Pollack in the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland (ICES Subareas VI and VII), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 31 May 2018
- Pollack in ICES Subareas VI and VII (Celtic Sea and West of Scotland)
- Stock Status
The status of the pollack stock in the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland (Sub-areas Vl and Vll) has been scored a high risk. This is because the species has moderate resilience to fishing exploitation (FishBase, 2015), but the population trend is unknown due to the limited information available for this data-limited stock. Available data are limited and additional information is required to evaluate the status of the stock with a high degree of confidence.
The management of pollack in the Celtic Sea and West of Scotland (Sub-areas Vl and Vll) has been scored a low risk. This is because management decisions are informed by an annual stock assessment, catches of pollack have been below the available TAC over the last decade, and a comprehensive regulatory framework has been put in place. Data-limited approaches are used for setting management controls, which are based on knowledge of the fisheries and the biology of the stock. However, the agreed TAC is substantially higher than the recommended catches and does not limit fishing opportunities.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because pollack is not directly targeted by demersal otter trawls but is instead a bycatch species from the fleet targeting Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Although discarding of pollack was estimated to be negligible at 0.5% of total international catch weight in 2014 (ICES, 2015), bycatches of non-target species can make up a high proportion of catch weight. Otter trawls have the potential to take bycatches of protected, endangered and threatened (PET) species (e.g. sharks, rays and turtles) species in certain circumstances. References ICES. 2015. Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) in Subareas VI-VII (Celtic Seas and the English Channel). ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort. Celtic Seas Ecoregion. ICES Advice 2015, Book 5, Section 5.3.40.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because demersal otter trawls interact with the seabed resulting in abrasion and penetration from ground gear, sweeps and bridles. Interaction with vulnerable marine habitats is likely in certain areas. Some spatial management in place to restrict the footprint of this gear on the seabed.