Last updated on 25 November 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Maurolicus muelleri

SPECIES NAME(s)

Silvery lightfish, pennant lightfish

COMMON NAMES

Pearlside, Norræna gulldepla (Icelandic)

The structure of the stock of silvery lightfish, known as pearlside, around Iceland is unknown, as is much of the biology of this species. The recent experimental Icelandic fishery is considered in this profile.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

An acoustic survey has been conducted.

Weaknesses

The size of the stock is not yet known. The life-cycle of the species is incompletely known. No catch limits are in place.

Options

Effects of the fishery on PET species or species potentially at risk should be studied. A precautionary catch limit should be introduced and the expansion of the fishery restricted until more information is available on the species.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

NOT YET SCORED

Managers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Fishers Compliance:

NOT YET SCORED

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


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.

MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Iceland Iceland Midwater trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Strengths

An acoustic survey has been conducted.

Weaknesses

The size of the stock is not yet known. The life-cycle of the species is incompletely known. No catch limits are in place.

Options

Effects of the fishery on PET species or species potentially at risk should be studied. A precautionary catch limit should be introduced and the expansion of the fishery restricted until more information is available on the species.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Little information is available on the biology and ecology of the pearlside. An acoustic survey was conducted in late 2009 to assess the possibility of evaluating the stock, but although the distribution was mapped, no estimate of stock size has yet been obtained (MRI, 2010).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Iceland’s Marine Research Institute assesses most of the stocks in the region. As the pearlside is not yet assessed, and knowledge of the species is incomplete, no TAC has been advised for 2010/2011, but a cautious approach is recommended (MRI, 2010).

Reference Points

No reference points exist for the stock.

CURRENT STATUS

The size of the pearlside population is not known (MRI, 2010).

Trends

The fishery is still experimental, having started in late 2008 with landings of a few tonnes and expanded in 2009 with catches of around 46,000 tonnes. Around 16,000 tonnes were caught in January and February 2010 (MRI, 2010).

Although the stock structure of this species is not known, catches were similarly reported by the nearby Faroe Islands for the first time in 2008, where nearly 1,500 tonnes were fished (FAO, 2010).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

No management plan is in place and no TAC is set. However, general measures in place for Icelandic fisheries such as trawl mesh sizes and quick closures of areas with high densities of juveniles (ICES, 2008) also apply to this fishery.

Recovery Plans

Not applicable.

COMPLIANCE

Not applicable as no catch limits are set.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Several large at-risk cetaceans occur in Icelandic waters: fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), Sei whale (B. borealis) and blue whale (B. musculus) are all classified on the IUCN Red List as endangered, whereas sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are vulnerable (ICES, 2008; IUCN, 2010). No smaller marine mammals in the region and none of Iceland’s seabirds are known to be at risk (ICES, 2008; IUCN, 2010), but the effects of this fishery on any of these populations is not yet known. The status of sharks and skates in Icelandic waters is incompletely known, as are bycatch rates by fisheries (ICES, 2008).

Other Species

It is not yet known which, if any, species are bycatch of the pearlside fishery.

HABITAT

No habitat effects have yet been recorded for the fishery but as pelagic trawl is the gear used, effects on the sea floor are expected to be minimal.

Marine Reserves

Besides temporary closures to protect juveniles, several fishing areas around Iceland are closed seasonally or permanently. Major spawning areas for cod, plaice and catfish are also closed during spawning seasons (ICES, 2008). In addition several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated around coastal Iceland and islands, mostly in the form of Nature Reserves but also as one large Conservation Area, Breiðafjörður (Wood, 2007). Specific regulations vary within the MPAs but protection measures may be decided in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries (IMFA, 2005).

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

STOCK HEALTH:

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

1) No scores can be determined as no assessment is conducted and no management plan is in place. 2) Although the catch series only contains 2009’s catches of around 46,000 tonnes, catches in 2008 were “of a few tonnes” and around 16,000 tonnes were caught in the first two months of 2010 (MRI, 2010).

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

FAO, 2010. FishStat Plus. Universal software for fishery statistical time series. http://www.fao.org/fishery/statistics/software/fishstat/en

ICES, 2008. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee. Book 2: Iceland and East Greenland. http://www.ices.dk/products/icesadvice/2008/ICES%20ADVICE%202008%20Book%202.pdf

Image credit: T. Ayling and G. Cox, 1982. Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand. William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand. Via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Maurolicus_muelleri

IMFA, 2005. Friðun viðkvæmra hafsvæða við Ísland [in Icelandic]. http://www.sjavarutvegsraduneyti.is/media/Skyrslur/fridunskyrsla_2005.pdf

IUCN, 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. [Downloaded on 16 July 2010]. http://www.iucnredlist.org

Marine Research Institute (MRI), 2010. State of Marine Stocks in Icelandic Waters 2009/2010; Prospects for the Quota Year 2010/2011. http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2010/ASTAND-10.pdf

Wood LJ, 2007. MPA Global: A database of the world’s marine protected areas. Sea Around Us Project, UNEP-WCMC & WWF. http://www.mpaglobal.org

References

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    Silvery lightfish - Icelandic waters

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