Turbot in the North Sea (ICES subarea 4), Beam trawl
- Content last updated
- 10 April 2018
- Turbot in the North Sea (ICES subarea 4)
- Stock Status
Very high risk
Turbot in Sub area 4 has been scored a low risk. Recruitment is variable without a trend. Fishing mortality (F) is estimated to have decreased since the mid-1990s and has been stable for the past ten years. Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) has increased since the late 1990s. Fishing mortality is estimated to be below, and exploitable biomass above, proxy reference points for Maximum Sustainable Yield based on data limited methods. This indicates a stock in a sustainable condition.
The management of Turbot in Sub area 4 has been scored a moderate risk. This is because management decisions are informed by an analytical (although data limited) stock assessment, and there is a complex regulatory framework in place. There is concern over the use of a combined TAC for turbot and brill which carries the risk of one of the species being overexploited.
The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a very high risk. This is because beam trawls have the potential to take relatively high quantities of bycatch (> 50% of catch weight) including demersal elasmobranchs and occasionally protected, endangered and threatened (PET) species (e.g. sharks and rays) in certain circumstances. Absolute levels of discards across all fleets have gradually decreased since 2002 (Catchpole et al., 2011) and the incoming EU landings obligation is intended to reduce discarding further.
The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because beam trawls interact with the seabed, potentially modifying bottom topography including damage and removal of some biogenic features and interacting with vulnerable marine habitats and benthic communities. However, the risk due to damage to vulnerable marine habitats is likely to be reduced given that most of the footprint of the gear occurs on core fishing grounds. Some spatial management is in place and is continually being developed, which will restrict the footprint of this gear on the seabed. However, there remains some uncertainty about the location of some sensitive seabed habitats so these remain at risk.