Last updated on 20 February 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Xiphias gladius

SPECIES NAME(s)

Swordfish

Based on genetic (Chow et al., 2007) and parasite (Garcia et al., 2011) studies, three stocks are considered to exist in the Atlantic Ocean and assessed separately by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT): North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Mediterranean (Kotoulas et al., 1995). Precise stock boundaries are not clear but South and North stocks are separated at 5º N (ICCAT, 2013a).


ANALYSIS

Strengths

The population of swordfish in the North Atlantic has been rebuilt and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.

Weaknesses

The TAC was recently set at levels higher than advised.

Options

Managers should take scientific advice and reduce the TAC.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

9.7

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

8.6

Future Health:

8.7


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Comply with all of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT’s) conservation and management measures (CMMs), including measures aimed at both target and incidental market and non-market species, and all other obligations. Through your delegation to ICCAT, encourage the compliance committee to make information on non-compliance by individual members and cooperating non-members publicly available in order to increase the incentive for compliance by all ICCAT members and cooperating non-members.
2. Promote the adoption by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and member countries of precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures, including biological reference points, harvest control rules, increased observer coverage, national management measures and monitoring efforts adequate to ensure harvest strategy objectives are being met. Adopt domestic laws and regulation to implement ICCAT measures and provide monitoring and surveillance adequate for compliance. Encourage ICCAT and parties to comply with current required onboard observer coverage rates.
3. Maintain catches within the current TAC level of 13,700 t.
4. Conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Identify and mandate best practices bycatch mitigation techniques. Comply with ICCAT management measures prohibiting the retention of silky, hammerhead, oceanic whitetip and thresher sharks.

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Ask the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and individual member countries to adopt precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures including formal reference points harvest control rules and increased observer coverage.
2. Require that your suppliers source only from fisheries that comply with all ICCAT’s Conservation and Management Measures, and request that ICCAT make information on compliance by members and cooperating non-members publicly available. An example of how this might be achieved is a control document that ensures recording and reporting interactions, and prohibition on retaining thresher, silky, hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks.
3. Source from vessels registered on the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Proactive Vessel Register (PVR) and in full compliance with all measures relevant to their gear type as demonstrated by annual independent audit reports that are made publicly available.
4. Contact SFP to learn more about fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and SFP’s Supplier Roundtables.

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable).


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • North West Atlantic Canada longline swordfish:

    MSC Certified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
North Atlantic ICCAT Canada Drifting longlines
Harpoons
Longlines
Spain Hooks and lines
Longlines
United States Buoy gear
Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 21 July 2011

Strengths

The population of swordfish in the North Atlantic has been rebuilt and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.

Weaknesses

The TAC was recently set at levels higher than advised.

Options

Managers should take scientific advice and reduce the TAC.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Comply with all of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT’s) conservation and management measures (CMMs), including measures aimed at both target and incidental market and non-market species, and all other obligations. Through your delegation to ICCAT, encourage the compliance committee to make information on non-compliance by individual members and cooperating non-members publicly available in order to increase the incentive for compliance by all ICCAT members and cooperating non-members.
2. Promote the adoption by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and member countries of precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures, including biological reference points, harvest control rules, increased observer coverage, national management measures and monitoring efforts adequate to ensure harvest strategy objectives are being met. Adopt domestic laws and regulation to implement ICCAT measures and provide monitoring and surveillance adequate for compliance. Encourage ICCAT and parties to comply with current required onboard observer coverage rates.
3. Maintain catches within the current TAC level of 13,700 t.
4. Conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Identify and mandate best practices bycatch mitigation techniques. Comply with ICCAT management measures prohibiting the retention of silky, hammerhead, oceanic whitetip and thresher sharks.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Ask the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and individual member countries to adopt precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures including formal reference points harvest control rules and increased observer coverage.
2. Require that your suppliers source only from fisheries that comply with all ICCAT’s Conservation and Management Measures, and request that ICCAT make information on compliance by members and cooperating non-members publicly available. An example of how this might be achieved is a control document that ensures recording and reporting interactions, and prohibition on retaining thresher, silky, hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks.
3. Source from vessels registered on the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Proactive Vessel Register (PVR) and in full compliance with all measures relevant to their gear type as demonstrated by annual independent audit reports that are made publicly available.
4. Contact SFP to learn more about fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and SFP’s Supplier Roundtables.

ICCAT
Canada
Longlines

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable).

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 21 July 2011

The most recent stock assessment for swordfish in Atlantic Ocean was conducted by ICCAT In 2013. The surplus production models ASPIC and BSP2 were used to assess the status of swordfish in the North Atlantic (ICCAT 2013).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 21 July 2011

The swordfish working group advised setting the TAC for swordfish in the north Atlantic at no higher than 13,000 t to maintain the population within Convention objectives.However, the TAC in 2011 was set at 13,700 t {ICCAT 2012a}.

Reference Points

Last updated on 21 Jul 2011

Parameter Value
Fcurrent/FMSY 0.82 (0.73-0.91)
Bcurrent/BMSY 1.14 (1.05-1.24)
MSY 13,660 tons (13,250 – 14,080)
B~MSY~ 65,060 tons (54,450-76,700)
F~MSY~ 0.21 (0.17-0.26)

(ICCAT 2013)

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 21 July 2011

The last assessment for swordfish in the North Atlantic was conducted in 2013. The population of swordfish in the North Atlantic is estimated to be at or above levels needed to produce the maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) and the population is not overfished.Fishing mortality of swordfish in the North Atlantic has been below levels needed to produce the maximum sustainable yield (FMSY) since 2000 and overfishing is not currently occurring. Fishing mortality peaked in 1995 and has shown a downward trend since, with a slight increase from 2002-2005. The results from this assessment were very similar to those from the previous 2009 assessment {ICCAT 2013}.

Trends

Last updated on 21 Jul 2011

Fishing mortality of swordfish in the north Atlantic has been below FMSY since 2000.Fishing mortality peaked in 1995 and has basically shown a downward trend since, with a slight increase from 2003-2005.Biomass has continued to increase since 2000 and is currently above BMSY (ICCAT 2013).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 21 July 2011

Swordfish in the north Atlantic are managed through country specicfic TAC’s and a minimum size limit {ICCAT 2012a}.The SCRS has also been tasked with developing a limit reference point and future management is to include triggr’s that will result in a rebuilding plan if the population declines below the LRP {ICCAT 2012e}.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 21 Jul 2011

Although previously under a rebuilding plan, swordfish in the north Atlantic are not currently under one (ICCAT 2013).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 21 July 2011

Catches of swordfish remained below TAC levels from 2002 until 2011 but were above the TAC during 2012 {ICCAT 2013}. Overages can be subtracted from future years TAC {ICCAT 2012}.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The management plan is assessed to be

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the Advised TAC.

The Set TAC is 13.7 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 13.7 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 100%.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 9.7.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 14.0 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 13.7 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 102%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 8.6.

This measures the Ratio SSB/SSBmsy as a percentage of the SSB=SSBmsy.

The Ratio SSB/SSBmsy is 1.14 . The SSB=SSBmsy is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio SSB/SSBmsy/SSB=SSBmsy for this index is 114%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 8.7.

This measures the Ratio F/Fmsy as a percentage of the F management target.

The Ratio F/Fmsy is 0.820 . The F management target is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio F/Fmsy/F management target for this index is 82.0%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

North West Atlantic Canada longline swordfish

STATUS

MSC Certified on 19 April 2012

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 80.6
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 82.0
Principle 3 – Management System 81.3

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

References

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