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Northeast Atlantic Deep-sea species fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Management report 2017
Northeast Atlantic Deep-sea species fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Deep-sea species
Owned byNorth-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) – more>>

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Overview: Fisheries for a number of deep-sea species are conducted in the NEAFC Regulatory Area. A list of all 53 species that are formally classified in the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement as “Regulated Resources”, and subject to legally binding conservation and management measures, is available on the NEAFC website (http://www.neafc.org/scheme/Annex1/b). All NEAFC Contracting Parties have taken part in fisheries for deep-sea species. Consultations on conservation and management are held by NEAFC, including in the Permanent Committee on Management and Science. Scientific advice is provided by ICES. NEAFC is not involved in any scientific work. The NEAFC Contracting Parties have stressed that they consider it important to maintain a “clear separation between the scientific role of ICES and the policy and management role of NEAFC” (see report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC http://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf). This NEAFC fact sheet will therefore not comment on scientific work or scientific assessments. The ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures are based can be found on the ICES website (http://tinyurl.com/hd967gv). In recent years, ICES developed a new approach for providing quantitative catch advice for data limited stocks. This has resulted in a move from one very general qualitative advice that applied jointly to all deep sea species to separate quantitative advice for tens of different deep-sea stocks and species. NEAFC has subsequently adopted the NEAFC approach to conservation and management of deep-sea species and categorisation of deep-sea species/stocks (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/NEAFC_approach_to_DSS_conservation-and-management_Nov16.pdf ) on which the legally binding conservation and management measures are based. Like all bottom fisheries, fishing for deep-sea species are also limited by NEAFC’s legally binding measures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_19-2014_as_amended_by_09_2015_fulltext_0.pdf).

Location of Northeast Atlantic Deep-sea species fisheries
 

Geographic reference:  Northeast Atlantic
Spatial Scale: Regional
Reference year: 2016
Approach: Fishery Management Unit

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
Mandate: Management; Monitoring;
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Area of Competence: NEAFC area of competence
Maritime Area: High seas

Harvested Resource
Captured Species: Baird's slickhead; Risso's smooth-head; Blue antimora …  
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Fishery Area: North East Atlantic; NEAFC area of competence

Harvested Resource
Type of production system: Industrial   

Captured Species
Fisheries for a number of deep-sea species are conducted in the NEAFC Regulatory Area. A list of all 53 species that are formally classified in the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement as “Regulated Resources”, and subject to legally binding conservation and management measures, is available on the NEAFC website (http://www.neafc.org/scheme/Annex1/b). 
By-catch: in deep-sea fisheries, by-catches of non-target species and of species of non-commercial interest are known to occur.
Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Temperate; Polar.   Depth zone: Slope (200 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo References for: North East Atlantic
Fleet segment
Fishing Gear
Fishing gear used in deep-sea fisheries (bottom trawl, longline and gillnet) does have bottom contact.

Longlines (nei)

Seasonality
All year round.
Ecosystem Assessment
 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FISHERIES

NEAFC’s request to ICES for scientific advice reads in part as follows:

”The recurring advice shall include information on the state of marine ecosystems and human impacts including historical developments in main parameters and information on the present state and recent development of stocks. The recurrent advice shall provide information on state of stocks and fisheries including - when available - historical developments in spawning stock biomass, total stock biomass, fishing mortality as well as landings and discards in the NEAFC regulatory area and within EEZs.”

“When providing its advice regarding fisheries ICES shall take account of all available information and the context of fisheries management including information from the fishing industry, ecosystem considerations, environment and hydrographical conditions, regulations in force that affect fisheries, factors affecting fishing operations and information about the fisheries, development of fisheries technology and relevant performance changes and other relevant factors that affect fishing or fish stocks.”

“If agreed management plans or recovery plans exist which ICES does not consider in accordance with the criteria defined in the NEAFC Convention or if no agreed management plans exist, ICES shall advice on management measures (including options for management plans) which ICES finds in accordance with the NEAFC Convention. If significantly different, the advice shall be given separately for a risk avoidance approach, based on the Precautionary Approach, and an MSY approach within the limitations of the Precautionary Approach. The short term implications of such measures shall be provided.”

“The advice shall be based on an ecosystem approach. This will be implemented incrementally so that any information on the interactions between fisheries, the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem is considered and incorporated in the advice as it becomes available; specifically, taking ecosystem and environmental considerations into account when providing the recurring advice mentioned above, ICES will:

Assess the extent to which fishing disturbs the marine ecosystems and, where reference levels have been established, compare the impact to the reference level chosen.

Provide any new information regarding the impact of fisheries on other components of the ecosystem including small cetaceans and other marine mammals, sea birds and sensitive habitats.

Inform NEAFC of any notable impact of other factors on and imbalances in ecosystem structure that may prejudice the stocks of commercially valuable species and its long term exploitation;

Propose reference points as guidance for management purposes in an ecosystem context.

ICES will in addition give warnings of any serious threats from fishing activities alone or in conjunction with any other relevant activity to local ecosystems or species as soon as ICES is aware of such threats.”

The full request for advice is available on the NEAFC website (https://www.neafc.org/system/files/AM-2016-80-Rev.1_Request-to-ICES-for-advice%20final.pdf).

Bottom fisheries in the NEAFC Regulatory Area (i.e. the high seas of the North East Atlantic) are limited by the legally binding measures for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). These measures (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_19-2014_as_amended_by_09_2015_fulltext_0.pdf) limit bottom fishing to areas where bottom fisheries took place in a specific reference period, and which have not been closed due to VMEs occurring or being likely to occur. This limits the areas where bottom fishing is authorised to a small proportion of the NEAFC Regulatory Area. Areas where VMEs occur or are likely to occur are closed to bottom fishing, but as a precautionary measure encounters with VME indicator species above a specific threshold result in a temporary bottom fishing closure for all vessels. Outside the areas where bottom fisheries took place in a specific reference period, only strictly regulated exploratory bottom fishing can be authorised. These need to undergo an environmental impact assessment and be explicitly agreed to by NEAFC before being authorised, and in practice no such exploratory bottom fishing has taken place.
Management
Management unit: Yes

The fishery is regulated under NEAFC jurisdictional framework / management regime.

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
Mandate: Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area of Competence: NEAFC area of competence
Maritime Area: High seas.  
The NEAFC Regulatory Area is the areas beyond national jurisdiction in the NEAFC Convention Area.
NEAFC Regulatory Area. Based on NEAFC VMS database. This maps shows positions of all fishing vessels in the NEAFC Regulatory Area irrespective of fishery and gear type. Prepared by Dr Jason Hall-Spencer.
Related Fisheries - Management system
This fishery is managed as part of the management system described in Northeast Atlantic NEAFC high seas fisheries.

Fisheries for deep sea fisheries are subject to a series of legally binding conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC. There are general measures that limit the effort in fisheries for all deep-sea species, Recommendation 6/2017 (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.6%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Species-2017%281%29.pdf). There are measures that prohibit fisheries targeting respectively deep-sea sharks (Recommendation 10/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.10%20-%20Deep-Sea-Sharks.pdf), deep-sea rays (Recommendation 11/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.11%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Rays%20%28Chondrichtyans%29_2017.pdf) and deep-sea chimaeras (Recommendation 12/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.12%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Chimaeras.pdf). There are also stock-specific conservation and management measures that establish total allowable catches for two separate stocks of grenadiers (Recommendation 8/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.8%20-%20Grenadiers_2017%281%29.pdf and Recommendation 9/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.9%20-%20Grenadiers_2017%28Hatton%20Bank%20and%20Rockall%29.pdf). In addition, there is a seasonal closure to protect spawning aggregations of blue ling (Recommendation 7/2017, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.7%20-%20Blue_ling.pdf).

In addition to these measures, NEAFC also has a legally binding Recommendation that prohibits deploying gillnets, entangling nets or trammel nets at any position where the charted depth is greater than 200 metres (Recommendation 3/2006, http://www.neafc.org/system/files/rec-3_deep-water-gillnet-.pdf).

Consultations on formulating conservation and management measures for deep-sea species take place within the Permanent Committee on Management and Science, and directly among the NEAFC Contracting Parties.

The management takes account of the scientific advice from ICES. The ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures are based can be found on the ICES website (http://tinyurl.com/hd967gv).

In recent years, ICES developed a new approach for providing quantitative catch advice for data limited stocks. This has resulted in a move from one very general qualitative advice that applied jointly to all deep sea species to separate quantitative advice for tens of different deep-sea stocks and species.

NEAFC has subsequently adopted the NEAFC approach to conservation and management of deep-sea species and categorisation of deep-sea species/stocks (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/NEAFC_approach_to_DSS_conservation-and-management_Nov16.pdf ) on which the legally binding conservation and management measures are based. The current NEAFC conservation and management measures for deep-sea species are based on this approach, including applying the classification of the various fish stocks into the four categories that the approach establishes.

Bottom fisheries in the NEAFC Regulatory Area (i.e. the high seas of the North East Atlantic) are limited by the legally binding measures for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). These measures (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_19-2014_as_amended_by_09_2015_fulltext_0.pdf) limit bottom fishing to areas where bottom fisheries took place in a specific reference period, and which have not been closed due to VMEs occurring or being likely to occur. This limits the areas where bottom fishing is authorised to a small proportion of the NEAFC Regulatory Area. Areas where VMEs occur or are likely to occur are closed to bottom fishing, but as a precautionary measure encounters with VME indicator species above a specific threshold result in a temporary bottom fishing closure for all vessels. Outside the areas where bottom fisheries took place in a specific reference period, only strictly regulated exploratory bottom fishing can be authorised. These need to undergo an environmental impact assessment and be explicitly agreed to by NEAFC before being authorised, and in practice no such exploratory bottom fishing has taken place.

NEAFC’s Permanent Committee on Monitoring and Compliance reports annually to the NEAFC Commission on compliance by the Contracting Parties with Recommendations adopted by NEAFC. The latest such compliance report, relating to the year 2015, can be found on the NEAFC website (https://www.neafc.org/system/files/AM-2016-50_Compliance-Report-2015_final.pdf).


History
All previous conservation and management measures can be found on the NEAFC website (https://www.neafc.org/managing_fisheries/measures/historic).

NEAFC started focusing on the management of fisheries for deep-sea species in the 1990s. A major challenge from the outset was a lack of sufficient information on the fisheries, most prominently the fact that the lack of data made it impossible to receive scientific advice with explicit quantitative advised catch limits for individual stocks. This resulted in NEAFC adopting precautionary conservation and management measures in the form of general effort limitations that applied to all deep-sea species.

It was therefore a major turning point in this context when ICES formulated a new approach to providing advice for data-limited stocks. This new approach enables ICES to provide NEAFC with quantitative advice for a great number of deep-sea fish stocks and thereby fundamentally changed the way NEAFC addresses the management of fisheries for deep-sea species.

In 2014, NEAFC approved interim guidelines on the management of deep-sea species. These were implemented until they were replaced in 2016 with the NEAFC approach to conservation and management of deep-sea species and categorisation of deep-sea species/stocks (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/NEAFC_approach_to_DSS_conservation-and-management_Nov16.pdf).

This establishes that NEAFC’s approach to deep-sea fisheries management should aim to place individual stocks into one of four categories, each of which require a different character and level of NEAFC regulations. The four categories are as follows:

1. Stock-specific measures. This should apply stocks for which ICES provides stock-specific catch level advice based on established stock definitions and where the entire or a significant proportion of the catch is taken in the NEAFC RA. Such measures may be of varying nature, but should typically specify catch limits for fisheries in the NEAFC RA.

2. Measures stipulating that directed fisheries are not authorised and that bycatches should be minimised. This should apply to stocks for which the ICES advice statement is “no directed fishery, minimize bycatch” or similar, but for which no specific catch limit is advised.

3. Measures to respond in a timely and adequate manner to new deep-sea species fishing activity within the NEAFC RA. This should apply to developing fisheries targeting previously unexploited or lightly exploited species/stocks. NEAFC should prevent unregulated expansion of deep-water fisheries even before information has been gathered to facilitate ICES assessment and advice. Pending ICES advice facilitating stock-specific measures as in Pt. 1., such fisheries should be regulated with a precautionary catch limit, preferably but not necessarily advised by ICES.

4. Measures for fisheries primarily restricted to EEZs. NEAFC RA measures may in such cases be irrelevant and could at most be complementary to coastal state conservation and management measures. If a NEAFC measure is deemed necessary or useful, the aim of such a measure would be to complement EEZ measures in order to ensure that total catches remain within e.g. catch limits advised by ICES.

Pursuant to the agreed NEAFC approach, where a total of 64 deep-sea stocks and species have been formally placed in one of the four categories, and conservation and management measures have been established accordingly.

Many of these measures were already in place before the guidelines and categorisation were adopted. However, the adoption of the guidelines and categorisation have ensured that NEAFC’s approach is methodical and consistent.
Status of Management
Assessment Summary
Scientific advice is provided by ICES. NEAFC is not involved in any scientific work. The NEAFC Contracting Parties have stressed that they consider it important to maintain a “clear separation between the scientific role of ICES and the policy and management role of NEAFC” (see report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC http://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf). This NEAFC fact sheet will therefore not comment on scientific work or scientific assessments. The ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures are based can be found on the ICES website (http://tinyurl.com/hd967gv).
Resources Assessed
Assessment advice provided by ICES.A list of all 53 species that are formally classified in the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement as “Regulated Resources”, and subject to legally binding conservation and management measures, is available on the NEAFC website (http://www.neafc.org/scheme/Annex1/b).
Negotiation Process
Consultations on formulating conservation and management measures for deep-sea species take place within the Permanent Committee on Management and Science, and directly among the NEAFC Contracting Parties.
Management Problems
Traditionally, lack of quantitative scientific advice for catch levels were a major obstacle to the formulation of effective conservation and management measures. The approach that ICES has developed regarding data limited stocks, and the subsequent formulation of a NEAFC approach to conservation and management of deep-sea species and categorisation of deep-sea species/stocks (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/NEAFC_approach_to_DSS_conservation-and-management_Nov16.pdf), have resulted in vast improvements in recent years.

Nevertheless, challenges remain regarding ensuring effective management for all deep-sea species. Among these is the need to improve the general measures that currently limit the overall effort in deep-sea species, but are not considered to be sufficiently targeted. Efforts are underway to address this, including through a Working Group on deep-sea species that is gathering data on the fisheries to establish an improved basis for future management. There also remains a disagreement in place among the NEAFC Contracting Parties regarding what is the most appropriate approach to take regarding some deep-sea species, including orange roughy.
Management Regime
Management Methods

CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES - Binding

Deep-sea fisheries are regulated by catch limits, including both TACs and prohibitions on targeted fisheries, and by effort limitations.

COMPLIANCE MEASURES - Binding

Deep-sea fisheries are monitored and controlled according to the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement (https://www.neafc.org/scheme/contents). This includes inter alia a vessel monitoring system, regular catch reporting, inspections at sea and port state control.
Source of Information
 
Information provided by the NEAFC Secretariat.

Sources referred to in this fact sheet are (in the order they are referred to):
The list of deep-sea species considered as “Regulated Resources” in the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/scheme/Annex1/b
Report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf
ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures are based. Click to openhttp://tinyurl.com/hd967gv
The NEAFC approach to conservation and management of deep-sea species and categorisation of deep-sea species/stocks.  Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/NEAFC_approach_to_DSS_conservation-and-management_Nov16.pdf
Recommendation 19/2014 on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the NEAFC Regulatory Area. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_19-2014_as_amended_by_09_2015_fulltext_0.pdf
Recommendation 6/2017 on Conservation and Management Measures for Deep Sea Species in the NEAFC Regulatory Area in 2017. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.6%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Species-2017%281%29.pdf
Recommendation 10/20017 on Conservation and Management Measures for Deep Sea Sharks in the NEAFC Regulatory Area for 2017 to 2019. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.10%20-%20Deep-Sea-Sharks.pdf
Recommendation 11/2017 on Conservation and Management Measures for Deep Sea Rays (Rajiformes) in the NEAFC Regulatory Area.  Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.11%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Rays%20%28Chondrichtyans%29_2017.pdf
Recommendation 12/2017 on Conservation and Management Measure for Deep Sea Chimaeras in the NEAFC Regulatory Area. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.12%20-%20Deep-Sea%20Chimaeras.pdf
Recommendation 8/2017 on the Conservation and Management of Roundnose Grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris), Roughhead Grenadier (Macrourus berglax), and Roughsnout Grenadier (Trachyrinchus scabrus) and other Grenadiers (Macrouridae) in the NEAFC Regulatory Area (Divisions Xb and XIIc, and Subdivisions XIIa1 and XIVb1) for 2017. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.8%20-%20Grenadiers_2017%281%29.pdf
Recommendation 9/2017 on the Conservation and Management of Roundnose Grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris), Roughhead Grenadier (Macrourus berglax), and Roughsnout Grenadier (Trachyrinchus scabrus) and other Grenadiers (Macrouridae) in the NEAFC Regulatory Area on Hatton Bank and Rockall (ICES Subdivisions VIb1 and VIIc1 and VIIk1, and Subdivisions Vb1a and Division XIIb) for 2017. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.9%20-%20Grenadiers_2017%28Hatton%20Bank%20and%20Rockall%29.pdf
Recommendation 7/2017 on Regulatory Measures for the Protection of Blue Ling in the NEAFC Regulatory Area (ICES Division XIV) from 2017-2020. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.7%20-%20Blue_ling.pdf
Recommendation 3/2006 to Temporarily Prohibit the Use of Gillnets Entangling Nets and Trammel Nets in the NEAFC Regulatory Area. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/rec-3_deep-water-gillnet-.pdf
Historic conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC. Click to openhttps://www.neafc.org/managing_fisheries/measures/historic
The NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement.  Click to openhttps://www.neafc.org/scheme/contents
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