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Atlantic Cod - Flemish Cap
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stocks management recommendations 2015
Atlantic Cod - Flemish Cap
Fact Sheet Citation  
Cod in Div. 3M
Owned byNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
 
Species:
FAO Names: en - Atlantic cod, fr - Morue de l'Atlantique, es - Bacalao del Atlántico, zh - 大西洋鳕, ru - Треска атлантическая
Geographic extent of Atlantic Cod - Flemish Cap
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2014
 
 
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
PartnerFIRMS
Exploitation rateHigh Fishing MortalityHigh fishing mortalityRed
Abundance levelIntermediate Stock SizeIntermediate abundance

Current SSB is estimated to be well above Blim. Recruitments since 2005 have been relatively high, especially in 2011 and 2012, although the 2013-2014 ones were much lower than the level observed in 2011-2012. F increased in 2010 with the opening of the fishery and it has remained stable since then at two times Flim.
Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Slope - Deepslope (500 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: High Seas Purely

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes
Exploitation
 

Cod is caught in a directed trawl fishery and as bycatch in the directed redfish fishery by trawlers. The fishery is regulated by quota.

Recent catch estimates and TACs (000 t) are as follows:
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
TAC ndf ndf ndf ndf 5.5 10.0 9.3 14.1 14.5 13.8
STATLANT 21 0.1 0.1 0.4 1.2 5.3 10.0 9.1 13.5 10.5  
STACFIS 0.3 0.3 0.9 1.2 9.2 13.61 13.41 14.0 14.3  

1 Estimated via the assessment model

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem

No specific information available. General impacts of fishing gear on the ecosystem should be considered. A large area of Div. 3M has been closed to protect sponge, seapens and coral.
Assessment
 
Overall Assessment Results
Reference Point
 
Blim: 14 000 t of spawning biomass (Scientific Council 2008)
Flim = F30%SPR: 0.131 (Scientific Council, 2014)


Projection
  B SSB Yield
  Median (90% CI)
Fbar = Flim (median – 0.131)
2015 65 670 (44 646 – 96 439) 48 340 (31 543 – 73 066) 13 795  
2016 73 884 (43 934 – 118 238) 54 691 (31 574 – 88 297) 12 425 (6250 – 23 906)
2017 91 376 (48 809 – 158 835) 57 478 (34 419 - 91 536) 15 436 (7944 – 27 988)
2018 110 214 (46 833 – 209 350) 60 049 (31 712 – 103 003)    
Fbar = ¾Flim (median – 0.098)
2015 65 670 (44 646 – 96 439) 48 340 (31 543 – 73 066) 13 795  
2016 73 884 (43 934 – 118 238) 54 691 (31 574 – 88 297) 9578 (4780 – 18 656)
2017 94 576 (50 794 – 163 415) 60 421 (36 089 – 96 404) 12 468 (6336 – 23 292)
2018 115 463 (50 233 – 216 608) 64 768 (34 675 – 109 361)    
Fbar = F2012 – 2014 (median – 0.285)
2015 65 670 (44 646 – 96 439) 48 340 (31 534 – 73 066) 13 795  
2016 73 884 (43 934 – 118 238) 54 691 (31 574 – 88 297) 23 435 (14 510 – 37 577)
2017 79 734 (39 947 – 143 720) 46 143 (26 479 – 75 954) 23 435 (13 832 – 37 384)
2018 92 346 (34 387 – 185 558) 44 176 (21 238 – 81 238)    
Fbar = ¾F2012 – 2014 (median – 0.213)
2015 65 670 (44 646 – 96 439) 48 340 (31 543 – 73 066) 13 795  
2016 73 884 (43 934 – 118 238) 54 691 (31 574 – 88 297) 18 637 (11 489 – 29 889)
2017 85 044 (43 520 – 150 672) 51 203 (29 423 – 83 238) 20 469 (12 052 – 33 209)
2018 100 070 (39 286 – 197 776) 50 823 (25 612 – 90 466)    


  Yield P(Byear < Blim) P(Fyear > Flim) P(B2018 > B2014)
  2015 2016 2017 2015 2016 2017 2018 2015 2016 2017  
Flim 13 795 12 425 15 436 <1% <1% <1% <1% 50% 50% 50% 95%
¾Flim 13 795 9578 12 486 <1% <1% <1% <1% <1% <1% <1% 97%
F2012-2014 13 795 23 435 23 435 <1% <1% <1% <1% >99% >99% >99% 79%
¾ F2012-2014 13 795 18 637 20 469 <1% <1% <1% <1% 97% 97% 97% 88%



Under all scenarios there is a very low probability (<1%) of SSB being below Blim and for F2012-2014 projections, a very high probability (>97%) of F exceeding Flim.
Assessment Model
Analytical assessment
Results

A quantitative model introduced in 2008 was used (Scientific Council 2008). Model settings were unchanged. The unavailability of independently verifiable catch estimates over 2011 – 2012 introduces an additional element of uncertainty in the assessment.

The next full assessment of this stock is planned for 2017.

Fishing Mortality

Recruitment

Biomass

Human impact

Mainly fishery related mortality. Other sources (e.g. pollution, shipping, oil-industry) are undocumented.

Biological and environmental interactions

Redfish, shrimp and smaller cod are important prey items for cod. Recent studies indicate strong trophic interactions between these species in the Flemish Cap.
Scientific Advice

Special Comments

A clear trend in the biological parameters of this stock in recent years has led to revisions in estimated numbers from one year’s assessment to the actual ones in the next assessment. If this pattern continues, the projection results could be biased.

Commercial catches indicate a shift in the length distribution towards the minimum landing size, which could be a concern as it would result in a larger number of individuals being taken for the same TAC, and additionally, may result in increased discarding (see also VII.1.c.iii).
Management
Management unit: Yes

Management Advice

Recommendation for 2016 and 2017

Scientific Council considers that yields at F2012-14 are not sustainable over the longer term. In F2012-14 projections there is a very high probability (>97%) of F exceeding Flim.

Yields at Flim correspond to catches of 12 425 t in 2016 and 15 436 t in 2017. In keeping with the precautionary approach, Scientific Council recommends that the TAC be less than the catch corresponding to Flim

Under both Flim and F2012-14 -based scenarios there is a very low probability (<1%) of SSB being below Blim.
Management Objectives

A management strategy evaluation for this stock is being developed by Fisheries Commission and Scientific Council, but has not yet been finalized. At this moment general convention objectives (NAFO/GC Doc. 08/3) are applied.

Stock definition for management purposes

The cod stock in Flemish Cap (NAFO Div. 3M) is considered to be a separate population.
Source of information
 
SCR Docs. 15/17, 15/33; SCS Docs. 15/04, 15/05, 15/06, 15/07 Click to openhttp://www.nafo.int/publications/frames/sc-docs.html
Report of the Meeting, 29 May - 11 June, 2015 - SCS Doc. 15/12 Click to openhttp://www.nafo.int/publications/frames/sci-reports.html
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