|Marine Resource Fact Sheet|
|Whiting - North Sea, Eastern English Channel|
|Whiting in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division VIId (Eastern Channel)|
|Considered a single stock: Yes
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional|
Management unit: Yes
Reference Year: 2012
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m). Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.
Whiting are largely mature from age 2, which means recruitment can heavily influence the SSB in the following year at low stock sizes. The spatial distribution of whiting is considered to have changed over the last decade. This may represent a contraction to a sub-stock structure that coincides with the main spawning areas in the North Sea. The 2011 key run of the North Sea multispecies model (SMS), on which natural mortality estimates for this stock are based, indicates that whiting are a major prey component in the diet of many piscivorous fish and marine mammals.
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations
Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Ecoregion: North Sea
Considered a single stock: Yes
Whiting are caught in mixed demersal roundfish fisheries, fisheries targeting flatfish, the Nephrops fisheries, and as bycatches in the industrial sandeel and Norway pout fisheries. Cod recovery measures since 2002 have influenced the fisheries effort and local distribution as well as the selectivity by increasing minimum mesh sizes and implementing selective gear. Industrial fisheries have reduced considerably since 1995 due to low TACs. The Human Consumption TAC for this stock has been restrictive since 2000.
||Total landings (2011) = 31.3 kt, where 18.4 kt are landings (~39% demersal trawls and seine with mesh >= 100 mm North Sea, 28% demersal trawls mesh size 70–99 mm North Sea, 28% demersal trawls mesh size 70–99 mm Eastern Channel, and 5% other gears), 11.8 kt discards, and 1.1 kt industrial bycatch.
ICES advises on the basis of precautionary considerations that landings should be no more than 26 000 t (human consumption for the combined area) in 2013. Management for Division VIId should be separated from the rest of Subarea VII
Assessment ModelScientific basis
||Age-based analytical (XSA).
||Two survey indices (IBTS Q1 & Q3 ages 1 to 5).
|Discards and bycatch
||Included in the assessment for Subarea IV and Division VIId since 1990.
||This assessment was benchmarked in 2009 (WKROUND), and is due to be benchmarked again in 2013.
|Working group report
Management unit: YesManagement plans
In 2011 ICES considered an F target of 0.3 (with a 15% TAC constraint) to be consistent with long-term stability even when recruitment is poor for several consecutive years. Based on a considerable revision in the level of fishing mortality in 2012, the target F is no longer considered applicable and the management target needs re-evaluation.
Biological State and Trend
Exploitation rate: Undefined
Abundance level: Undefined
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. Whiting in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division VIId (Eastern Channel) Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2012. ICES Advice, WKNSSK 2012. http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2012/2012/whg-47d.pdf