Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Greater argentine - Iceland Grounds
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
ICES Advice 2009
Greater argentine - Iceland Grounds
Fact Sheet Citation  
Greater Silver Smelt in Subdivisions Va
Owned byInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – More
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FAO Names: en - Greater argentine, fr - Grande argentine
Geographic extent of Greater argentine - Iceland Grounds
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional
Reference year: 2008
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateUndefinedUncertain/Not assessed
Abundance levelUndefinedUncertain/Not assessed

The status of greater silver smelt in Subdivision Va is unknown.
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Slope (200 m - 1000 m).   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: National

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Sub-Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

Factors affecting the fisheries and the stock

The fisheries of greater silver smelt have been managed through research licences issued by the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries. The licenses are valid for a short time only and sampling is required in the licenses.

Catches increased in 1998 to 13400 tonnes due to licenses issued for directed fishery. Subsequently, landings decreased with the declining interest in the fishery. The fishery has changed in depth range over time towards shallower waters.
Assessment Model

Scientific basis

The only information on this stock is landings and length frequency data.

Comparison with previous assessment and advice

There is no assessment. The advice is similar to the previous (2006) advice.
Overall Assessment Results

Table Greater silver smelt in Subdivision Va. Working group estimates of total landings.
1988 0
1989 0
1990 0
1991 0
1992 1
1993 1
1994 1
1995 0
1996 1
1997 3
1998 13
1999 7
2000 6
2001 3
2002 5
2003 3
2004 4
2005 4
2006 5
2007* 4
*Preliminary. Weights in ‘000 t.

Figure Greater silver smelt. Total landings in Subdivision Va.

Scientific Advice

Single-stock exploitation boundaries

Due to its low productivity, greater silver smelt can only sustain low rates of exploitation. Fisheries on such species should always be accompanied by programmes to collect data on both target and bycatch fish. The target fishery should not be allowed to expand unless it can be shown that it is sustainable.
Management Advice

Management considerations

The variability in the catches appears to reflect market demand. In Subdivision Va the fishery has changed from a bycatch to a targeted fishery. Smaller fish have been caught in recent years. This could be related to a change in fishing depth (Figure, to recruiting year classes, or to depletion of larger fish. Greater silver smelt are a bycatch in bottom trawls fishing for redfish. Only small amounts were reported prior to 1996 as most of the fish was discarded.
Source of information
ICES.2009.Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2009. ICES Advice, 2009.
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