Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Saithe - Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, Spitzbergen and Bear Island
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
ICES Advice 2012
Saithe - Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, Spitzbergen and Bear Island
Fact Sheet Citation  
Saithe in Subareas I and II (Northeast Arctic)
Owned byInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Saithe(=Pollock), fr - Lieu noir, es - Carbonero(=Colín), ar - قدّيّة سوداء, zh - 青鳕, ru - Сайда
Geographic extent of Saithe - Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, Spitzbergen and Bear Island
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2012
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateAt targetModerate fishing mortality
Abundance levelAbove triggerIntermediate abundance

Since 1995, SSB has been well above Bpa and has decreased in recent years. Fishing mortality was well below Fpa for a number of years after 1996, but has increased since 2005 to Fpa in 2010 and 2011. The 2005 and 2007 year classes are above average, while the 2006 and 2008 year classes seem to be below average strength.
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m).   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Saithe in Subareas I and II is an important predator on other species in the ecosystem, notably young herring, haddock, and Norway pout. Saithe is a typical migrating fish and makes both feeding and spawning migrations. There are examples of extensive migration of young saithe from the western part of the Norwegian coast to the North Sea and of older saithe migrating from more northern areas to Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and a few examples of migration to the Norwegian coast.

Environmental influence on the stock

There have been variations in distribution and migration patterns over the years, but the link with environmental parameters remains unclear.
Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Ecoregion: Barents Sea.
Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

The fisheries

Norway accounts for more than 90% of the landings. The gillnet fishery is most intense during winter, purse seine in the summer months, while the trawl fishery takes place more evenly year-round. Coastal cod and S. marinus are caught as bycatch in some of the saithe fisheries (ICES, 2011b, 2011c).
Catch distribution Total landings (2011) are 157 kt (43% trawl, 29% purse-seine, 20% gillnet, and 8% other gear types). Discards are considered to be low.
Scientific Advice

ICES advises on the basis of the management plan implemented by the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs that catches in 2013 should be no more than 16 000 t. Bycatches of coastal cod and Sebastes marinus should be kept as low as possible.
Overall Assessment Results
Figure Saithe in Subareas I and II (Northeast Arctic). Summary of stock assessment (weights in thousand tonnes, recruitment estimates are shown in grey). Top right: SSB/F for the time-series used in the assessment.
Assessment Model

Quality consideration

Norwegian sampling of commercial catches is believed to be less precise because of the termination of a Norwegian port sampling programme in mid-2009. The poor sampling caused problems in estimating Norwegian catches for the oldest ages in 2010. A small Norwegian port sampling programme from 2011 and onwards and an expansion of the high seas reference fleet has improved the situation somewhat. But there is still a lack of samples from certain gears and areas and the working group recommends an increase in port sampling effort.

After the 2010 benchmark the retrospective pattern of the assessment has been less severe.
Figure Saithe in Subareas I and II (Northeast Arctic). Historical assessment results (final-year recruitment estimates included).

Scientific basis

Assessment type XSA with a 3–15+ catch matrix, two tuning time-series split in 2002, shrinkage (S.E. of the mean to which estimates are shrunk = 1.5), and no tapered time weighting.
Input data Two tuning fleets (NOcoast-Aco-4Q), cpue data from the Norwegian trawl fisheries, and indices from the Norwegian acoustic survey, both split in 2002.
Discards and bycatch Discarding is considered to be minor.
Indicators None.
Other information The latest benchmark was performed in 2010 (WKROUND, 2010).
Working group report AFWG
Management unit: Yes

Management plans

The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs implemented a harvest control rule (HCR) in autumn 2007 (see Annex 3.4.4). ICES evaluated the HCR in 2007 and concluded that it is consistent with the precautionary approach, providing the assessment uncertainty and error are not greater than those calculated from historical data. This also holds true for implementation error (difference between TAC and catch).
Source of information

The above excerpts are from the first two pages of the ICES advice, the supporting information to this advice can be read in full at the following reference:
ICES. Saithe in Subareas I and II (Northeast Arctic). Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2012. ICES Advice, June 2012. Click to open
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