Profile updated on 28 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Nephrops norvegicus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Norway lobster, nephrops

There has been a particular focus on defining the parameters of importance for assessment and management, such as growth and maturation size as well as size frequencies at different depths and sediment types.  There are variations in the biological parameters of Nephrops from different grounds in the North Atlantic East and in the Mediterranean, which have received a lot of attention over the years (e.g.;Farmer 1975; Hoydal 2014; Ulmestrand 2001).

Differences in N. norvegicus population demographic structure among geographical sectors, as well as in total mortality, appear to be highly related to different exploitation levels (Abelló et al. 2002).

Low levels of differentiation were found between Norway lobster populations and there were no signs of an Atlantic–Mediterranean divide or of an isolation-by-distance scheme of differentiation (Stamatis et al. 2004).

Stocks are assessed at a Functional Unit (FU) level. Each FU correspond to a specific habitat area. However, this units are managed at ICES Division level.

Thus, Nephrops management areas fall within the TAC regime of the European CFP, although allocated TACs do not coincide totally with the Functional Units.

Currently, there are no management plans applicable to the species.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

The stock component is considered to be stable. Fishing mortality is decreasing and is at a safe level.

Weaknesses

The TAC is set on too broad a scale to protect against local depletions. Discarding rates are high.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

3.9

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS
  • Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.
RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

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
The Smalls European Union, Division 7a Ireland Twin bottom otter trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Strengths

The stock component is considered to be stable. Fishing mortality is decreasing and is at a safe level.

Weaknesses

The TAC is set on too broad a scale to protect against local depletions. Discarding rates are high.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 3 January 2017

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators
  • Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
  • Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

The assessment of the stock is based on Underwater TV (UWTV) surveys, conducted since 2006, and the length structure and sex ratio of catches. Discards are contemplated in the assessment. There are also landings and effort data from Nephrops-directed fleets. These are mainly not corrected for changes in fishing power or efficiency. Owing to uncertainties in the accuracy of historic landings in some fisheries, increasing attention is paid to survey information and size composition in the catch data as an indicator of stock stability.

Sampling of the stock is at a strong level. A benchmark assessment is planned in 2013. UWTV surveys are precisely estimated but estimates of bias are provided by experts. Uncertainties in projections relate largely to discarding and mean weight in landings (ICES, 2012a).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

ICES previously advised for this fishery together with the remainder of the Celtic Sea fishery. From 2011, advice has been provided separately for Functional unit (FU) 22 and based on the MSY approach. For 2013, landings are advised to be kept below 3,100 tons. Management measures should be implemented at the FU level (ICES, 2012a).

Reference Points

A proxy reference point for fishing mortality leading to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) has been selected according to determining factors affecting the biology of the stock and the nature of the fishery. Considering the moderate productivity of the stock in FU 22 and its long and stable history, FMSY is based on F35%SpR combined between sexes, and set at 10.9%. This is considered to be preliminary and may be modified in future assessments. The time-series is still too short to determine a MSY biomass reference point, and precautionary reference points have not been determined (ICES, 2012a).

CURRENT STATUS

Based on the results of UWTV surveys, the stock is increasing and ICES considers its status to be stable, but no reference points are defined for abundance. Fishing mortality is safely below its MSY proxy reference point and is on a decreasing trend.

Trends

Landings are relatively stable in the range of 1,500 to 2,500 tons per year. Survey abundance decreased to 2009 but has been on a slow increasing trend since then. Harvest rates have decreased overall since peaking in 2007.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Current management sets a TAC for the entire ICES Subarea VII, and ICES warns that under this strategy localized effort could cause depletions within functional units. This TAC was set at 21,759 tons for Subarea VII in 2012. No management plan is in place. There are concerns that the lack of effort controls in the area for the cod fishery could result in displacement of effort, but this has not to date affected the stock (ICES, 2012a).

Both minimum landing sizes and minimum mesh sizes are in use but the latter varies by fleet (ICES, 2012b). Discarding of small Nephrops is substantial (26-27%) although discarding by the Irish fleet has apparently decreased in recent years (ICES, 2012b). The substantial discarding is taken to mean that current fishing gear is not the most efficient at selecting marketable Nephrops (ICES, 2012b).

Recovery Plans

Not applicable.

COMPLIANCE

Overall, total landings in ICES Subarea VII have historically been below the set TACs for the area. Landings for Subarea VII have also generally been below the sum of advised catch limits over the Subarea. At the level of the Celtic Sea, the scale at which ICES previously advised (FU 20-22), landings have generally exceeded ICES’ advice (ICES, 2012a). A degree of underreporting is thought to have occurred prior to 2007, subsequently reduced by Buyers and Sellers legislation in the UK and “sales notes” in Ireland, and an increase in the TAC in 2007 (ICES, 2012a). UK and Irish landings are currently close to their quotas whereas French and Spanish catches are well below quotas (ICES, 2012a).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

There is no specific information on the impact of this fishery on Protected, Endangered and Threatened species.

Other Species

Nephrops occur in several discrete areas of muddy sediment and fisheries targeting different areas have very different size structures of catches. These fisheries also have differences in non-Nephrops bycatch composition (cod, whiting, and to a lesser extent haddock and hake). Discarded species are mainly whiting, haddock and dogfish; discarding rates are estimated at around 38% by weight, mostly of small Nephrops (ICES, 2012a).

HABITAT

Nephrops are distributed in discrete patches, limited by sediment suitable for burrowing. There is a larval phase where there may be some mixing with Nephrops from other areas depending on the oceanographic conditions, but the mechanisms for this in the Celtic Sea are not currently known.

The characteristics of Nephrops sediment also mean that the seabed is vulnerable to trawling impacts, and trawl marks remain visible for some time. Although fishing intensity is very high in some regions, burrowing fauna can be seen re-emerging from freshly trawled grounds, implying that there is some resilience to trawling (ICES, 2012a).

Marine Reserves

No known marine protected areas are declared within FU 22. Ireland and the UK have several (mostly coastal) MPAs declared under EU directives.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is < 6.

According to ICES, the management system is not precautionary enough to avoid potential local depletion of the stocks in separate functional units (ICES, 2012a).

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 3.9.

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

The Set TAC is 21.8 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 15.8 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 138%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Catch is 16.1 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 21.8 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 74.0%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The stock is considered to be stable (ICES, 2012a).

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
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.

No related analysis

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

European Council (EC), 2011. Council Regulation (EU) No 57/2011 of 18 January 2011 fixing for 2011 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in EU waters and, for EU vessels, in certain non-EU waters. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:024:0001:0125:EN:PDF

ICES, 2010a. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee 2009. Book 5: Celtic Sea and West of Scotland. 5.4.34. Nephrops in Subarea VII.http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2010/2010/Nep-VII.pdf

ICES, 2010b. Report of the Working Group on the Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE), 12-20 May 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark (ICES CM 2010/ACOM:12). http://www.ices.dk/reports/ACOM/2010/WGCSE/wgcse_2010_final.pdf

ICES, 2011. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee 2011. Book 5: Celtic Sea and West of Scotland. 5.4.34. Nephrops in Subarea VII.http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2011/2011/Nep-VII.pdf

ICES, 2012a. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee 2012. Book 5: Celtic Sea and West of Scotland. 5.4.34. Nephrops in Subarea VII.http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2012/2012/Nep-VII.pdf

ICES, 2012b. Report of the Working Group for Celtic Seas Ecoregion (WGCSE), 9-18 May 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2012/ACOM:12. http://www.ices.dk/reports/ACOM/2012/WGCSE/CelticSeasEcoregion_final_2012.pdf

ICES. 2008. 5.4.34 Nephrops in Subarea VII. ICES Advice 2008, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2008/2008/Nep-VII.pdf

ICES. 2009. 5.4.34 Nephrops in Subarea VII. ICES Advice 2009, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2009/2009/Nep-VII.pdf

References

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