Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Northern Prawn - Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Title  Fact Sheet
Stocks management recommendations 2023
Northern Prawn - Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Citation  
Northern Shrimp in Div. 3LNO
Owned byNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) – ownership
ident Blockident Blockdisplay tree map
Species List:
Species Ref: en - Northern prawn, fr - Crevette nordique, es - Camarón norteño, ru - Креветка северная
ident Block Northern Prawn - Grand Bank
Aq Res
Biological Stock: Yes         Value: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2022
Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State Trend Aq Res State Trend
Aq Res State TrendNone-Low Fishing Mortality (fishing mortality may not be the main driver of biomass for Flemish Cap shrimp)No or low fishing mortalityRed
Aq Res State TrendDepleted Stock SizeDepleted

Based on the autumn 2020 survey, the risk of the stock being below Blim is greater than 95%. More recent biomass indices from other surveys show no indication of recovery. In addition, recruitment remains very low.
Habitat Bio
Climatic Zone: Temperate.   Bottom Type: Unspecified.   Depth Zone: Slope - Deepslope (500 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal Dist: Neritic.   Vertical Dist: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo Dist
Geo Dist: Straddling between High Seas and EEZ

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Water Area Overview
Aq Res Struct
Biological Stock: Yes

The fishery, until 2014, was a directed bottom trawl fishery and there is little or no bycatch of shrimp in other trawl fisheries. The fishery in Div. 3LNO is regulated by quota.

Recent catches and TACs (‘000 t) are as follows:

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem

The fishery was closed to directed fishing beginning in 2015.
Bio Assess
Ref Point

Scientific Council considers that a female survey biomass index of 15% of its maximum observed level provides a proxy for Blim (SCS Doc. 04/12).

Quantitative assessment of risk at various catch options is not possible for this stock at this time.
Assess Models
Analytical assessment

Based upon a qualitative evaluation of trends in stock biomass, fishing mortality proxy and recruitment. Input data are research survey indices and fishery catches.

Next full assessment is planned for 2025.

Human impact

Mainly fishery related mortality has been documented. Other sources (e.g. pollution, shipping, oil-industry) are considered minor.

Biological and Environmental Interactions

The Grand Bank (3LNO) Ecosystem Production Unit (EPU) is currently experiencing low productivity conditions, with EPU biomass well below pre-collapse levels (pre-1990s). While some rebuilding was observed since the 1990s, biomass declined across multiple trophic levels and stocks after 2014, and has not yet returned to the early-mid 2010s level.

After reaching record-high conditions in 2010-2011 (warmest conditions since 1980), the bottom temperature in 3LNO had cooled down to near-normal conditions in 2014-2018 and a warming trend has been emerging since. Direct effects of temperature on shrimp distribution, recruitment, growth and survival are poorly understood.

Predation (by cod, Greenland halibut and redfish), low abundance of high energy prey (such as capelin) and environmental factors (including phytoplankton bloom dynamics) appear to be important drivers of the decline of Northern Shrimp in Divs. 2J3KL.

Fishing Mortality


Sci Advice

Special comments

Shrimp in Div. 3LNO are genetically distinct from those in Div. 3M and the Gulf of Maine, but not from those further north. Work is ongoing to investigate the contribution of stocks north of Div. 3L to the production of Div. 3LNO shrimp.

Research on transport of larval shrimp indicates that most larvae that originate in Div. 3L are transported out of that division. Additionally, it was found that most recruitment in Div. 3L originates further north of the area. The results of this research have not yet been quantified in order to develop a more comprehensive recruitment index for Div. 3LNO.
Management unit: Yes



No directed fishery in 2024 and 2025 as the stock is below Blim with no indication of short-term recovery.

No explicit management plan or objectives defined by Fisheries Commission. General convention objectives (GC Doc. 08/3) are applied. Advice is based on qualitative evaluation of biomass indices in relation to historic levels, and provided in the context of the precautionary approach framework (FC Doc. 04/18).

Stock definition for management purposes

The stock in Div. 3LNO is assessed and managed as a discrete population (see special comment).
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). 2023. Report of the Scientific Council and STACFIS Shrimp Assessment Meeting, 13-15 September 2023. Vigo, Spain. NAFO SCS Doc. 23/20. Click to open
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). 2008. Resolution on the Interpretation and Implementation of the Convention on the Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. 30th Annual Meeting, September 2008. NAFO GC Doc. 08/3. Click to open
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). 2004. NAFO Precautionary Approach Framework. Annual Meeting, September 2004. NAFO FC Doc. 04/18. Click to open
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