Profile updated on 28 October 2022
The stock structure considers two components, the Western and Southern, which were believed to be connected. Low abundances characterize the western component in most years with occasional outbursts of recruitment, whereas the southern component presents a higher mean abundance and a more stable abundance over time (Ramos et al. 2018). As provided by surveys, the distribution in ICES Division 9a shows discontinuity between both components for most life stages and in different seasons of the year. Moreover, there is no support for a migration theory from the south to the western component, since there is no correlation in catches and there is a correlation between abundance and catches in the subcomponents, demonstrating independent dynamics (Garrido et al., 2022 at (ICES 2022)). Genetic and morphometric studies also point to a differentiation of the components. These evidences are making the Working Group on Southern Horse Mackerel, Anchovy, and Sardine (WGHANSA) support the separation of both components into two stock units, and it is now in consideration by ICES Stock Identification Methods Working Group (SIMWG) (ICES 2022). Therefore here only the Southern component is developed.