Sprat, West of Scotland, Pelagic Pair Trawl
- Content last updated
- 06 March 2018
- Sprat in Subarea 6 and Divisions 7a–c and f–k (Celtic Sea and West of Scotland)
- European Union
- Stock Status
Celtic Sea and West of Scotland Sprat has been scored a moderate risk. This is because the vulnerability of sprat to overfishing is moderate and the state of the stock is unknown. However, there is some evidence, from acoustic surveys which are primarily directed at herring, that the total biomass in the sea exceeds the catch by a substantial quantity implying a low exploitation rate, but there is no assessment of the implications of this observation.
The management West of Scotland sprat has been scored a moderate risk. Although the stock is assessed by an ICES data-limited approach there is no overall TAC set. However, there are agreements made annually with the main buyer which account for most of the catch in recent years. In the wider stock area Celtic Sea and West of Scotland, there is concern that the catches are not all fully reported and there is mis-reporting between sprat and herring fisheries.
The risk of bycatch in is considered to be low. Thefishery is well targeted on sprats however there is risk of bycatches of herring.There is a small risk of a cetacean and shark bycatch, however observer programmes have not detected significant bycatches and the fishery is not considered a risk to these species.
The habitat impact of the pelagic pair trawl fishery is low. There is minimal seabed contact and no known effects on benthic habitats.