net fishery has been scored a moderate risk. This is because bycatches of non-target species can make up a moderate proportion of the total catch weight in the trammel net fishery. In addition, trammel nets have the potential to take moderate quantities of bycatch of protected, endangered or threatened (PET) species (e.g. sharks, turtles and cetaceans) in certain circumstances. Some mitigation measures (e.g. pingers) have been established to reduce the impacts of the trammel net fishery on the population abundance of PET species.
The habitat impact of the trammel net fishery has been scored a very low risk. This is because trammel nets have relatively little impact on the seabed and limited interaction with vulnerable marine habitats compared to other fishing activities. Lost or abandoned trammel nets can get entangled on habitat features and weights can cause surface penetration of the seabed. Some spatial management in place to restrict the footprint of this gear on the seabed.