Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Blackbellied angler - Northern Adriatic Sea
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2021
Blackbellied angler - Northern Adriatic Sea
Fact Sheet Citation  
Lophius budegassa - Northern Adriatic Sea (GSA 17)
Owned byGeneral Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Blackbellied angler, fr - Baudroie rousse, es - Rape negro
Geographic extent of Blackbellied angler - Northern Adriatic Sea
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2019
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation ratePossibly in overexploitationNot applicable
Abundance levelNot applicableNot applicable
FAO Categories
Exploitation stateOverfished

Possibly in overexploitation.
[The GFCM methodology to provide stock status and management advice is described in the Appendix F of the Sixteenth Session of the Scientific Advisory Committee Report. See the Bibliography section.]
Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Bottom type: Soft bottom muddy or muddy-sand.   Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m); Slope (200 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Unspecified

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

Stock assessment in the GFCM area of application is often conducted by management units, based on GSAs. This method does not ensure that the whole stock is assessed, since stocks may cover several different management units. In some cases, when there is scientific evidence of a stock spreading through different GSAs, as well as information on species from different GSAs, existing information is combined across GSAs. This is then defined as a “joint stock assessment of a shared stock”. The GFCM recommends that when scientific evidence of shared stocks exists, joint stock assessments should be attempted. A number of activities aimed at achieving a better definition of stock boundaries are currently being conducted at the GFCM level. [The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries, 2016]

The black-bellied angler is widespread in the Adriatic Sea, mostly in the Croatian channel regions and in the open sea. Although widely distributed, this resource is not abundant and is fished primarily with bottom trawl nets. Due to its scarce abundance and to its high economic value, it is an important accessory species. The depth range of black bellied angler is between 13 m and 404 m and most of the catches come from depths between 90 m and 170 m. Due to its depth preference, only Italian and Croatian fleets catch a significant amount of this resource, with a ratio of nearly 4:1 for the period 2009-2019. Slovenian catches were negligible. Catch statistics were available for the Italian fleet for the period 1954-2019, while for the Croatian fleet only from year 2009. An exploration of historical Croatian landings was attempted without success, and it was not possible to reconstruct Croatian missing catches due to different fisheries restrictions imposed in the past. It was indeed necessary to make assumptions on the missing data and to perform a sensitivity analysis to test the effect of the data uncertainties.

Landings for Italy (1953-2019), Slovenia (2008-2019) and Croatia (2009-2019), and MEDITS survey index (1994-2019). Catch data for black-bellied angler were not available or confounded with angler (Lophius piscatorius). The ratio between angler and black-bellied angler in MEDITS data was almost steadily 1:9, therefore catches for Lophius spp. were considered to be representative of black-bellied angler. Catches were available for Croatia from 2009 onward, while Italian data were available from 1953. Due to different fisheries restrictions imposed in the past, it was not possible to reconstruct Croatian missing landings. To obtain the data for a sensitivity analysis, ten different time series for Croatian landings were simulated as random walks catch trajectories, taking as starting value (xt) the observed catches for Croatia in 2009 and simulating xt-1 as xt+wt, where wt comes from a normal distribution with mean = 0 and standard deviation = standard deviation in Croatian catches in the available data.
Assessment Model
Type:  Biomass-aggregated

CMSY (Froese et al., 2017): Bayesian state space implementation of the Schaefer surplus production model. Priors for final depletion obtained with AMSY (Froese et al. al., 2020). Sensitivity analysis was done by fitting the best model on all the combinations of the catch data including the simulations.
Overall Assessment Results

Biomass trend remained stable until the middle of the 1980s, then it faced a steep decline resulting in B < Bmsy in 1989. In following years, the biomass trend raised again until 2002, when it started to decline and went below the Bmsy in 2011. During the last years the biomass trend stabilized around 0.9 Bmsy. Exploitation pattern remained stable until the beginning of the 1980s, then it sharply rose and spiked in 1987 at F/Fmsy = 1.25. In following years, F declined until 1998, when it returned to values comparable to the first part of the series. From 1999 onward, F began to rise and continued almost linearly until 2019, which registered the highest value of the time series. Due to large data uncertainties, these results should be taken as qualitative.
Scientific Advice

Reduce fishing mortality.
Management unit: Yes
Source of information
FAO. 2021. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. Report of the twenty-second session of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries, online, 22–25 June 2021. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 1347. Rome.  Click to open
Report of the Working Group on Stock Assessment of Demersal Species (WGSAD). Online, 18–23 January 2021.  Click to open
Stock assessment form for black-bellied angler in GSA 17 (reporting year: 2020).  Click to open
FAO. 2020. The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries 2020. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. Rome.  Click to open
FAO. 2016. The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. Rome, Italy.  Click to open
FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean/Commission générale des pêches pour la Méditerranée. Report of the sixteenth session of the Scientific Advisory Committee. St. Julian’s, Malta, 17–20 March 2014/Rapport de la seizième session du Comité scientifique consultatif. Saint Julien, Malte, Malte, 17-20 mars 2014. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report/FAO Rapport sur les pêches et l’aquaculture. No. R1102. Rome. 2015. 250 pp.  Click to open
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