Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Cod - West European Basin
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
ICES Advice 2012
Cod - West European Basin
Fact Sheet Citation  
Cod in Divisions VIIe-k (Celtic Sea cod)
Owned byInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
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 Cod - West European Basin
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 rateAppropriateModerate fishing mortality
Abundance levelAbove triggerIntermediate abundance

SSB has increased from below Blim to well above MSY Btrigger since 2010. Recruitment has been highly variable over time with occasional very high recruitment (1987, 2010). Fishing mortality increased from around 0.5 in 1971 to 0.8 in 1981 and varied without trend around this level until 2005, when it sharply declined to around FMSY in 2011.
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m).   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Celtic Sea cod has higher growth rates and matures earlier than other cod stocks.

Environmental influence on the stock

Cod in the Celtic Sea are at the southern limit of the range of the species’ distribution in the Northeast Atlantic. It is known that recruitment tends to decrease in warmer waters at the southern limits of the range.
Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Ecoregion: Celtic Sea and West of Scotland.
Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

The fisheries

Cod is caught in a range of fisheries, including gadoid trawlers, Nephrops trawlers, otter trawlers, beam trawlers, and gillnetters. Landings are made throughout the year, but are generally more abundant during the first semester. The TACs have constrained catches since 2003 and the impact of the Trevose Head Closure applied since 2005 has resulted in landings being spread across the year.

Highgrading occurred during the first part of 2011 before the TAC was revised.
Catch distribution Total catch (2011) = 7.3 kt, where 65% were landings (76% otter trawl, 12% beam trawl, 4% gillnets, and 8% other gears) and 35% discards (70% highgrading).
Scientific Advice

ICES advises on the basis of the MSY approach that landings in 2013 should be no more than 10 200 t.
Overall Assessment Results
Figure Cod in Divisions VIIe–k (Celtic Sea Cod). Time-series of catches, recruitment, fishing mortality, and spawning-stock biomass.
Assessment Model

Quality consideration

Misreporting, discard practices, and highgrading are the main cause of uncertainty affecting the assessment (ICES, 2009), especially when quotas are particularly restrictive (2003–2008, 2011). Most of these issues have been quantified and included in this year’s assessment. The assessment is also sensitive to the assumption regarding the appropriate level of effort in the commercial tuning fleet.
Figure Cod in Divisions VIIe–k (Celtic Sea cod). Historical assessment results (final-year recruitment estimates included).

Scientific basis

Assessment type Age-based assessment (XSA).
Input data One combined survey index (EVHOE-WIBTS-Q4; IGFS-WIBTS-Q4); One commercial index (FR-OTDEF Q2-Q4 VIIek).
Discards and bycatch Discards have been included in 2012.
Indicators None.
Other information Benchmarked at WKROUND 2012.
Working group report WGCSE
Management unit: Yes

Management plans

There are no specific management objectives or a management plan for this stock, but a plan is under development by the NWWRAC and STECF.
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. Cod in Divisions VIIe–k (Celtic Sea cod). Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2012. ICES Advice, June 2012. Click to open
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