Last updated on 18 May 2018

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Trisopterus esmarkii

SPECIES NAME(s)

Norway pout

COMMON NAMES

Norway Pout

The Norway pout species is distributed from the west of Ireland to Kattegat, the North Sea to the Barents Sea, and at the Faroe Islands (ICES 2017).  The population considered here is that occurring in the northern North Sea and in Skagerrak, correspondent to the ICES assessment unit in Subarea 4 and Division 3.a. There is no known basis at present for separating the North Sea pout component into smaller stock units; although pout in the eastern Skagerrak demonstrate some self-containment, it is only to a very small degree (ICES 2009). Beginning in 2016, ICES stock assessment advice is provided only once annually, while formerly advice and management TACs were revisited biannually (ICES 2016)

Norway pout in this region are taken in a directed fishery and also as bycatch in the blue whiting fishery (ICES 2017). The species is harvested for reduction purposes, nearly exclusively by large vessels from Denmark and Norway using small-mesh gear. Main fishing grounds are in the northern North Sea and particularly at Fladen Ground along the Norwegian Trench. 


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Scientific advice uses up-to-date age-based methods of assessment.
  • The stock, although highly variable due to recruitment variability and a short life span, has been above biomass reference points since 2006.
  • Fishing mortality over the past decade has fluctuated at low levels relative to the past 30-year trend.
  • Managers' and fishers’ compliance is evidenced to be strong: catch limits have not been fully used; discards and bycatch of Norway pout are considered negligible; bycatch regulations are in place and contributing to decrease of relative proportion; sorting grids are mandatory in Norway and Faroe Islands.
  • Direct impacts on ETP species are expected to be very small.  Interaction with the seabed ecosystem does occur in the trawl component of this fishery, but is considered to have more limited impact than other demersal fisheries in the North Sea.
Weaknesses
  • The stock is shared between the EU and Norway; and while ICES has reviewed a number different precautionary joint management strategies over the years, there continue to be no long-term management plan, and no harvest control rule for the stock.
  • Combined TACs set by the EU and Norway occasionally exceed the total catches advised by ICES, and in rare cases, by a significant amount (e.g. 2014).
  • Environmental parameters’ influence on recruitment and trophic interactions and dependence are not yet deeply understood.
  • There is no comprehensive strategy in place for managing the impacts on or minimizing mortality of ETP species; and there is insufficient information to quantitatively estimate outcome status of all ETP species with a high degree of certainty.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine with certainty that the trawl fishery is not causing serious or irreversible harm in any areas of sensitive habitat.
  • There is slight misalignment between the area assessed and the area covered by EU TACs (the latter includes Division 2.a, while the former does not).
  • Fishing mortality reference points are not defined.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

10

Future Health:

≥ 8


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Engage with ICES and fishery management authorities in the EU and Norway to develop a long-term management plan and harvest control rule that considers the impacts of this fishery on the overall ecosystem structure and function.
  • Work with scientists to conduct research to better understand the influence of natural factors, such as temperature and predation, on recruitment and population size. 
  • Implement monitoring to determine the direct and indirect impacts of this fishery on sensitive habitats, endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species particularly marine mammals and seabirds.
  • Work with scientists and managers to define fishing mortality reference points.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • DFPO and DPPO North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat sandeel, sprat and Norway pout:

    MSC Certified

  • Norway sandeel, pout and north sea sprat:

    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 Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat European Union, Subarea 4, Division 3.a Denmark Purse seines
Small mesh bottom trawls
Faroe Islands Purse seines
Small mesh bottom trawls
Germany Purse seines
Small mesh bottom trawls
Netherlands Purse seines
Small mesh bottom trawls
Norway Purse seines
Small mesh bottom trawls
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands Midwater trawls
Norway Norway Purse seines
Single boat midwater otter trawls
Small mesh bottom trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Strengths
  • Scientific advice uses up-to-date age-based methods of assessment.
  • The stock, although highly variable due to recruitment variability and a short life span, has been above biomass reference points since 2006.
  • Fishing mortality over the past decade has fluctuated at low levels relative to the past 30-year trend.
  • Managers' and fishers’ compliance is evidenced to be strong: catch limits have not been fully used; discards and bycatch of Norway pout are considered negligible; bycatch regulations are in place and contributing to decrease of relative proportion; sorting grids are mandatory in Norway and Faroe Islands.
  • Direct impacts on ETP species are expected to be very small.  Interaction with the seabed ecosystem does occur in the trawl component of this fishery, but is considered to have more limited impact than other demersal fisheries in the North Sea.
Weaknesses
  • The stock is shared between the EU and Norway; and while ICES has reviewed a number different precautionary joint management strategies over the years, there continue to be no long-term management plan, and no harvest control rule for the stock.
  • Combined TACs set by the EU and Norway occasionally exceed the total catches advised by ICES, and in rare cases, by a significant amount (e.g. 2014).
  • Environmental parameters’ influence on recruitment and trophic interactions and dependence are not yet deeply understood.
  • There is no comprehensive strategy in place for managing the impacts on or minimizing mortality of ETP species; and there is insufficient information to quantitatively estimate outcome status of all ETP species with a high degree of certainty.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine with certainty that the trawl fishery is not causing serious or irreversible harm in any areas of sensitive habitat.
  • There is slight misalignment between the area assessed and the area covered by EU TACs (the latter includes Division 2.a, while the former does not).
  • Fishing mortality reference points are not defined.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage with ICES and fishery management authorities in the EU and Norway to develop a long-term management plan and harvest control rule that considers the impacts of this fishery on the overall ecosystem structure and function.
  • Work with scientists to conduct research to better understand the influence of natural factors, such as temperature and predation, on recruitment and population size. 
  • Implement monitoring to determine the direct and indirect impacts of this fishery on sensitive habitats, endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species particularly marine mammals and seabirds.
  • Work with scientists and managers to define fishing mortality reference points.
Denmark
Small mesh bottom trawls

Last updated on

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage and support the MSC Client Group to ensure progress towards meeting the conditions attached to the Certification.
Norway
Small mesh bottom trawls

Last updated on

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage and support the MSC Client Group to ensure progress towards meeting the conditions attached to the Certification.
Norway
Small mesh bottom trawls

Last updated on

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage and support the MSC Client Group to ensure progress towards meeting the conditions attached to the Certification.
Single boat midwater otter trawls

Last updated on

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage and support the MSC Client Group to ensure progress towards meeting the conditions attached to the Certification.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Stocks assessments are made jointly with scientists from several countries under the aegis of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). For the advice published in 2017 (corrected version released in 2018), commercial landings data (quarterly catches, ages and mean weight-at-age from catch sampling of mainly Danish and Norwegian fishery) and four research survey indices were used in the age-based analytical (seasonal SAM) assessment (ICES 2018). While there are generally no discards of Norway pout in the small-meshed reduction fisheries in Denmark and Norway (which account for the majority of the catch), there is some discarding in human consumption fisheries, primarily for crustaceans, conducted by several countries in the northern North Sea and Skagerrak (ICES 2017).  Based on catch data between 2002 and 2014, these discards have averaged less than 1,000 tonnes annually, and with the exception of 3 years, not more than 5% in proportion to landed catches.  For purposes of stock assessment, ICES considers discards of Norway pout in the fishery to be negligible, and they typically do not include them in their analyses (ICES 2015, ICES 2015, ICES 2016, ICES 2018).

ICES assessments follow the MSY escapement strategy, the default approach for short-lived species (ICES 2018). In the past, ICES conducted biannual assessments for this stock: a spring assessment (stock status up to 1st of April) and an autumn assessment (ICES 2014, ICES 2014).  However, in 2014, ICES, evaluated the impacts of shifting the TAC year (to Nov 1- October 31), which would have the added benefit of eliminating the need for a second in-year assessment (ICES 2014). The switch was indicated to have limited influence on long-term yield, stock sizes and the probability of low stock biomass. Hence, as of 2015, ICES conducts assessments and provides advice only once per year (ICES 2015)

A 2017 benchmark assessment (ICES 2017), supported a shift from Seasonal Extended Survivors Analysis (SXSA) model to the Seasonal State-space Assessment Model (SESAM) presently being used; a change which was implemented beginning with the 2016 assessment (ICES 2016).  The benchmark changes resulted in subsequent estimates of recruitment, and SSB in particular, being lower than in earlier assessments; however, stock trends are generally consistent (ICES 2018).  Previous reference points Fcap and MSY Bescapement, have not been in use since 2015; instead, the stochastic assessment and forecast accounts for uncertainty directly, and produces an estimated value for F that assures with 95% probability of that SSB will remain above Blim at the end of the 4th fishing quartile. However, following a long-term management strategy evaluation in 2018, ICES determined that without an Fcap  at 0.7, the escapement strategy is not precautionary (ICES 2018).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 17 May 2018

ICES advice for this stock is now administered once per year, for catches occuring from November 1 to October 31 (see stock assessment section above for further explanation) (ICES 2018).

As explained above under Stock Assessment, the MSY escapement strategy for this stock is based on stochastic projections, and the objective of maintaining a 95% probability that SSB will remain above Blim. In 2018, the corresponding target F is 0.74. The corresponding MSY catch advice given in April 2018 for the 2017 – 2018 fishing season is at 212,531 tonnes (ICES 2018) . While advice is for the period 1 October to 30 September, ICES considers that the forecast can be used directly for management purposes for the period 1 November 2017–31 October 2018. 

ICES has acknowledged limited knowledge about the influence of environmental factors such as temperature on recruitment, as well as regarding trophic interactions and dependence on the bidirectional prey-predator relationship (ICES 2017). ICES highlights the need to ensure that the Norway pout stock remains high enough to provide food for a variety of predator species; and that by-catches of other species should also be taken into account in management of the fishery. ICES further advises that existing measures to protect other species should be maintained or improved. 

  

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Owing to its short lifespan, the population dynamics of the species are highly dependent on variations in recruitment and predation (or other natural) mortality; and thus the stock exhibits high variability from year to year (ICES 2017). The influence of environmental factors on recruitment, is not well understood. 

Strong recruitments were observed in 2012, 2014 and 2016, while recruitments in 2015 and 2017 were below long term averages (ICES 2018) . Biomass reference points are based on observed trends at similar levels in the past . Under the precautionary approach the biomass reference points are defined as: Blim = Bloss, the lowest observed biomass in 2005, and Bpa = Blim e0.3 X 1.65.  The value of Blim  assessed in 2016 is 39,450 tonnes and Bpa = 65,000 tonnes (ICES 2018). Spawning stock biomas (SSB) in 2017 was estimated to be well above Bpa, at around 152,000 tonnes (ICES 2018).

Landings have decreased consistently since the beginning of the time series (more than 80%),  from about 393,000 tonnes in 1984 to 63,000 tonnes in 2016 (ICES 2018). Since 2004, landings have been very variable, as the directed fishery for Norway pout was closed on several occasions. Estimated F decreased slightly in 2016, remaining below long-term average levels, as it has been since 1995. Given the low levels of fishing mortality over the recent decade, the status of the stock is considered to be more determined by natural processes and less by the fishery (ICES 2017).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 17 May 2018

The Norway pout stock in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat assessment unit crosses several management jurisdictions, including EU, Norway and Faroe Islands waters. At present there is no agreed precautionary management plan (ICES 2018). Over the past decade, ICES has evaluated a number of long-term management strategies jointly requested by the EU and Norway, and is reportedly evaluating a current request made in 2017 based on EU-Norway negotiations (ICES 2017). Bilateral agreements have been signed between Norway and EU to harmonize management measures; namely to reduce bycatch (MFCA 2010, Norwegian Government 2015). While guidelines and operational tools such as TACs and requirements under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) support many of the objectives of an effective management plan, a formally adopted plan including clearly defined harvest control rules is still lacking.

The TAC advice is given for the entire stock in ICES Subarea 4 and Division 3.a. (ICES 2018), but separate TACs are set autonomously by Norway and the EU state members, following annual consultation (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018). In Norway fishing is only permitted between 1 May – 31 August since 2008 and mesh size regulations are also in force (MFCA 2010, NMFCA 2011). In addition to the single-species TAC, the fishery is regulated through several technical measures (e.g., sorting grids, minimum mesh sizes, area closures), and bycatch regulations to protect other species. The directed fishery was closed in 2005 and 2007, and the first half of 2006, 2011 and 2012. The 2012 moratorium was based on the low recruitment levels found in previous years. The fishery was re-opened in second half of the year in response to the recruitment recovery.

Two conditions of certification related to the lack of a formal long term harvest strategy were generated during the 2017 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment of the Danish sector of the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat Sandeel, Norway Pout, and Sprat fisheries: 1) “By the 4th annual audit, short and long-term objectives, which are consistent with achieving the outcomes expressed by MSC’s Principles 1 and 2, must be explicit within the fishery-specific management system for sandeel, sprat, and Norway pout.”; and 2) “By the 4th annual audit, there must be well defined harvest control rules in place that are consistent with the harvest strategy and ensure that the exploitation rate is reduced as limit reference points are approached.” (Rice et al. 2017). An analagous condition was raised in the 2018 MSC certification of the Norwegian fishery sector (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018):

From 2010, total set quotas (by EU and Norway) have exceeded ICES advice three times (ICES 2018). In 2011 the advice was exceeded by 25%, and in 2014 the TAC doubled the recommendation; in 2015 the TAC exceeded the advised limit by less than 1%. The 2017-18 global TAC for the stock is at 152,000 tonnes: total TAC for EU waters (3.a; Union waters of 2.a and 4; Norway pout and associated bycatch species) at 76,000 tonnes – 55,000 for the EU fleet + 15,000 tonnes for Norway + 6,000 tonnes for Faroe Islands (European Commission 2018) – and total TAC for Norwegian waters (Norwegian fleet only) at 75,978 tonnes (Norges Sildesalgslag 2018) . The EU quota is for the November 2017-October 2018 period. As part of TAC agreements with the EU, Norwegian and Faroes vessels fishing Norway pout in EU waters (Subarea 4) are required to use a selection grid (NEAFC 2017)(NEAFC 2017) (ICES 2017). Note that while ICES' advice and catch statistics apply to the stock component in ICES subarea 3.a and Division 4 only; the EU TACs apply to Divisions 3a and the Union waters of 2.a and Subarea 4.

In 2013, the EU released Council Regulation (EU) N° 1380/2013, by which a change in the Common Fisheries Policy was made; aiming a gradual reduction in fish discards. Article 15 of this regulation establishes a landing obligation, i.e. all catches of species which are subject to catch limits shall be brought and retained on board the fishing vessels, recorded, landed and counted against the quotas. For fisheries for industrial purposes, including Norway pout, the landing obligation entered into force in 1 January 2015 (Council Regulation (EU) N° 1380/2013; Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014).  

Last updated on 17 May 2018

The Faroe Islands manage their fisheries independently; they negotiate their own trade agreements with the rest of the EU and do not conform to the the CFP (Gibson et al. 2015). Fundamental provisions of the Faroes fishery management system are managed by the government's Ministry of Fisheries and Natural Resources (MFNR) (Hegland and Hopkins 2014).

Management authority over fisheries in the vicinity of the Faroes Islands archipelago has been evolving since the country's transition from Danish to autonomous control in 1948 (Gibson et al. 2015). For some time after this, Faroes waters were exploited heavily by foreign fleets; but gradual expansion of the country's EEZ (from 3 nm to 200 nm between 1959 and 1977) led to eventual dominance by the national fleet. The Faroes Islands EEZ now covers waters primarily in ICES Divisions 5.b and 2.a, as well as small portions of Divisions 5.a and 6.a., and Subarea 4.a (Gibson et al. 2015).

The introduction of a licensing system in 1987 marked the Faroes Islands authority's first significant fishery management measure. TACs and a ban on discards were introduced in the 1990s following the collapse of a number of demersal stocks.  However, the catch quota system was abandoned for an effort regulated system shortly after (1996), in an attempt to overcome strong industry opposition, and significant discarding and misreporting that occurred with the enforcement of TACs (Gibson et al. 2015)(Jákupsstovu et al. 2007). While the discard ban remains in place, it is not always strictly enforced, and there does not appear to be a systematic effort to quantify discards (Gibson et al. 2015).   

Regulation of the country's three most important demersal stocks - cod, haddock and saithe, is a priority objective of the Faroes effort management system (Hegland and Hopkins 2014). Closures of 1-2 weeks are triggered when more than 30% of the catch is comprised of juveniles of these three species, which fishers are required to report (Gibson et al. 2015). In addition to a variety of effort control mechanisms (e.g. fleet segmentation, time and area closures, days-at-sea limits and fleet capacity regulation), Faroes management, employs additional technical measures including mesh size restrictions, gear regulations and limitations, and bycatch limiting devices (e.g. sorting grids) (Hegland and Hopkins 2014).

Norway pout harvested in Faroes waters do not appear to be targeted, and comprise a relatively minute level of catch in proportion to harvests in Norwegian and Union waters.  An estimated 80% or more of reported fishery landings in Faroese waters occur in ICES management Division 5b (Gibson et al. 2015) . According to ICES, catches of Norway pout in this area from 2012-2015 averaged 1,070 tonnes, all of which were taken by the Faroes fleet in Division 5.b.1 (ICES 2018). No catches of Norway pout were reported in the same area between 2006-2011. Between 2006-2015, no catches of Norway pout were reported in ICES Division 2.a. by any fleet other than Norway. The majority of catches by the Faroes fleet appear to occur in the Union waters of Subarea 4.a, but only inconsistently - 5,270 tonnes were reported by ICES in 2015, 3,156 tonnes in 2016, and none from 2006-2014 (ICES 2018).  

Norway

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Management of Norwegian fisheries, 90% of which exploit stocks shared by other countries, is conducted by its national regulatory authorities in cooperation with other nationional and international authorities and entities (Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs 2007). Sharing of stocks, with nations including Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, and the EU, is facilitated via bilateral and multilateral consultations through which a variety of binding and non-binding agreements are negotiated. Norway is also a member of a number of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RMFOs) including the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission.  

Norway's fishery management, including national regulatory measures and coordination of international agreements, is administered by various authorities within the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs (MFCA) (Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs 2007) . Regulations pertaining to the Norwegian industrial trawl fishery, targeting Norway pout and blue whiting, are largely aimed at minimizing bycatch, which can be significant (ICES 2017) . In the Norwegian EEZ, selection grids are required for certain vessels, with exceptions for some that are equipped to sort out large fish. Additional measures include seasonal and area closures, and maxiumum bycatch rates (per haul and per landing by weight) for cod, haddock and saithe (20%), herring (10%), greater argentine (10%), and monkfish (0.5%). Small meshed industrial trawling is restricted to vessels with quota of blue whiting.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 17 May 2018

In general, compliance with harvest limits has been strong, and catches have not exceeded set total allowable catches (TACs) since 2007 (ICES 2018). In the recent decade, high fuel costs and also the bycatch regulations in force in 2009 and 2010 have likely discouraged full utilization of harvest opportunities. There have been some reports that mandatory sorting grids interfere with efficient harvest of Norway pout (ICES 2017). The stock status of herring is considered to be well monitored (i.e. outcomes for herring are understood) (Rice et al. 2017). However, bycatch data is not sufficient so as to quantify bycatch mortalities (for all species). While partial discarding is thought to be a non-issue since implementation of bycatch reducing measures; there is potential for choke species, e.g. herring, to provoke slippage (the discarding of an entire haul at sea) (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017). See the "Bycatch" section below for further detail.

Denmark

Last updated on 17 May 2018

All Danish harvests occur in EU waters, and as such, the EU is considered the management authority for the Danish fishery for Norway Pout (Rice et al. 2017) .

Last updated on 17 May 2018

While there is data demonstrating that discards of Norway pout in the international fisheries is low (ICES 2017), Norway does not conduct discard sampling because of the discard ban; so quantities in Norwegian fisheries are unknown. Regardless, ICES notes there is generally no discarding in the small-meshed fisheries targeting Norway pout for reduction purposes in Norway (and Denmark).   

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 17 May 2018

A large number of species in the vicinity of the fishery are recognized as ETP by various authorities (i.e. CITES Appendix I, Ascobans, Norwegian red list, OSPAR, IUCN redlist), these include a variety of marine mammals, seabirds, elasmobranchs and marine fishes (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017). Fatal interactions with these species in the Norway pout fishery are indicated to be very limited; catch composition data for the Norwegian fleet in 2016 (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018) recorded only the the IUCN critically endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla) (Freyhof and Kottelat 2010) as a captured ETP species (780 kg, equating to less than 1% of the total catch by weight) (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018). Bycatch of birds and marine mammals in the North Sea herring fishery are documented to be very low, and rates are considered likely to be similar for the North Sea reduction fisheries (Rice et al. 2017). Recent years of data reported by the Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (WGBYC) further indicate that the gears used to prosecute Norway pout in the fishery area have very low incidence of ETP species captures (ICES 2015)(ICES 2016)(ICES 2017)​. The fishery may however have other indirect impacts on some ETP species. 

Species that appear in Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) are afforded strict protection status in European Union (EU) waters; this includes all cetacean species (European Commission 1992) . Protection of bird species is broadly afforded under EU directive 2009/147/EC, though the directive is not specific to fishery conduct or impacts. The Council Regulation (EC) No. 812/2004  (European Commission 2004) requires monitoring programs of cetacean bycatch for vessels ≥15m, including pelagic trawlers operating in ICES areas 3 and 4. Apart from meeting this requirement in Subarea 3a, Denmark does not presently have a specific monitoring programs for incidental catch of marine mammals because of the zero detection rate in observation schemes carried out in prior years (ICES 2015)(ICES 2016)(ICES 2017). Video monitoring systems (VMS) have been used on vessels under 15 m. Self reporting via electronic logbooks and official sampling are also conducted (Rice et al. 2017) . Monitoring tools employed in the Norwegian fishery include, VMS, landing obligations and controls, sampling of landings, annual surveys and some observer coverage (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018) .

Assessments conducted under the MSC certification scheme for both the Norwegian and Danish fishery sectors ((DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017) found information on ETP species to be sufficient to broadly assess risks to ETP species, and to support the view that impacts are negligible; but they concluded the available information was insufficient to quantify impacts, and in particular non-fatal impacts, with a high degree of certainty. Information on population trends was considered to be more adequate for mammals and birds than for elasmobranch species. The 2018 certification of the Norwegian fishery was accompanied by a recommendation that "systems are put in place to ensure that all interactions with ETP species are recorded on log books irrespective of whether they are landed or discarded and that the captures of all ETP species are mapped" (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018).

Other Species

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Norway pout is taken in a directed fishery and also as bycatch in the Norwegian mixed industrial fishery for blue whiting. Bycatch rates of other species in the directed Norway pout fishery have been high historically (cod, haddock, whiting, saithe, haddock, monkfish and herring), but have been reduced considerably in recent years, mainly owing to a series of bycatch reduction measures (ICES 2017). Sorting grids, particularly, have been instrumental in reducing gadoid bycatch in the trawl fishery.  Trawlers targeting Norway pout in the Norwegian EEZ were required to use sorting grids beginning in 2010 (though other vessel modifications to enable sorting of large fish have since led to some exemptions). Significant reductions in bycatch of whiting and haddock have been demonstrated with the use of sorting grids in combination with square mesh panels; however these innovations are still evolving and not fully utilized. ICES has advised that the devices be further developed and fully implemented, and that they be accompanied by adequate at-sea control measures to ensure their efficacy. Other technical measures that mitigate bycatch include mesh size regulations, closed areas, and bycatch limits such as catch composition restrictions for target and non-target species, and species specific quotas and catch ceilings (e.g. herring), as well as the EU landing obligation for industrial vessels, in effect since 2015 (see Managers Decisions sections) (ICES 2017, NEAFC 2017). The Norway pout box, an area of historically high gadoid catches, has been closed since 1977; though effects of this have been inconclusive (ICES 2017). There are additional seasonal closures in the Norwegian EEZ (Egersund Bank and Patch Bank), which are timed to avoid high abundance of herring and juvenile gadoids.

The landing obligation, whereby all catch is to be landed and accounted for, bottom trawl surveys conducted by ICES, and other monitoring systems in place allow for risk and outcomes to non-target species in the fishery to be assessed relatively thoroughly and with a fairly high degree of certainty (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017) . Herring is the main non-target species captured in the directed Norway pout fishery, while minor species include haddock, whiting and blue whiting (Rice et al. 2017). Because of bycatch restrictions for herring (10% limit by weight per haul and landing for Norwegian North Sea industrial trawlers (ICES 2017)), herring can act as a choke species, particularly in directed Norway pout and sprat fisheries (ICES 2014)(ICES 2017) (Rice et al. 2017). This has caused concern regarding potential "slippage", the practice of discarding an entire haul to avoid landing unwanted catch, occurring in these fisheries. The landing obligation, as well as some quota flexibility measures, eliminate or minimize penalties and should by design disincentivize slippage; however, some concern remains (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017) . As a condition of the 2017 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment of the Norwegian sector North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat Sandeel, Norway Pout, and Sprat fisheries, a requirement was  that  “By the 4th annual audit there must be positive evidence that slipping is not occurring in the sprat and Norway pout fisheries.”, and “This information should be sufficient to act as qualitative information and some quantitative information available on the amount of main bycatch species (herring) taken by the sprat and Norway pout fisheries.” (Rice et al. 2017). Similar concerns raised in the 2018 certification of the Danish fishery sector precluded achievment of a '100' level score on certain indicators (outcomes for prilmary species, and information for secondary species) (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018) ; however, no respective condition was imposed. 

Norway
Small mesh bottom trawls

Last updated on 17 May 2018

The bottom trawl fishery has a 70% selectivity ratio, with the main bycatch species being blue whiting and horse mackeral (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018) .

Single boat midwater otter trawls

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Selectivity in the midwater trawl fishery is reported to be 90% (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018).

HABITAT

Last updated on 17 May 2018

Habitat effects are generally low for pelagic (midwater) trawls (FAO 2002), although occasional contact is known to occur and, in these cases, can cause damage to fragile ecosystems (e.g. corals), particularly when targeting bentho-pelagic schooling species (Donaldson et al. 2010). The risk of ghost fishing by lost gear is also very low for pelagic trawling (FAO 2002). Bottom-touching trawl gear is also used in this fishery, and while the impacts are generally understood, detailed knowledge is lacking (Rice et al. 2017). The demersal gears in this fishery are reported to use gear with less bottom contact than other demersal fisheries such as North Sea plaice and Nephrops fisheries, because the targeted species are living off the sea bed.

The spatial extent of the fishery is documented from VMS data, and habitat types, including vulnerable habitats, are mapped and described (data available from MAREANO Program, the EU Natura Directive, the OSPAR Commission, and the European Marine Observation and Data Network ). However, information is considered lacking with regard to quantification of gear impacts and habitat changes over time  (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018)(Rice et al. 2017). The Fladen ground is an important location for the Norway pout fishery, and also home to fragile benthic organisms, of which sea pens are of particular concern (Rice et al. 2017); and the impact of trawl gear in this area is lacking. Thus, while the impact of the gear is considered to be limited, it was determined during the 2017 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment of the Danish North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat Sandeel, Norway Pout, and Sprat fisheries (Rice et al. 2017) that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the fishery was “highly unlikely” to cause serious harm or irreversible harm in this area of sensitive habitat.

Three conditions related to habitat risks and outcomes were raised during the assessment: 1) “By the 4th annual audit, the client must be able to demonstrate that the fishery is unlikely to cause serious or irreversible harm to sensitive habitats, particularly the muddy Fladen ground habitat.”; 2) “By the fourth annual surveillance audit, there must be some objective basis for confidence that the partial strategy for achieving the habitat outcome level of 80 or above will work, based on information directly about the fishery and/or habitats involved.”, and 3) “By the fourth annual surveillance audit sufficient data must continue to be collected to detect any increase in risk to habitat types affected by this fishery” (Rice et al. 2017). The 2018 MSC assessment report for certification of the Norway sandeel, pout and North Sea sprat fishery units of certification (UoCs) also raised habitat related conditions pertaining to vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs): 1) "By the fourth surveillance audit necessary conservation and management measures for all vulnerable marine habitats in the UoC fishing grounds shall be in place and implemented, such that the UoC does not cause serious or irreversible harm to structure and function of VME habitats (as described by OSPAR). The fishery will also need to provide overlapped maps of bottom trawling activity and OSPAR threatened or declining habitats." , and 2) "There shall be evidence of implemented management measures directed to the different VME which are expected to achieve the Habitat Outcome SG80 level of performance.The client shall present some quantitative evidence of the compliance with protection measures afforded to VMEs by other MSC UoAs/non MSC fisheries, where relevant."  (DNV GL Business Assurance 2018) .

Dozens of marine protected areas are declared along the UK, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish coasts in the area of Norway pout’s distribution (Wood 2007). Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Network now covers over 5% of the OSPAR maritime area, the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR 2014). Most MPAs are established within waters under national jurisdiction (200 nautical miles) in the North Sea including Skagerrak–Kattegat, however few but large marine protected areas have been created in the high seas in recent years (OSPAR 2014). An MPA is being considered for the Central Fladen area, where particularly sensitive tall seapens are found (Rice et al. 2017).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 19 July 2018

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this assessment unit score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

According to the scientific advice body (ICES) there is no known agreed precautionary management plan in place; however harvest recommendations are based on an MSY escapement strategy, with the objective of ensuring to a high degree of certainty that the post-fishing spawning stock is maintained above the limit reference point. While management total allowable catches (TACs) have exceeded advised catches numerous times over the past decade, they have been below advised limits since 2015. Stock size, meanwhile, is estimated to have been consistently well above the target reference point. Several long-term management strategies have been proposed in recent years, but none has been adopted yet (ICES 2017a; ICES 2018b). Note that ICES' advice applies to the stock component in ICES subarea 3.a and Division 4 only; while the EU TACs apply to Divisions 3a and the Union waters of 2.a and Subarea 4. However, a minute percentage of the catch comes from area Subarea 2.a.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Set TAC is 152 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 213 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 71.5%.

Different components of this assessment unit score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Landings is 63.4 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 360 ('000 t) .

The underlying Landings/Set TAC for this index is 17.6%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the SSBpa.

The SSB is 152 ('000 t). The SSBpa is 65.0 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/SSBpa for this index is 234%.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

No target fishing mortality (F) reference point is defined for the stock; however, estimated removal rates over the past two decades are generally far below F = 0.74, the rate which the stock is forecasted (95% probability) to be able to sustain in the 2017-2018 fishing season, and remain above Blim through 2018 (ICES 2018b). ICES has noted that at present fishing mortality levels, the status of the stock is determined more by natural processes than by fishing (ICES 2017d).

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low

This indicates the potential risk of human rights abuses for all fisheries operating within this stock or assessment unit. If there are more than on risk level noted, individual fisheries have different levels. Click on the "Select Scores" drop-down list for your fisheries of interest.

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No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
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To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  1. There is no formally defined management strategy applied to the fishery, and fishery mortality reference points are not defined (ICES 2018) . Consequently, "Management strategy" and "Future Health" scores were determined qualitatively (mouse over for justification).
  2. There is a slight mismatch between the advice area and the areas covered by the management set TAC: ICES advice refers to the entire Norway pout stock in the northern North Sea and Skagerak and Kattegat (ICES Division 3.a and Subarea 4), while established TACs apply to Division 3.a., EU waters in Subarea 4 and Division 2.a, and Norwegian national waters (which span portions of Subareas 2, 3,and 4).
  3. It is unclear how much (if any) of the Faroes catch In ICES Subarea 4 is taken in Faroes (versus EU) waters, but catches in this area would be subject to effort regulation rather than quota limits.
  4. TACs are separately set by the European Union (EU) and Norway but agreed under a bilateral agreement (Norwegian Government, 2015). The total TAC reported here is the sum of total TAC for EU-waters at 76,000 t (55,000  for European Union vessels + 15,000 for Norwegian vessels in EU-waters + 6,000 t for Faroe Islands' vessels) (European Commission 2018) +  total TAC for Norwegian waters (Norwegian fleet only) at 75,978  tonnes (90,978 Total Norwegian Quota minus the 15,000 EU Norwegian quota (Norwegian total quota taken from (Norges Sildesalgslag 2018) .
  5. To achieve the objective of maintaining SSB above Blim after fishing has occurred, SSB is calculated for quarter 4 (after fishing) as a proxy for SSB at spawning time (quarter 1) (ICES 2018).
  6.  Former Fcap and MSY Bescapement reference points used in previous assessments are no longer used (ICES 2016; ICES 2018). Since 2016, the forecast has employed a stochastic method, and uncertainties in the assessment and forecast are directly taken into account to ensure with 95% probability that SSB stays above Blim. However, a recent management strategy evaluation (ICES 2018), determined that the escapement strategy in use is not precautionary without the addition of an Fcap at 0.7.
  7. Beginning in with the advice published in 2015, for the 2015-2016 season, ICES stock assessment advice is no longer provided biannually, but once yearly, as requested by management (ICES 2015).
  8.  ICES' advice and catch statistics apply to the stock component in ICES subarea 3.a and Division 4 only; the EU TACs apply to Divisions 3a and the Union waters of 2.a and Subarea 4.
  9. The last advised TAC was published by ICES in April 2018, following revisions to their earlier advice first published on October 2017 (ICES 2018).
  10. The fishing season is from November – October so 2018 regards the November 2017 - October 2018 period (ICES 2018).
  11. Landings are total nominal catches reported to ICES, less bycatch of other species (ICES 2017; ICES 2018) .

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

DFPO and DPPO North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat sandeel, sprat and Norway pout

STATUS

MSC Certified on 17 March 2017

SCORES

  Sandeel Sprat  Pout  
Principle Trawl   Trawl     Purse seines

Trawl

Principle 1 - Target Species 82.3 84.4 81.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 82.3 82.3 85.0 82.3
Principle 3 - Management System 87.5

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. 52 pp.http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Document_Centre/OP_Resources/HABITAT_DIRECTIVE_92-43-EEC.pdf
  2. Council Regulation (EC) No 812/2004 of 26.4.2004 laying down measures concerning incidental catches of cetaceans in fisheries and amending Regulation (EC) No 88/98. 20 pp. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2004:150:0012:0031:EN:PDF
  3. COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) 2016/72 of 22 January 2016, fixing for 2016 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union fishing vessels, in certain non-Union waters, and amending Regulation (EU) 2015/104, Official Journal of the European Union, 165pp.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016R0072&from=EN
  4. Council Regulation (EC) 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
  5. Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 879/2011 of 2 September 2011 amending Council Regulation (EU) No 57/2011 as regards catch limits for Norway pout and associated by-catches in ICES zone IIIa and Union waters of ICES zones IIa and IVhttp://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:228:0006:0007:EN:PDF
  6. Council Regulation (EU) No 44/2012 of 17 January 2012 fixing for 2012 the fishing opportunities available in EU waters and, to EU vessels, in certain non- EU waters for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks which are subject to international negotiations or agreementshttp://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:025:0055:0147:EN:PDF
  7. Council Regulation (EU) No 1040/2012 of 7 November 2012, amending Regulation (EC) No 754/2009 as regards exclusion of certain groups of vessels from the fishing effort regime laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1342/2008 and amending Regulations (EU) No 43/2012 and (EU) No 44/2012 as regards certain fishing opportunities.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:310:0013:0016:EN:PDF
  8. Council Regulation (EU) No 40/2013 of 21 January 2013 fixing for 2013 the fishing opportunities available in EU waters and, to EU vessels, in certain non- EU waters for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks which are subject to international negotiations or agreements.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:023:0054:0153:EN:PDF
  9. Council Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:354:0022:0061:EN:PDF
  10. Council Regulation (EU) No 432/2014 of 22 April 2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 43/2014 as regards certain fishing opportunities. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32014R0432&from=EN.
  11. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014 of 20 October 2014 establishing a discard plan for certain small pelagic fisheries and fisheries for industrial purposes in the North Sea. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014R1395&from=EN
  12. COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 43/2014 of 20 January 2014 fixing for 2014 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, to Union vessels, in certain non-Union waters http://faolex.fao.org/docs/pdf/eur130644.pdf
  13. COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 104/2015 of 19 January 2015 fixing for 2015 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, to Union vessels, in certain non-Union waters , amending Regulation (EU) No 43/2014 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 779/2014. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015R0104&from=EN
  14. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014 of 20 October 2014 establishing a discard plan for certain small pelagic fisheries and fisheries for industrial purposes in the North Sea. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014R1395&from=EN
  15. COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) 2017/127 of 20 January 2017 fixing for 2017 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union fishing vessels, in certain non-Union waters  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32017R0127&from=EN
  16. FAO, 2002. A Fishery Manager's Guidebook - Management Measures and Their Application, Cochrane KL (Ed). FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 424. Rome, FAO.http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/Y3427E/y3427e00.htm#Contents
References

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    Norway pout - North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat

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