Last updated on 4 September 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Engraulis encrasicolus

SPECIES NAME(s)

European anchovy

Two subspecies of the European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus have been identified in the Black Sea: E. encrasicolus ponticus in the Black Sea proper and E. encrasicolus maeticus in the Azov Sea by e.g. Prodanov et al. (1993). Currently, European anchovy in the Black Sea proper forms a single population based on genetic data (Ivanova and Dobrolov, 2006; Bouchenak-Khelladi et al, 2008; Öztürk et al, 2011; Keskin and Atar, 2012), but although the two subspecies spawn in their respective seas there is some mixing of catches as the Azov anchovy has expanded southwards (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Analytical assessments for anchovy are conducted
  • Bycatch of other commercial species and of endangered, threatened or protected species are not thought to be significant, although further data is needed
  • Pelagic gears are used, so direct impacts on benthic habitats are thought to be negligible
Weaknesses
  • The fishing pressure on the stock is determined to be too high
  • No reference points have reliably been determined for the stock
  • No concerted management plan for this transboundary stock is yet in place
  • Sampling of protected species bycatch rates are insufficient and improved monitoring, control and surveillance measures are needed in general
Options
  • Reference points and decision rules should be developed and tested before implementation in a stock-wide precautionary management plan, agreed by all coastal countries
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance activities should be expanded
  • Sampling of bycatch, including of protected species, should be expanded

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

6.7


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
Black Sea Georgia Georgia Purse seines
Turkey Purse seines
Turkey/GFCM Turkey Midwater trawls
Purse seines
Ukraine Ukraine Purse seines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Strengths
  • Analytical assessments for anchovy are conducted
  • Bycatch of other commercial species and of endangered, threatened or protected species are not thought to be significant, although further data is needed
  • Pelagic gears are used, so direct impacts on benthic habitats are thought to be negligible
Weaknesses
  • The fishing pressure on the stock is determined to be too high
  • No reference points have reliably been determined for the stock
  • No concerted management plan for this transboundary stock is yet in place
  • Sampling of protected species bycatch rates are insufficient and improved monitoring, control and surveillance measures are needed in general
Options
  • Reference points and decision rules should be developed and tested before implementation in a stock-wide precautionary management plan, agreed by all coastal countries
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance activities should be expanded
  • Sampling of bycatch, including of protected species, should be expanded

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 4 September 2017

The stock has apparently been assessed by two entities: the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and the European Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), with comparisons of the results presented in Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015.  The GFCM 2015 assessment used an Extended Survivor Analysis (XSA) (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015), and the STECF assesment used the same method, calibrated with Turkish commercial CPUE data (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). Some conversations have been held on avoiding the duplication of effort by the two groups (GFCM and FAO 2015).

It is currently uncertain to what degree mixing occurs between the Azov sea and the Black Sea proper populations, which are considered to be two distinct subspecies although not easily distinguished in catches. The Azov anchovy has increased in biomass in recent years and is thought to have expanded south and may be increasingly present in the Black Sea assessment results, affecting their reliability (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015). There is also uncertainty about the movement of Black Sea anchovy during winter, where they may be subject to intensive fishing off the Russian, Georgian and Turkish coasts (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015)

Only Romania and Turkey report discards; values are generally low and are included in the assessment (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). Discrepancies in mean lengths of age classes are noticeable in the data provided by different countries, and may be due to differences in the time of sampling but differences in otolith readings could be responsible for a significant difference between reported and estimated landings (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). The ageing discrepancies also contribute to the inadquacy of XSA for assessing this short-lived species, but XSA continues to be used to maintain consistency (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). Gaps in official sampling data have led to some uncertainty in the reliability of assessment results. Hydro-acoustic surveys are conducted only by Turkey and Ukraine, and the coverage is thought to be insufficient and displaying too high internal inconsistency for use in the assessment. No data from Abkhazia/Northern Georgia was available, although heavy fishing takes place. The quality of the assessment was found to be only indicative of trends and did not permit any forecasts to be made (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 4 September 2017

In order to distinguish the Azov Sea from the Black Sea anchovy in assessments, it has been recommended that an otolith study be conducted, followed by a reanalysis of Black Sea otoliths to determine the degree of mixing (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015). The STECF assessment advises that catches or effort be reduced to the proposed maximum sustainable yield (MSY) level by means of a multi-annual management plan considering mixed fisheries, that an internationally coordinated hydroacoustic survey be initiated, as well as an internationally coordinated data collection program (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). The Working Group on the Black Sea (WGBS) of the GFCM has presented the necessary elements of a management plan, including adequate scientific monitoring to allow it to produce advice. The WGBS advises that research priorities include improvements to otolith age reading, analysis of uncertainties in the stock assessment including the stock boundaries, and estimation of reference points and their reliability (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016).

Reference Points

Last updated on 04 Sep 2017

Estimates of F0.1 and Fmax produced by the FLBRP package in R, were determined to be unrealistically high so assessment authors considered 0.4, as a general precautionary exploitation rate for small pelagics (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015). This target is to be considered in the burgeoning management plan, and biomass reference points should be explored (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 4 September 2017

No reference points are in official use. Spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been stable over the past decade, with short peaks determined by strong year classes in the preceding year. 

Exploitation rates have shown a slight decrease over the past ten years but estimate variances have been very high in the past five years. The three-year recent average exploitation rate of 0.53 is higher than the 0.4 recommended for small pelagics and the stock is determined to be at an intermediate rate of overfishing (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015).

Trends

Last updated on 04 Sep 2017

SSB trends from both models show a trough around 1990 at very low levels and a recovery to close to 1.2 million tones in the early 2000s. In the past decade the methods' divergence is greater but a stable trend between 300 thousand and 700 thousand tonnes are estimated. Recruitment shows peaks in 1994, 1999, 2006 and 2012 and a strongly cyclical pattern. Explotation rates decreased in the 1990s from very high levels, oscillated around 0.5 during the late 1990s, and oscillated at a higher level above 1.0 since then, with a slight decrease detected in recent years (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015, Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).

Catches increased to a peak in the 1980s but then dropped during a collapse attributed to the fishing pressure, to feeding and spawning grounds ecosytem degradation, or to trophic web disruption by the invasive comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi. Three years later, Turkish catches picked up again but catches by other countries on anchovy's migration routes have remained low, and Turkish catches fell to a historic low in 2014 (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia, Georgia and Ukraine share jurisdiction of the Black Sea. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) is responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of living resources in the Mediterrranean and Black and Azov Seas. Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are GFCM members, and Georgia and Ukraine are cooperating non-contracting parties (FAO n.d.). A management plan for anchovy is under development by the GFCM Working Group on the Black Sea, aiming to maintain fishing mortality at precautionary levels, maintain the stock at least at MSY levels, guaranteeing a low risk of the stock falling outside safe limits, reduce catches of undersized anchovy, reduce bycatch and other ecosystem impacts, protect biodiversity and maximize profitability and socio-economic benefits. Decision rules are advised to be part of the management plan, and include socio-economic considerations, but have not yet been defined. The implementation of quotas was regarded as costly for the Turkish fleet to implement, due to the short season and multiple landing points, and the percentage of undersized individuals in the catch was suggested as an indirect alternative means of controlling catches (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016).

Russia and Ukraine manage the Azov Sea stock separately from the Black Ssea stock. Measures set for Black Sea anchovy include:

  1. closed seasons: April/May to October/November in Bulgaria and Romania, April to September by Turkey, none in Ukraine,
  2. closed areas,
  3. mesh size regulations,
  4. minimum landing size: generally 9cm, 7cm in Georgia, none in Ukraine (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015, Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).
Recovery Plans

Last updated on 04 Sep 2017

No management or recovery plan is in place. A management plan is under development but no decision rules or measures for stock recovery have yet been detailed.

Turkey

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Under a bilateral agreement betweern Georgia and Turkey, a small portion of Turkish purse seiners fish in Georgian waters after the end of the Turkish anchovy season and land their catch in Georgian ports. Catches are substantial, accounting for close to another 1/3 of the Turkish anchovy catches that are landed in Turkey, which may be due to the difference in mimimum landing size regulations (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Turkey has restricted its fishing fleet after overcapacity was recognized with the 1990s collapse, but only started in 2002 when new licenses stopped being granted. The fleet has since been reduced through a vessel buyback program. Recent measures have aimed at improving landings statistics, and from 2012 the minimum depth for pelagic gears was increased to 24m, with positive effects on fishing pressure (Gücü, 2015).

The Turkish purse seine fleet is the largest fleet targeting anchovy. Pelagic trawlers will also participate when the sprat fishery is not profitable and when anchovy distribution is disperse (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Anchovy is reportedly a target of IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing in the eastern Black Sea (Öztürk, B. 2013), and measures such as implementing VMS, fishery observer programmes and improved traceability and standardized fisheries data are recommended (Öztürk, B. 2013, Birkun, A. Jr et al. 2014).

Bycatch discard rates are relatively low, ranging from 1 to 5% for Black Sea purse seiners in general, and 1.64% in Turkish waters, and estimated at 5.1% for pelagic trawlers in Bulgarian and Turkish waters (GFCM and FAO 2016).

For the success of the future implementation of a management plan, the WGBS advises that vessel records be improved and shared to GFCM, that VMS and logbooks be required for vessels larger than 15m, and that port states adopt measures to "prevent, deter and eliminate IUU" fishing (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016). A Regional Plan of Action agianst IUU fishing in the Mediterranean and Black Seas is expected to be adopted by the GFCM in late 2017 (GFCM and FAO 2017).

Turkey

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Incidences of IUU by Turkish purse seiners in Georgian waters led to the detention and fining of 32 vessels between 2000 and 2010 and improved enforcement is necessary (Öztürk, B. 2013).

Turkey

Last updated on 4 September 2017

IUU fishing by Turkish fleets (not just anchovy) include violation of minimum catch size and illegal fishing gear. Measures to reduce IUU are being implemented including port controls and VMS and AIS monitoring of vessels and have effectively reduced illegal fishing activities, although more are needed (Öztürk, B. 2013).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 4 September 2017

All Black Sea states have committed to protecting endangered species, through various agreements and codes. The Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) is an agreement specifically protecting cetaceans in the Black Sea, but not all coastal states are parties to the agreement. Three subspecies of cetaceans are found in the Black Sea: the Black Sea harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena relicta), the Black Sea common dolphin (Delphinus delphis ponticus) and the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus). Population sizes are unknown for all three species, but those of harbour porpoise and common dolphin are thought to be decreeasing in size, whereas sightings of bottlenose dolphins have increased. Sustainable annual bycatch limits for the three species were estimated at 1300, 5800 and 1700, respectively. There have been reported cases of common dolphin bycatch in the Georgian anchovy pelagic trawl fishery, as well as in the Ukrainian anchovy fishery. Bycatch by purse seines is rarer, and no incidents are recorded for purse seines aimed at small pelagic fish. It's advised that improved monitoring, control and surveillance is needed, along with improved information on cetacean dynamics and distribution (Birkun, A. Jr et al. 2014). Loggerhead turtle is occasionally observed in the weastern Black Sea, in deep waters or near river mouths but there is little information on interactions. Among seabirds, the Mediterranean shearwater is classified by the IUCN as "vulnerable" and is present in the Black Sea when not breeding. Bycatch in purse seines has infrequently been reported in Mediterranean fisheries and is not thought to have a significant impact on seabird populations. In addition, purse seine may occasionally capture sharks and rays (GFCM and FAO 2016).

Anchovy is a primary prey species for harbour porpoise and common dolphins, and of secondary importance to bottlenose dolphins, and lack of prey availability coincided with mass mortality events of all three cetaceans in the past, suggesting their health was compromised (Birkun, A. Jr et al. 2014).

Measures such as banning the use of monofilaments and driftnets and encouraging the use of pinging devices have been noted by the manging countries. Reducing the bycatch of protected or endangered species is to be an objective of the GFCM management plan which is under development (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016).

Other Species

Last updated on 4 September 2017

Species caught by the anchovy fleet include sprat, horse mackerel, Azov Sea anchovy, bonito, blue fish and grey mullet. As for anchovy, current total fishing effort for horse mackerel is excessive, while for sprat it is at appropriate levels. Bluefish has never been assessed (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016). Azov Sea anchovy has been considered to be at a high biomass and moderately exploited (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2014).

The establishment of a GFCM bycatch monitoring program is under discussion (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) 2016)

HABITAT

Last updated on 4 September 2017

As only pelagic gears are used in the fishery for anchovy, direct effects on benthic habitats are thought to be negligible.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 04 Sep 2017

Mutiple national marine protected areas are defined in the Black Sea, by each of the coastal countries, with the largest total area under Ukraine's jurisdiction (Goriup 2017). The GFCM has declared eight fisheries restricted areas (FRAs) within the Mediterranean Sea to date (GFCM and FAO 2017) – only one of these: a prohibition of the use of bottom towed gear below 1,000m depth, applies in the Black Sea (GFCM and FAO 2017). No vulnerable marine ecosystem (VME) closures are in place in the Black Sea (FAO 2017, GFCM and FAO 2017).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 4 September 2017

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is < 6.

There are no harmonized management objectives currently in place for the stock, although a management plan is under development by the GFCM. Its specific decision rules and expected date of implementation are uncertain though, particularly given the current lack of reference points.

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Some measures such as closed areas, seasons and minimum landing sizes are in place but no concerted management exists for this transboundary stock. Catches and exploitation rates have not been significantly reduced, despite the stock undergoing overfishing.

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

No catch limits are in place. There are reports of IUU fishing but specific information, as well as monitoring, control and surveillance are lacking.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

No reference points are in place so SSB estimates cannot be objectively evaluated, but current SSB is at intermediate but stable levels when compared to historical trends.

As calculated for 2014 data.

The score is 6.7.

This measures the Harvest rate U as a percentage of the MSY harvest rate.

The Harvest rate U is 0.526 . The MSY harvest rate is 0.400 (Umsy) .

The underlying Harvest rate U/MSY harvest rate for this index is 132%.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low
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.
DATA NOTES
  • Total catch is adjusted for estimated Azov Sea anchovy catches (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) 2015)
  • SSB and harvest rate series are GFCM assessment results (Gücü, Ali Cemal 2015)

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Additional Credits
SFP is thankful to Gonçalo Silva for his support and expertise in Engraulis .

Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y., Durand, J.-D., Magoulas, A., Borsa, P. 2008. Geographic structure of European anchovy: A nuclear-DNA study, Journal of Sea Research, 59(4): 269-278 http://www.documentation.ird.fr/hor/fdi:010042718

Ivanova, P.P. and Dobrolov, I.S. 2006. Population – genetic structure on European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, Linnaeus, 1758) (Osteichthyes: Engraulide) from Mediterranean Basin and Atlantic Ocean, Acta Adriat. 47(1): 13-22 http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:z2nveZLGeS0J:hrcak.srce.hr/file/12836+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pt

Chashchin, A.K. 1996. The Black Sea populations of anchovy, Anchovy Black Sea populations 219-225 In The European anchovy and its environment, Palomera I. and P. Rubiés (eds.) http://www.icm.csic.es/scimar/pdf/60/sm60s2219.pdf

Keskín, E. and Atar, H.H. 2012. Genetic structuring of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) populations through mitochondrial DNA sequences, Mitochondrial DNA, 23(2): 62–69 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22397375

Öztürk, B., Keskin, Ç., Engin, S. 2011. Some remarks on the catches of anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus (Linnaeus, 1758), in Georgian waters by Turkish fleet between 2003 and 2009, J. Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment 17(2): 145-158 http://www.blackmeditjournal.org/pdf/Vol%2017%20No%20II%20pdf%204.pdf

References

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