Sprat, English Channel, Pelagic Otter Trawl
- Content last updated
- 22 February 2018
- Sprat in Divisions VIId,e
- European Union
- Stock Status
Sprat in the English Channel has been scored a high risk. No reference points are defined for this stock. The assessment is based the data limited approach, using an acoustic survey indicator (from research vessel surveys) for stock size and an indicator of harvest rate (as a substitute for fishing mortality) from an estimate of the catch/estimated biomass. This is weighted by a FishBase score for sprat of 33. The acoustic survey declined in 2015, and decreased significantly in 2016. The harvest rate index increased in 2016 due to a drop in the biomass index, while catches remained stable.
The management of sprat in the English Channel has been scored a low risk. This is because the stock is assessed by ICES data-limited methods, and though the TAC has been set higher than those advised by ICES, historic catches are in line with the ICES advice. Management controls are routinely enforced and independently verified through surveillance of fishing activities.
The risk of bycatch in is considered to be low. The fishery is well targeted on sprats and bycatches of other pelagic species are managed under the common fisheries policy.There is a small risk of a cetacean and pelagic shark bycatch, however observer programmes have not detected significant bycatches and the fishery is not considered a risk to these species.
The habitat risk of this fishery is low. There is minimal seabed contact and no known effects on benthic habitats.