Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

White hake - Southern Grand Bank
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stocks management recommendations 2017
White hake - Southern Grand Bank
Fact Sheet Citation  
White hake in Div. 3NO
Owned byNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - White hake, fr - Merluche blanche, es - Locha blanca, ru - Налим нитеперый белый
Geographic extent of White hake - Southern Grand Bank
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: No        Spatial Scale: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2016
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateNone- low Fishing MortalityNo or low fishing mortalityGreen
Abundance levelSmall Stock SizeLow abundance
Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Slope - Deepslope (500 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Straddling between High Seas and EEZ

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: No

White hake is caught in directed gillnet, trawl and long-line fisheries. In directed white hake fisheries, Atlantic cod, black dogfish, monkfish and other species are landed as bycatch. In turn, white hake are also caught as bycatch in gillnet, trawl and long-line fisheries directing for other species. The fishery in NAFO Divisions 3NO is regulated by quota.

Recent catch estimates and TACs (‘000 t) are:
  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Div. 3NO:                    
TAC 8.5 8.5 6 6 5 1 1 1 1 11
STATLANT 21 0.9 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4  
STACFIS 0.9 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.4  
Subdiv. 3Ps:                    
STATLANT 21 0.7 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4  

1May change in-season. See NAFO FC Doc. 17/01.

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem

No specific information is available. General impacts of fishing gears on the ecosystem should be considered.
Overall Assessment Results
Reference Point

Not defined.
Assessment Model
Analytical assessment

Based upon a qualitative evaluation of stock biomass trends and recruitment indices. The assessment is considered data limited and as such associated with a relatively high uncertainty. Input data are research survey indices and fishery data (STACFIS 2015).

The next full assessment of this stock will be in 2019.

Fishing Mortality



Human impact

Mainly fishery related mortality has been documented. Mortality from other human sources (e.g. pollution, shipping, oil-industry) are undocumented.

Biological and environmental interactions

On the Grand Bank, white hake are near the northern limit of their range, concentrating along the southwest slope of the Grand Bank at temperatures above 5°C. The major spawning area is located on the shelf-edge on the Grand Bank. Weaker ocean currents on the continental slope during the spawning period are hypothesized to reduce potential losses of eggs and larvae due to entrainment in the Labrador Current and increase recruitment potential.

White hake feed mostly on crustaceans and fish. Larger individuals are reported to be cannibalistic and to feed upon eggs and juveniles. In nearshore areas, white hake are also thought to predate on smaller juvenile cod. Predators of white hake include Atlantic cod, other fish species, Atlantic puffins, Arctic terns, other seabirds and seals.
Scientific Advice

Special comments

No special comments.
Management unit: Yes

Management Advice

Recommendation for 2018-2019

Given the absence of strong recruitment, catches of white hake in Div. 3NO should not increase.
Management Objectives

No explicit management plan or management objectives defined by Fisheries Commission. General convention objectives (GC Doc. 08/3) are applied. Advice is based on survey indices and catch trends in relation to estimates of recruitment.

Stock definition for management purposes

The management unit is confined to NAFO Div. 3NO, which is a portion of the stock that is distributed in NAFO Div. 3NO and Subdivision 3Ps.
Source of information
Report of the Meeting, 1 -15 June, 2017 - SCS Doc. 17/16REV.
NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures 2015, FC Doc. 15/1 Click to open
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