Striped red mullet in the North sea and Eastern English Channel, Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 27 January 2016
- Striped red mullet in Sub area IV and division VIId (North Sea and Eastern English Channel)
- Stock Status
Very high risk
The status of striped red mullet in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division VIId (Eastern English Channel) has been scored a very high risk. Although this species has moderate resilience to fishing activities (FishBase, 2015), the spawning biomass of the stock is below the long-term average and fishing mortality has increased above the long-term average.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2015).
The management of striped red mullet in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division VIId (Eastern English Channel) has been scored a high risk. This is because data are too limited to develop any form of management controls to adjust fishing opportunities on the stock, but management measures have been established to control effort levels in the fishery. Management controls are advised by an ICES data-limited stock assessment, however, compliance can be patchy and is reliant on the enforcement of mixed fishery effort controls. Infringements happen only very occasionally and are unlikely to compromise harvest objectives.
The bycatch risk in this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because otter trawls have the potential to take relatively high quantities of bycatch (> 40% of catch weight). However, the cod recovery plan has been implemented in this area and this is expected to have had an influence on the discarding levels in North Sea demersal fisheries and the incoming EU landings obligation is also intended to reduce discarding. There are also catches of demersal elasmobranchs and protected, endangered and threatened (e.g. sharks and rays) species in certain circumstances.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a high-moderate risk. This is because, although otter trawls are considered to have a potential to cause significant habitat damage, damage to vulnerable and sensitive marine habitats is likely to be minimised given that the footprint of the fishery is within core areas, typically historically fished ground. Spatial management to reduce potential interactions with vulnerable habitats are being developed, as there remains uncertainties about the location of some sensitive seabed habitats so these remain at risk.