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Northeast Atlantic Pelagic redfish fisheries in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Management report 2017
Northeast Atlantic Pelagic redfish fisheries in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters
Fact Sheet Citation  
Pelagic redfish (Sebastes mentella) in the Irminger and adjacent areas
Owned byNorth-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) – more>>

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Overview: There are two separate management units of pelagic redfish in the Irminger Sea between East Greenland and Iceland that are covered by this NEAFC fact sheet: deep pelagic redfish and shallow pelagic redfish. The fisheries are conducted by large trawlers using pelagic trawls and take place mainly in the NEAFC Regulatory Area but also to some extent in the NAFO Regulatory Area. The two regional organisations have agreed that NEAFC adopts overall total allowable catches (TACs) for redfish, setting aside a part of them to be taken in the NAFO Regulatory Area. In recent years, NEAFC has adopted a 0-TAC for the management unit that occurs in the NAFO Convention Area, consistent with scientific advice from ICES. One NEAFC Contracting Party disagreed with the basis for the ICES advice, and has subsequently objected to the relevant management measures and is not bound by them. Consultations on conservation and management are held both in coastal State fora (where other fishing states are invited to participate) and by NEAFC. 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 (shallow pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-sp.pdf and deep pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-dp.pdf). For a number of years, there has been a disagreement on the basis of the scientific advice, and consequently a disagreement on the basic element of what should be the management units for redfish in the Irminger Sea. Consequently, there has not been agreement on total allowable catches (TAC) or on allocation. In recent years, there has been an agreement that has been reflected in legally binding conservation and management measures, but one Contracting Party has objected to these and not been bound by them. Furthermore, some Contracting Parties have wanted to lower the agreed TAC level even further. This has led to a situation where there has not been comprehensive management for redfish in the Irminger Sea for a number of years.

Location of Northeast Atlantic Pelagic redfish fisheries in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters
 

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
Target Species: Beaked redfish
Fishery Area: North East Atlantic; East Greenland (Subarea 27.14); North of Azores …; Atlantic, Northwest / 21.1.F; Atlantic, Northwest / 21.2.J

Harvested Resource
Type of production system: Industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Geo References for: North East Atlantic
Fleet segment
Vessel Type
Trawlers

Fleets from all the Contracting Parties have participated in these fisheries. The fisheries are conducted by large trawlers using pelagic trawls.
Seasonality
Traditionally, the fishery has started from April and continued until autumn. The current management measures, which not all Contracting Parties are bound by, limit the authorised fishing period to 10 May – 1 July.
Ecosystem Assessment
 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FISHERIES

The fisheries are not conducted by vessel using bottom contacting gear.

There are not significant levels of bycatches in the 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).
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 redfish in the Irminger Sea in 2017 are managed through legally binding conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC, Recommendation 1/2017 (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.1%20-%20Redfish-Irminger-Sea-2017.v2.pdf).

The management is based on setting total allowable catches as 7 500 tonnes for 2017 for the deep pelagic redfish and not authorising any fishing for the shallow pelagic redfish. This takes account of the scientific advice from ICES, which can be found on the ICES website (shallow pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-sp.pdf and deep pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-dp.pdf).

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).
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 (shallow pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-sp.pdf and deep pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-dp.pdf).
Resources Assessed
Assessment advice provided by ICES.
Negotiation Process
Consultations on conservation and management are held both in coastal State fora (where other fishing states are invited to participate) and by NEAFC.
Management Resolutions
Fisheries for redfish in the Irminger Sea in 2017 are managed through legally binding conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC, Recommendation 1/2017 (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.1%20-%20Redfish-Irminger-Sea-2017.v2.pdf).

The management is based on setting total allowable catches as 7 500 tonnes for 2017 for the deep pelagic redfish and not authorising any fishing for the shallow pelagic redfish. This takes account of the scientific advice from ICES, which can be found on the ICES website (shallow pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-sp.pdf and deep pelagic: http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-dp.pdf).

In addition to the general control and enforcement measures, there are specific requirements that apply to the redfish fisheries. The Contracting Party that is not bound by the conservation and management measures has largely implemented these on a voluntary basis.
Management Problems
For a number of years, there has been a disagreement on the basis of the scientific advice, and consequently a disagreement on the basic element of what should be the management units for redfish in the Irminger Sea. Consequently, there has not been agreement on total allowable catches (TAC) or on allocation. In recent years, there has been an agreement that has been reflected in legally binding conservation and management measures, but one Contracting Party has objected to these and not been bound by them. Furthermore, some Contracting Parties have wanted to lower the agreed TAC level even further. This has led to a situation where there has not been comprehensive management for redfish in the Irminger Sea for a number of years.
Management Regime
Management Methods

CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES - Binding

This fishery is regulated by TACs and allocations, although there have been difficulties in reaching a comprehensive agreement on both for a number of years.

COMPLIANCE MEASURES - Binding

The fishery is 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. In addition to the general control and enforcement measures, there are specific requirements that apply to the redfish fisheries. The Contracting Party that is not bound by the conservation and management measures has largely implemented these on a voluntary basis.
Source of Information
 
Information provided by the NEAFC Secretariat.

Sources referred to in this fact sheet are (in the order they are referred to):
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 regarding shallow pelagic redfish. Click to openhttp://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-sp.pdf
ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures are based regarding deep pelagic redfish. Click to openhttp://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/smn-dp.pdf
Recommendation 1/2017 on Conservation and Management Measures for Deep and Shallow Pelagic Redfish in the Irminger Sea and Adjacent Waters in the NEAFC Convention Area for 2017. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec.1%20-%20Redfish-Irminger-Sea-2017.v2.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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