Turbot in the North Sea (ICES subarea 4), Demersal otter trawl
- Content last updated
- 02 October 2018
- Turbot in the North Sea (ICES subarea IV)
- Stock Status
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 moderate risk. This is because the fishery has potential to take and discard at risk stocks such as West of Scotland and North Sea cod. A range of measures and/or incentives are in place to manage the fisheries, these measures, where adopted, will act to improve the selectivity of the fishery for some other species taken in the same fisheries depending on size and behaviour.
The habitat risk of this fishery is scored as a high risk because otter trawls are considered to have the potential to cause significant adverse effects especially to deeper water habitats. This is because, although otter trawls are considered to have the potential to cause significant adverse impacts. However, the risk of impact is to some extent mitigated by the fact that the ‘core’ otter trawl fisheries are spatially well defined and there has been a significant reduction in effort in this fishery over recent decades. Spatial management measures have been implemented by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to reduce potential impacts to deep water vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and habitats through the establishment of bottom fishery closures. However, not all deep water VME has been identified and protected through closures so it is likely that some sensitive seabed habitats remain at risk of bottom trawling impacts.