The data available for this stock do not change the perception of the stock and do not give reason to change the advice from 2007. The advice on this stock for the fishery in 2010 is therefore the same as the advice given in 2007 and reiterated in 2008. The advice on this stock for the fishery in 2010 is therefore the same as the advice given in 2008 for the 2009 fishery: “ICES reiterates the recommendation made since 2002 to limit the catches to below the 1982–1997 average of 18 000 t. It is necessary to constrain the fishery until there is more information about the structure of horse mackerel stocks, and sufficient information to show that higher exploitation rates are sustainable.
ICES’ advice is based on the time period when the catches in Division VIId were small. In recent years, catches in Division VIId have remained stable at a higher level but without a trend. However, the sustainability of these catches cannot yet be assessed and the basis of ICES’ advice remains unchanged.
The advice for horse mackerel assumes that all catches are counted against the TAC for each stock separately. In 2008 and before, the TAC covered only part of the distribution and fishing areas (EU waters). ICES advises that the management areas correspond to the distribution areas which include all EU, Norwegian, and Faroe Islands waters where horse mackerel are caught.
The table below shows a summary of the TACs set, ICES advice, and catches for 2008, and the 2009 advice and TACs.
Since 2002, the TAC advice has remained the same. Catches of North Sea horse mackerel have varied between 24 and 42 thousand tonnes during this period. In 2008, the catch was 34,750 tonnes which is almost double the advised catch. Most of the catch of North Sea horse mackerel is taken in ICES Division VIId (90% in 2008). The key problem is that the TAC for the western stock is allocated to this ICES division, but catches from this area are of North Sea horse mackerel. To ensure precautionary management of all the horse mackerel stock areas TACs should be allocated according to the advice section in the table above. Specifically, three measures need to be taken:
- The TAC for western horse mackerel should apply to all areas where western horse mackerel is caught (EU, Norwegian, and Faroe Islands waters) and where necessary be subject to agreement.
- Catches from ICES Division VIId should be taken against a TAC for the North Sea stock.
- Catches taken in Division VIIIc need to be taken against a TAC for the western stock.
If the management area limits are revised, measures should be taken to ensure that misreporting of juvenile catch taken in Divisions VIIe,h and VIId (the latter then belonging to the North Sea stock management area) is effectively hindered.
|188.8.131.52 Horse Mackerel general. Catches (t) by Subarea. Data as submitted by Working Group members. Data of limited discard information are only available for some years. |