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Anglerfish - Skagerrak, Kattegat, North Sea, West of Scotland and Rockall, 2008
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
ICES Advice 2009
Anglerfish - Skagerrak, Kattegat, North Sea, West of Scotland and Rockall, 2008
Fact Sheet Citation  
Anglerfish in Division IIIa (Kattegat and Skagerrak) Sub-area IV (North Sea) and Sub-area VI (West of Scotland and Rockall) (Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa)
Owned byInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – More
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Species:
Geographic extent of Anglerfish - Skagerrak, Kattegat, North Sea, West of Scotland and Rockall
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: No        Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Management unit: Yes
 
 
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m).   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Geo References
Exploitation
 

Factors affecting the fisheries and the stock

Changes in fishing technology and fishing patterns

Until the mid-1980s, anglerfish was taken mainly as a bycatch in bottom trawl groundfish fisheries. Restrictive TACs for other species in Division VIa led to increased fishing pressure on anglerfish in that area, where they are now caught in a targeted anglerfish fishery and as a bycatch in other demersal fisheries, including roundfish fisheries in Division VIa, the haddock fishery on Rockall Bank, Nephrops fisheries, and fisheries in deeper waters. In the North Sea, anglerfish are caught as a bycatch in demersal fisheries for mixed roundfish and Nephrops and in small meshed Pandalus fisheries in the northern and eastern parts of the North Sea, the Fladen Ground, and the Norwegian Deeps and IIIa. In the Norwegian Deeps, anglerfish has also been targeted by some demersal trawlers. A Norwegian large-mesh gillnet fishery targeting fish over 60–65 cm has been developed along the Norwegian coast since the early 1990s.

The fishery has expanded into deeper waters, areas believed to have been a refuge for adult anglerfish, so this new fishery increases the vulnerability of the stock to overexploitation. Immature fish are subjected to exploitation for a number of years prior to first maturity.

The environment

The key features of the species’ life history in relation to its exploitation are the location of the main spawning areas in relation to the exploited areas and whether or not there is any systematic migration of younger fish back into the deeper waters to spawn. At present, despite the large increase in catches, there is no apparent contraction in distribution; fish are still recruiting to relatively inshore areas such as the Moray Firth and along the Norwegian coast in the northern North Sea. The fact that spawning appears to occur largely in deep water off the edge of the continental shelf may offer the stocks some degree of refuge. It is therefore likely that the current expansion of the fisheries into deeper water will have a negative effect on the stocks.

The distribution of anglerfish in the North Sea, Kattegat, and Skagerrak is associated with the distribution to the West of Scotland (Divisions VIa and VIb). It is likely that catches from these areas come from the same biological stock. Genetic studies have found no evidence of separate stocks and particle-tracking studies have indicated interchange of larvae between areas.
Assessment
 
Assessment Model
Methodology

Scientific basis

Data and methods

The information basis for anglerfish is being developed, with improvements to both industry-related data and surveys. There are currently only four years of survey data and that is considered not long enough for an assessment of the state of the stock.

ICES previously emphasized the importance of data collection from the fishery and this needs further progress. Age validation was highlighted as being an issue of concern and an age-reading workshop has been recommended, which should take place in 2009/10.

Information from the fishing industry

There is important ongoing science-industry collaboration for the collection of tallybooks and joint surveys in Ireland and Scotland. The tallybook programme has suffered recently from reduced participation.

Comparison with previous assessment and advice

Analytical assessments have not been made since 2003. This year’s advice is similar to the advice from last year.
Overall Assessment Results


Table 5.4.29.4 Anglerfish in Division IIIa and Subareas IV and VI. Officially reported landings by ICES area
IIIa IVa IVb IVc VIa VIb Total
1973 140 2 085 575 41 9 221 127 12 189
1974 202 2 737 1 171 39 3 217 435 7 801
1975 291 2 887 1 864 59 3 122 76 8 299
1976 641 3 624 1 252 49 3 383 72 9 021
1977 643 3 264 1 278 54 3 457 78 8 774
1978 509 3 111 1 260 72 3 117 103 8 172
1979 687 2 972 1 578 112 2 745 29 8 123
1980 652 3 450 1 374 175 2 634 200 8 485
1981 549 2 472 752 132 1 387 331 5 623
1982 529 2 214 654 99 3 154 454 7 104
1983 506 2 465 1 540 181 3 417 433 8 542
1984 568 3 874 1 803 188 3 935 707 11 075
1985 578 4 569 1 798 77 4 043 1 013 12 078
1986 524 5 594 1 762 47 3 090 1 326 12 343
1987 589 7 705 1 768 66 3 955 1 294 15 377
1988 347 7 737 2 061 95 6 003 1 730 17 973
1989 334 7 868 2 121 86 5 729 313 16 451
1990 570 8 387 2 177 34 5 615 822 17 605
1991 595 9 235 2 522 26 5 061 923 18 362
1992 938 10 209 3 053 39 5 479 1 089 20 807
1993 843 12 309 3 144 66 5 553 681 22 596
1994 811 14 505 3 445 210 5 273 777 25 021
1995 823 17 891 2 627 402 6 354 830 28 927
1996 702 25 176 1 847 304 6 408 602 35 039
1997 776 23 425 2 172 160 5 330 899 32 762
1998 626 16 857 2 088 78 4 506 900 25 055
1999 660 13 326 1 517 24 4 284 1 401 21 212
2000 602 12 338 1 617 31 3 311 1 074 18 973
2001 621 12 861 1 832 21 2 660 1 309 19 304
2002 667 11 048 1 244 21 2 280 718 15 978
2003 478 8 523 847 20 2 493 643 13 004
2004 519 8 987 851 15 2 453 671 13 496
2005 458 8 424 688 5 3 019 958 13 552
2006 423 10 338 685 3 2 785 916 15 150
2007 433 10 632 749 4 3 352 1 260 16 430
2008 482 11 029 711 5 2 972 1 144 16 342
Min 140 2 085 575 3 1 387 29 5 623
Max 938 25 176 3 445 402 9 221 1 730 35 039
Average 564 8 726 1 623 84 4 022 732 15 751

Table 5.4.29.5 Table 5.4.29.6 Table 5.4.29.7 Table 5.4.29.8 Table 5.4.29.9 Table 5.4.29.10 Table 5.4.29.11 Table 5.4.29.12
Reference Point
 

The reference points defined in 1998 were intrinsically linked to the analytical assessment at the time. New reference points will be defined when a new assessment procedure is developed.
Scientific Advice

Single-stock exploitation boundaries

ICES advises on the basis of precautionary considerations that the effort in fisheries that catch anglerfish should not be allowed to increase.


Table 5.4.29.1 Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and L. budegassa) in Division IIIa and Subarea IV (North Sea). Single-stock exploitation boundaries (advice), management, and landings.
Year

ICES

Advice

Single-stock exploitation boundaries

Predicted catch corresp.

to advice

Predicted catch corresp. to single-stock boundaries

Agreed

TAC3

Official

landings

ICES

Landings

1990 Not assessed - - - - 10.6 9.5
1991 Not assessed - - - - 11.8 10.6
1992 Not assessed - - - - 13.3 11.7
1993 Not assessed - - - - 15.5 13.1
1994 Not assessed - - - - 18.2 15.4
1995 Not assessed - - - - 20.9 15.8
1996 Not assessed - - - - 27.3 16.2
1997 Not assessed - - - - 25.8 18.2
1998 Not assessed - - - 22.1 19.0 14.0
1999 Not assessed - - - 22.1 14.9 11.7
2000 40% reduction in catches - <9.7 - 17.66 14.0 11.6
2001 2/3 of the catches in 1973–1990 - 5.7 - 14.13 14.7

12.7

2002 2/3 of the catches in 1973–1990 - 5.7 - 10.50 12.3 10.3
2003 Reduce F below Fpa - <6.72 - 7.0 9.4 8.3
2004 1 Reduce F below Fpa - <8.8 7.0 9.8 9.0
2005 1 No effort increase - - 10.31 9.1 n.a.
2006 1 No effort increase - - 10.31 11.0 n.a.
2007 1 No effort increase - - 11.34 11.3

n.a.

2008 1 No effort increase - - 11.34 11.7 n.a.
2009 Same advice as last year No effort increase - - 11.344
2010 No effort increase - -

Weights in ‘000 t.

1Single-stock boundary and the exploitation of this stock should be conducted in the context of mixed fisheries protecting stocks outside safe biological limits.

2Advice for Division IIIa, Subarea IV, and Division VIa combined.

3TAC for EC waters of IIa and IV (i.e. not IIIa).

4An additional quota of 1,550 t is also available for EU vessels fishing in the Norwegian zone of Subarea IV in 2009.

n.a. = not available.



Table 5.4.29.2 Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and L. budegassa) in Subarea VI – West of Scotland and Rockall. Single-stock exploitation boundaries (advice), management, and landings.
Year

ICES

Advice

Single-stock exploitation boundaries

Predicted catch corresp.

to advice

Predicted catch corresp. to single-stock boundaries

Agreed

TAC1

Official

landings

ICES

landings2

1987 Not assessed - 7.8 5.2 5.6
1988 Not assessed - 8.6 7.7 7.7
1989 Not assessed - 8.6 6.0 7.3
1990 Not assessed - 8.6 6.4 6.6
1991 No advice - 8.6 6.0 6.3
1992 No advice - 8.6 6.6 9.2
1993 No long-term gain in increased F - 8.6 6.2 10.1
1994 No long-term gain in increased F - 8.6 6.0 8.8
1995 A precautionary TAC not exceeding recent catch levels - 8.6 7.2 12.3
1996 A precautionary TAC not exceeding recent catch levels - 8.6 7.0

18.2

1997 Reduction in fishing effort - 8.6 6.2 13.7
1998 Reduction in fishing effort - 8.6 5.4 10.6
1999 Reduce fishing effort, effective implementation of the TAC - 8.6 5.3 8.4
2000 40% reduction in catches <7.4 8.0 4.4 7.5
2001 2/3 of the catches in 1973–1990 4.3 6.4 4.0 5.9
2002 2/3 of the catches in 1973–1990 4.3 4.8 3.0 4.8
2003 Reduce F below Fpa <6.73 3.18 3.1 4.1
2004 4 Reduce F below Fpa 4 3.18 3.1

3.3

2005 No effort increase - 4.69 4.0 n.a.
2006 No effort increase - 4.69 3.7 n.a.
2007 No effort increase - 5.15 4.3 n.a.
2008 No effort increase - 5.15 4.1 n.a.
2009 Same advice as last year No effort increase - 5.57
2010 No effort increase -


Table 5.4.29.3 Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and L. budegassa) in Division IIIa, Subarea IV, and Subarea VI combined. Single-stock exploitation boundaries (advice), management, and landings
Year

ICES

Advice

Single-stock exploitation boundaries

Predicted catch corresp.

to advice

Predicted catch corresp. to single-stock boundaries

Agreed

TAC1

Official

landings

ICES

landings2

2003 Reduce F below Fpa <6.7 10.2 12.5 n/a
2004 2 Reduce F below Fpa 2 <8.8 10.2 12.9 n/a
2005 No effort increase 2 - 15.0 13.1 n/a
2006 No effort increase 2 - 15.0 14.7 n/a
2007 No effort increase 2 - 16.5 15.6
2008 No effort increase 2 - 16.5 16.3
2009 Same advice as last year No effort increase 2 - 16.9
2010 No effort increase -

Weights in ‘000 t.

1Areas IV, IIa (EC) and Vb(EC), VI, XII, and XIV.

2 Single-stock boundary and the exploitation of this stock should be conducted in the context of mixed fisheries protecting stocks outside safe biological limits.

n/a = not available.

An additional quota of 1,550 t is also available for EU vessels fishing in the Norwegian zone of Sub-area IV in 2009.



Management
Management unit: Yes

Management Objectives

There are no explicit management objectives for this stock; the European Community and Norway are currently discussing the joint management of this shared stock.
Management Advice

Management considerations

A recently conducted fishery independent survey has indicated an increasing trend in biomass in areas VI and IV since 2005.

It has been noticed by ICES that the current EU-agreed TAC for Subarea IV and EC waters of Division IIa as well as the EU-Norway-agreed TAC for the Norwegian North Sea EEZ do not include Division IIIa: in Division IIIa there are apparently no internationally agreed management rules for anglerfish.

Information from several fisheries indicates that underreporting of total landings has been a problem in recent years due to restrictive individual vessel quotas. In 2005 the TACs of the North Sea Subarea VI were raised to countermand underreporting practices, but the extent to which this has resolved the reporting problems in this fishery is not known. However, the registration of buyers and sellers legislation should make it more difficult to make unreported landings of this species (and others). The legislation came into effect at the start of 2006. There has been increased enforcement on anglerfish quotas since 2006. This is expected to lead to improved data on total catches of anglerfish.

Estimates accounting for area misreporting indicate that the percentage of the catch from Division IIIa and Subarea IV, and from Divisions VIa and VIb in the years 1993–2002 averaged 60% and 40% respectively. In previous years, these proportions have been used to allocate TAC between these areas. The split in biomass between ICES Divisions IV and VI from recently developed surveys was approximately 55:45% in 2008, although the survey does not cover all of Division IV.

Recent attempts to identify anglerfish fisheries in Divisions IV and VI have shown that the majority of the catch of anglerfish stems from mixed trawl fisheries, catching sole, saithe, plaice, megrim, Nephrops, haddock, and cod. While the landings value of anglerfish may constitute a high percentage of the total, the landings in weight tend to be only a relatively low percentage of the total. Optional effort restrictions aiming at promoting a recovery of these other species will have a side-effect for the anglerfish too, although a shift from anglerfish-poor areas to anglerfish-rich areas could negate this effect.

Ghost fishing and discarding of fish not suitable for consumption due to long soaking times are considered to be problems within some offshore gillnetting carried out by “flag-vessels” which target anglerfish in Subareas IV, VI, and VII. How effective the regulations (Council Regulation (EC) No 43/2009) on gear length and soak time have been in mitigating this phenomenon is unknown.

ICES previously advised a two-stage approach for management of the anglerfish fishery. The first stage was to substantially improve the quality and quantity of data collected on the fishery while maintaining exploitation at its current level. This first stage of data collection was expected to take at least five years, establishing useable time-series of fisheries-dependent and -independent data. This stage will be into its fifth year in 2009 and includes:

  • dedicated Scottish and Irish industry/science anglerfish surveys from 2005-2008;
  • a Scottish tallybook scheme (linked to a longer time-series of personal diaries) from 2006-2008;


The second stage would then be to use these data to examine alternative management approaches and harvest control rules appropriate to this fishery. ICES considers that the approach should continue, as it is expected to yield useful information in the medium term for the management of this stock.

The results from the surveys were considered by a recent workshop on anglerfish and megrim. It was concluded that the surveys could be used to provide information on changing stock size, for example in relation to European Commission’s position on Managing Fish Stocks without Catch Option TablesFactors affecting the fisheries and the stock
Biological State and Trend
Exploitation rate: Unknown
Abundance level: Unknown


Spawning biomass in relation to precautionary limits Fishing mortality in relation to precautionary limits Fishing mortality in relation to high long-term yield Fishing mortality in relation to agreed target

Comment

Unknown Unknown Unknown N/A



The state of the stock is unknown. There are major uncertainties about catch and effort data for anglerfish as well as limited knowledge about population dynamics.


Source of information
 
ICES.2009.Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2009. ICES Advice, 2009.
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