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Stock Advice

The NAFO Scientific Advice is generated through a joint effort by NAFO Members and makes use of different data sampling programs carried out by Members states. Additionally, available statistics on the resources and their environment are also used when producing the advice.

 

Summary Sheets (2011-2018)

  • NAFO Stocks
  • Coastal Stocks

The stocks managed by NAFO are those that occur in the Regulatory Area and straddling the EEZs of the Coastal States. Assessment frequencies within a full assessment and interim monitoring schedule, as agreed in September 2006. Advice by the Commission and Coastal State is requested annually, bi-annually or tri-annually.

+ is full assessment year

i is interim monitor

- no assessment undertaken or currently planned

Detailed assessment information can be found in the Scientific Council Reports and SCR and SCS Documents.

These include (click on to view advice)
Stock
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015 2016 2017 2018
Stocks on the Flemish Cap  
Cod in Div. 3M
i
Redfish in Div. 3M i
i
i i
American plaice in Div. 3M
i
i
i i i
Stocks on the Grand Bank
Cod in Div. 3NO i i
i
i i
Redfish in Div. 3LN i i
i *** *** ***
American plaice in Div. 3LNO i
i i
Yellowtail flounder in Div. 3LNO i
i
i i
Witch flounder in Div. 3NO
i
i
i ****
Capelin in Div. 3NO i
i
i i
Redfish in Div. 3O i i
i
i i i
Thorny skate in Div. 3LNOPs i
i
i i
White hake in Div. 3NOPs i
i
i i
Widely Distributed Stocks
Witch flounder in Div. 2J+3KL i i
i
i i i
Greenland halibut in SA2 and Div. 3KLMNO
*
*
*
*
* * * *
Squid Illex in Subareas 3 and 4
i
i
i
i i i
Shrimp Stocks
Northern Shrimp in Div. 3M
**
i  
Northern Shrimp in Div. 3LNO
**
 

* The Commission adopted in 2010 an MSE approach to Greenland halibut stock in Subarea 2 + Division 3KLMNO (FC Doc. 10/12). This approach considers a survey based harvest control rule (HCR) to set a TAC for this stock on an annual basis for the next four year period.

** Schedule of Assesment changed. Advice for 2013 was provided in September 2012.

*** The Commission adopted in 2014 an MSE approach for Redfish in Division 3LN (FC Doc. 14/29). This approach uses a Harvest Control Rule (HCR) designed to reach 18 100 t of annual catch by 2019-2020 through a stepwise biannual catch increase, with the same amount of increase every two years.

****Scientific Council Advice of its own Accord.

In addition the stocks managed by the Commission in concurrence with Coastal States there are stocks that occur only in the EEZ of the coastal countries. Advice for these stocks is requested by Coastal States. (click on  to view advice) (i = interim monitoring report). Detailed assessment information can be found in the Scientific Council Reports and SCR and SCS Documents.

+ is full assessment year

i is interim monitor

- no assessment undertaken or currently planned

by Canada and Greenland:
Stock
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015 2016 2017 2018
Greenland halibut in SA 0+ Div. 1A offshore + 
Div. 1B-1F
i
Northern Shrimp in SA 0+1
 
by Denmark (Greenland):
Stock
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015 2016 2017 2018
Greenland halibut in Div. 1A inshore i i
i i
Northern Shrimp in Denmark Strait
 
Redfish in SA 1 i i
i i i
Other finfish in SA 1* ** **
**
** ** ** **
Wolffish in SA1 **   i i i i i
American plaice in SA 1**   i i i i i i
Roundnose grenadier in SA 0+1 i i i i i i

* Other finfish in Subarea 1 consists of Greenland cod, American plaice, wolffishes, thorny skate, lumpsucker, Atlantic halibut, and sharks
** Since 2012 requests have been by species and only for Wolffish and American plaice.

As well Scientific Council offers its advice on its own accord for roughhead grenadier in Subarea 2 and 3:
Stock
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015 2016 2017 2018
Roughhead grenadier in SA 2+3 i i
i
i i i

Special Requests - Archive

2013 - Special Requests from Fisheries Commission

In addition to single stock assessment each year various special requests for information are made by the Fisheries Commission to the Scientific Council.

Request Summary Response Full Response
Harvest Control Rules for Greenland halibut (Item 4a)

The TAC for 2014 derived from the HCR is 15 441 t.

Exceptional circumstances in the Greenland halibut management strategy (Item 4b) According to the indicator based on surveys, exceptional circumstances are presently occurring, however, having a survey observation above the simulated distributions does not constitute a conservation concern. Due to the unavailability of STACFIS catch estimates in 2011 and 2012, SC is unable to determine whether recent catches constitute an exceptional circumstance.
Consequences resulting from a decrease in mesh size in the mid-water trawl fishery for redfish in Div. 3LN to 90mm or lower (Item 5)

Scientific Council concluded that the reduction of mesh size from 130 mm to not less than 90 mm for the pelagic redfish fishery appears not to be harmful to the Div. 3LN redfish stock.
However, measures should be taken to ensure one source of unaccounted mortality i.e. escape mortality at the surface is not replaced by another, i.e. discarding and/or high-grading.

Provide Bmsy and Fmsy for cod in Div. 3M (Item 6) Scientific Council concluded that is not possible at this time to provide candidates values of Bmsy and Fmsy for this stock.
Encounter thresholds for VME indicator species (Item 7)

General comment regarding encounter protocols and closed areas
Scientific Council reiterates its June 2012 statement that management through the closing of areas with significant concentrations of VME indicator species is the most effective measure for protecting VMEs in the NRA and that the need to implement encounter protocols gradually becomes redundant as the locations of the benthic VMEs becomes increasingly well-defined. This avoids issues associated with the implementation of complex move-on rules.
Scientific Council notes that a number of closed areas are currently in effect protecting VMEs, and additional new areas and extensions are proposed to the next Fisheries Commission meeting by the FC WGFMS-VME to cover zones of significant catches of large gorgonian corals and sea pens.

Response summary
A GIS model-based encounter threshold of 0.2 kg/trawl was calculated for small gorgonian corals inside the fishing footprint and proposed outside, on the continental slopes of the NRA. Issues with catchability and data quality prevented similar analyses being performed on large gorgonian corals and the other VME indicator taxa inside the fishing footprint. This candidate threshold for the small gorgonian corals is a good example of a threshold value likely to be impractical. Maps of their distribution in the NRA have been provided for informational purposes and Scientific Council is not making explicit recommendations regarding closures via these maps.

For areas outside of the fishing footprint along the continental slopes, the same thresholds calculated inside the footprint should be considered for those taxa where thresholds have been provided. Specifically: 300 kg/trawl for Sponges, 7 kg/trawl for Sea Pens and 0.2 kg /trawl for Small Gorgonian Corals. For the Large Gorgonian corals an encounter threshold of 2 kg/ trawl could be used based on RV cumulative catch data from inside the fishing footprint. For all other VME indicator species, outside of the fishing footprint, the presence of the VME indicator should be considered as the threshold, given the high risk of significant adverse impact.
For seamounts, presence of any of the VME indicator species should be considered to trigger move-on rules.

In 2012, candidate move-on rules for sponges and sea pens were provided based on information on their spatial distribution. Those move-on rules were not applicable to the seamounts. Scientific Council was unable to provide further recommendations on the move-on rule for other VME indicator species.

Productivity of Cod in Div. 3NO and define MSY reference points (Item 8) Scientific Council concluded that there have been major changes in productivity for Div. 3NO cod.  During the 1990s sustainable yield was near zero. As an interim F target Scientific Council recommends either F0.1 (0.19) or F35%SPR (0.2) based on long term data.  Scientific Council further recommends a level of 180 000 - 185 000 t of SSB as an interim Btarget.
Witch flounder in Div. 3NO reference points or proxies including Blim (Item 9)

Scientific Council analysed available data for Div. 3NO witch but was not able to recommend reference points at this time. Biomass indices in the mid 1980s were higher, but it was considered unlikely that they represent the highest level experienced by this stock.

Thus in this case it was not appropriate to apply the 85% decline criterion for establishing a limit reference point. The lowest points in the biomass index occurred from 1993 to 1998, and measuring increase of the stock against this level is a useful metric, until a limit reference point can be calculated. Establishing reference points for this stock remains a priority in Scientific Council, and further analysis should continue, to be presented in the full assessment of this stock scheduled in 2014.

Reassessment of fishing activity with respect to SAI (Item 10)

This is a preliminary work plan to be reviewed in 2014 with regard to content and timeline.

The modified NCEM narrows the scope of assessments of bottom fishing activities, focusing them on the assessment of Significant Adverse Impacts (SAI) on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME). In this context, Scientific Council has developed a two-step work plan where a first step is centered in the review of the closures for corals, sponges and seamounts (which is due in 2014), and a second step, which builds upon the results of the first,  focused on the analysis of SAI on VMEs by 2016.

Witch flounder in Div. 3NO exploitable biomass and spawning stock biomass (Item 11) An index of spawning stock biomass (SSB) for witch flounder in Div. 3NO was accepted by Scientific Council. The index shows an increase from the lowest values in the mid-1990s, but remains well below the peak values in 1985 to 1990. Indices of exploitable biomass, although not developed here, would likely be very similar to the total biomass indices.
Consideration for reopening stocks under moratorium (Item 12a) and sustainable harvest rates for healthy stocks (Item 12b) A full answer implies the existence of reference points for the stocks in question. Scientific Council recommends high priority is given to the development of limit reference points within Scientific Council. Scientific Council also recommends that the current NAFO Precautionary Approach framework be revised and that this should be conducted in close cooperation between Scientific Council and the proposed joint FC-SC Working Group on Risk-Based Management Strategies.
Progress on the “Roadmap for EAF” (Item 13) a) The “Roadmap” lays out the organizing framework to develop an EAF.  It is a framework that includes both Scientific Council and Fisheries Commission.  Scientific Council has made progress on many aspects of the Roadmap, although there are still gaps that need to be addressed (see Table 2).  Required inputs from Fisheries Commission include ‘goal setting’ (e.g. defining explicit ecosystem objectives, developing governance mechanisms to discuss/set multispecies objectives), and ‘monitoring’ (e.g. developing mechanisms to ensure the availability of catch information for both commercial and non-commercial species); ‘risk assessment’ would also require important input from Fisheries Commission.
Limited human resources and funding support impose limits to the pace at which many of the studies required to support the roadmap can be carried out
b) Studies estimating cod consumption of shrimp, redfish and cod (i.e. cannibalism) and redfish consumption of shrimp in the Flemish Cap reinforced the notion that strong trophic interactions between these species exist. Additional work on multispecies modeling incorporated these results and showed that model outcomes were similar in trend to work reported by Scientific Council in 2012.  Further work is required to provide the required quantitative advice.
c) A variety of studies (e.g. analysis of ecosystem trends, diet studies, ecological modeling) are ongoing.
Stock interactions with Div. 3LNO shrimp (Item 14) This was considered by Scientific Council and NIPAG and incorporated into the advice.  
Sargasso Sea management measures (Item 15) Within the portion of the Sargasso Sea defined by the polygon provided in the request, the forage areas or habitat for living marine resources that could be impacted by different types of fishing relevant to NAFO management are limited to those associated with the New England and Corner Rise Seamounts. Therefore the Scientific Council recommends that:
  1. The polygons of the closures for both the New England and Corner Rise seamounts be revised to the north, east and west in the NAFO Convention Area to include all the peaks that are shallower than 2000 metres (as shown by green dots in Fig. 3).
  2. For seamount fisheries in areas where fishing has not historically taken place, the Exploratory Fishing protocol be expanded to include all types of fishing, specifically the current mid-water trawl gears.
  3. Precautionary regulations of the mid-water trawl fishery on splendid alfonsino be put in place. The regulations can include simple measures such as limiting spatially and temporally (i.e. outside the spawning season which is reported it be in July/August (Vinnchenko,1997)) the activity with a close monitoring (i.e. include 100% scientific observer coverage in order to collect data for these less-known areas) including prior notifications, and effort or catch limitation. These regulations would only apply to areas where fishing has taken place historically as shown in Fig. 2, and only using a mid-water trawl (i.e. bottom trawl would remain under the Exploratory Protocol). Outside these areas, the expanded Exploratory fishing protocol would apply.
Analysis of fishing effort (Item 16a) and Assessment of risk of SAI on VME indicator aggregations and VME elements (Item 16b)

This is a presentation of preliminary results for a necessary component of reassessment of bottom fishing activities, underlying analysis is to be further refined: The analysis of VMS data indicates that most of the fishing effort for the 2008-2011 period has been concentrated in a relatively small area within the fishing footprint. Most of the overall biomass of the VME species considered (sponges and seapens) outside of the closed areas is found in the large region associated with low fishing intensity, but additional work is required to fully characterize the likelihood of encounters, and the consequent risk of SAIs.

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Categories: SC Advice

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