Haddock, Iceland, ICES Va, Danish Seine

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1 Haddock, Iceland, ICES Va, Danish Seine Haddock, Iceland, ICES Va, Danish Seine Content last updated 2nd Aug 2017 Stock: Haddock in the Iceland grounds (ICES Division Va) Management: Iceland Overview Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a widely distributed roundfish that inhabits the temperate waters of the Northeast and Northwest Atlantic at depths ranging from 10 to 450 m. In the Northeast Atlantic, haddock are distributed from the Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen, the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya and around Iceland to southern Greenland. This species can reach a maximum recorded age of 14 years old in the Iceland grounds and is found in the highest abundances over rock, sand, gravel or shell habitats usually at temperatures between 4 and 10 C. Females mature at two years of age and spawn in spring by releasing a series of egg batches throughout the spawning season. Few haddock have been recorded beyond 10 years of age in the Iceland grounds. They feed mainly on small bottom-living organisms including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, worms and fishes; and they are preyed on by other fish, marine mammals and sea birds. In the Iceland grounds, haddock are caught in mixed demersal fisheries that target a wide range of species such as Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). Consequently, haddock are taken in the mixed demersal fisheries as both a target species and as bycatch mainly in the fisheries targeting Atlantic cod. Catches of haddock in the Iceland grounds peaked at nearly tonnes in 2007, and declined thereafter to reach the lowest levels on record at tonnes in Stock Status less risk more risk The status of the haddock stock in the Iceland grounds (Division 5a) has been scored a low risk. This is because the spawning stock biomass of 76,722 tonnes is above the precautionary level and the fishing mortality is within recommended limits. Consequently, this stock is harvested sustainably within safe biological limits and at full reproductive capacity. Management less risk more risk The management of the haddock stock in the Iceland grounds (Division 5a) has been scored a very low risk. This is because management decisions are informed by an annual stock assessment and a comprehensive regulatory framework is in place. Management controls are derived from an analytical stock assessment, known to be precautionary and within the range specified by scientific advice. Bycatch less risk more risk The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a low risk. This is because discarding of unwanted catch has been prohibited since August 2011 and bycatch of protected, threatened and endangered (PET) species is unlikely to have a significant impact on their population abundance. Danish seines have the potential to take moderate quantities of bycatch of PET species in certain circumstances. Habitat less risk more risk

2 The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a low risk. This is because Danish seine nets have limited interaction with the seabed and Icelandic fishers employ a fly-fishing technique thereby eliminating the risk of anchor-related habitat damage. Several areas have been temporally or permanently closed to fishing activities to protect vulnerable marine habitats. Outlook Type Current Risk Status Outlook Reason Stock Low Improving The status of the stock is likely to improve in the future given that spawning stock biomass is expected to increase in response to the strong 2014 year-class. Catches are in-line with the Icelandic Management Plan, stock size is expected to increase and fishing mortality is within recommended levels. Management Very low Stable Management of Icelandic haddock is likely to remain stable in the future. A comprehensive regulatory framework is in place and management controls are routinely enforced and independently verified through surveillance of fishing activities. Bycatch Low Improving Bycatch levels are likely to improve in the future. Discarding of unwanted catch is prohibited, and technical and spatial management measures are continuously under development and will likely reduce the risk further. Habitat Low Improving The habitat impacts of the fishery are likely to improve in the future. Technical and spatial management measures are continuously under development and will potentially reduce the risk further. The Icelandic Marine Research Institute is developing a seabed mapping programme to identify and protect vulnerable marine habitats.

3 Stock Status Details less risk more risk Time-trends Catches of haddock in the Iceland grounds (Division 5a) fluctuated around tonnes throughout the 1980s, 1990s and early-2000s (Figure 1). Haddock catches increased from tonnes in 2002 to peak at a record high of tonnes in Since this period, catches have decreased in line with the available TAC to reach the lowest levels on record at tonnes in 2014 (ICES, 2016). Most of the catches in 2014 were taken by Iceland (97%) and only a small proportion (3%) were taken by the Faeroes. The spatial distribution of the catches has not changed very much over time but catches from the area north of Iceland have increased gradually over the last 10 to 15 years (ICES 2016). Spawning stock biomass increased from 2001 to 2004 following the contribution of several strong year classes and remained relatively high from 2004 to After 2008, spawning stock biomass decreased but it still remains above the precautionary level (*SSBtrigger). Fishing mortality has declined since 2006 and remained within the recommended level (**HRMGT) since 2012 (ICES, 2017). Figure 1. Haddock in Division 5.a. Summary of stock assessment (weights in thousand tonnes). Harvest rates are calculated based on biomass of fish of 45+ cm. All biomass reference points refer to SSB levels. MGT Btrigger=Blim so the lines overlap (ICES 2017). Stock structure and recruitment For assessment and management purposes, the haddock population inhabiting ICES Subarea 5 (the Iceland and Faroes grounds) has been split into two stocks: Division 5a (Iceland grounds) and Division 5b (Faroes grounds). These two stocks are geographically separated by a wide and relatively deep ridge. Limited information is available on the metapopulation dynamics of haddock in Icelandic waters but it is unlikely to be as diverse are observed for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Recruitment is highly variable for this stock and was high between 1998 and 2003 with five relatively strong year classes. Year classes between 2008 and 2013 were relatively weak. Following the six consecutive weak year classes, the most recent year class in 2014 is estimated to be strong (ICES, 2016, ICES 2017). Data gaps and research priorities There are differences in the perception of the state of stock in assessment based on either the spring or autumn survey with autumn survey indicating a larger stock (ICES 2016). Explaining why these two sources of stock size estimates provide conflicting information during certain time periods is essential to fully understand the stock dynamics of haddock and the mixed demersal fishery characteristics in the Iceland grounds. *SSBtrigger = Spawning Stock Biomass Precautionary trigger level under Management plan **HRMGT= Harvest rate under management plan target ICES Report of the North-Western Working Group (NWWG), 27 April 4 May, 2016, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen. ICES CM 2016/ACOM:08. ICES 2017 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Greenland Sea and Icelandic Waters Ecoregions; Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Division 5.a (Iceland grounds)

4 Management Details less risk more risk TAC Information Catch 2016 (t) Advised Catch 2017/18 (t) Agreed TAC 2017/18 (t) Advised Catch 2018 (t) 2015/16 = 40, /17 < 34, /17 = 34, /18<41,390 Advised and agreed catches Management of this stock is by a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is located predominately within ICES Division 5a. ICES advises that when the Icelandic Management Plan is applied, catches in the fishing year September August 2018 (2017/2018) should be no more than 41,390 tonnes (ICES, 2017) and the agreed TAC for 2017/2018 is 39,890. Stock harvest strategy Haddock in the Iceland grounds (ICES Division 5a) is assessed annually by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute (MRI) and ICES to estimate spawning stock biomass and fishing mortality in relation to reference points for long-term sustainability. The stock assessment is based on a time-series of international fishery landings including age compositions and indices of abundance derived from the catch rates of two standardised research surveys (Icelandic spring and autumn groundfish surveys). Landings are monitored exhaustively from Icelandic and Faroese log books and sales notes (ICES, 2017a). The fisheries for haddock in Iceland grounds (ICES Division 5a) are managed under the Icelandic Management plan primarily through annual TACs set to maintain the exploitation rate at the rate which is consistent with the precautionary approach and generates maximum sustainable yield in the long-term. The Icelandic management plan sets a target rate of fishing mortality (*HRMGT = 0.40) and spawning stock biomass (*SSBtrigger = tonnes). The TAC is based on 40% of the biomass of 45 cm and above haddock in the advisory year (ICES 2017). ICES has evaluated the plan and found that it is in accordance with the precautionary approach (Björnsson, 2013). More information on the Icelandic Management plan can be found here: Large areas within the Icelandic EEZ are closed to fishing activities, either temporally or permanently. A short-term quick closure system has been in force since 1976 with the objective of protecting juvenile fish from fishing activates. Many areas have been closed permanently to fishing activities. These closures are based on knowledge of the biology of various stocks with the aim of protecting juveniles, spawning stocks and vulnerable marine habitats (e.g. cold water coral communities) from fishing activities. Gear restrictions in certain areas of the Iceland EEZ are in effect, with the use pelagic and demersal trawls not permitted inside a 12 nautical mile limit measured from the low-water line measured along the northern coast of Iceland. Similar restrictions are implemented elsewhere based on engine and vessel size. A minimum landings size of 30 cm for haddock is in operation in the Iceland grounds, and discarding of unwanted catch is prohibited by law (Regulation No. 810/2011). Discarding due to high-grading was up to 20% by weight in the late 1990s, but is considered negligible in recent years (ICES, 2017). Haddock are taken in mixed demersal fisheries targeting species such as Atlantic cod, and therefore any management advice for haddock must also take into account the advice for Atlantic cod. Surveillance and enforcement Fisheries on haddock in the Iceland grounds (Division 5a) are carried out by two countries (Iceland and the Faroes) and surveillance activities to record compliance with national and international fishery control measures are primarily the responsibility of the Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries. The Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries is responsible for the implementation of the Icelandic Fisheries Management Plan, day-to-day management of the fisheries and supervising the enforcement of fisheries management rules. The Directorate of Fisheries issues fishing permits to vessels and allocates catch quotas and inspects the composition of catches, fishing equipment and handling methods. The Icelandic Coast Guard is responsible for fisheries inspection at sea and monitoring of the EEZ. The requirements for surveillance and sanctions for infringements are laid down in Icelandic Control Regulation Nos. 36/1992, 116/2006 and 57/1996. Surveillance activities on fisheries for haddock in Division 5a include the use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) on board vessels over 12 m overall length; direct observation by patrol vessels and aerial patrols; inspections of vessels, gear, catches at sea and on shore; and verification of logbook data against sales documents. Management controls are routinely enforced and independently verified through surveillance of fishing activities (e.g. VMS, logbooks, dockside monitoring and visual inspections). Infringements happen only very occasionally and are unlikely to compromise harvest objectives. *SSBtrigger = Spawning Stock Biomass Precautionary trigger level under Management plan **HRMGT= Harvest rate under management plan target Björnsson, H. (2013). Evaluation of the Icelandic haddock management plan. ICES CM 2013/ACOM:59. ICES 2017 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Greenland Sea and Icelandic Waters Ecoregions; Haddock

5 ICES 2017 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Greenland Sea and Icelandic Waters Ecoregions; Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Division 5.a (Iceland grounds) ICES Report of the North-Western Working Group (NWWG), 27 April 4 May, 2016, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen. ICES CM 2016/ACOM:08.

6 Bycatch Details less risk more risk Targeting and behaviour A Danish seine net consists of a conical netting body with two relatively long wings and a bag. An important component for the capture efficiency of the seines is the long ropes extending from the wings, which are used to encircle a large area. Many seine nets are very similar in design to trawl nets, but the wings are usually longer. The net is deployed from an anchored dhan (marker) buoy and the operation is undertaken by the main vessel, called the seiner, or from an additional smaller boat. A drag line is firstly deployed into the water followed by the net wing, and whilst the seiner streams round in a large circle back towards the buoy, the bag of the seine is deployed followed by the other wing and then finally the other drag line. The Danish seine net is set over a large area and hauled onboard with the help of a rope-coiling machine. Danish seines are not a well targeted fishing activity with the potential to catch a wide variety of non-target species. Evidence of bycatch risk Discarding of unwanted catch has been prohibited in the Icelandic EEZ since August 2011 (Regulation No. 810/2011). Haddock discarding due to high grading was up to 20% by weight in the late 1990s, but has declined to less than 2% in recent years (ICES, 2015a). In the Iceland grounds, haddock are caught in mixed demersal fisheries that target a wide range of species including Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). Consequently, haddock are taken as a target species and as bycatch mainly in fisheries targeting Atlantic cod. Quantitative estimates of haddock discards are not included in the assessment given that discard rates are negligible (ICES, 2015b). Within the Iceland grounds, the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) stock has become severely depleted due to overfishing. As a result, the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation has issued regulations outlining that all viable halibut must be released once caught, and these regulations will remain in place until clear indications of an improvement in stock status. Limited information is available on bycatch levels of marine mammals and seabirds. Mitigation measures Discarding of unwanted catch has been prohibited in the Icelandic EEZ since August 2011 (Regulation No. 810/2011). All catches have to be landed including low-value and non-quota managed species. Additional measures to reduce bycatch include a minimum landings size of 30 cm for haddock, and controls linking mesh size and effort limits for individual vessels. ICES (2015a). Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Division Va (Iceland grounds). ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Iceland Sea and Greenland Sea Ecoregions, ICES Advice 2015, Book 2, Section ICES (2015b). Report of the North-Western Working Group (NWWG), 28 April 5 May, ICES HQ, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM2015/ACOM: pp.

7 Habitat Details less risk more risk Gear effects, targeting and behaviour & Evidence of habitat risk The Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation has a duty to protect vulnerable marine habitats (e.g. cold water corals and hydrothermal vents) from significant adverse impacts from bottom-contacting gear. Areas known to possess cold-water coral communities and hydrothermal vents are protected through permanent closures to fishing activities. The Icelandic Marine Research Institute (MRI) monitors and provides advice on closures of vulnerable marine habitats. A seabed mapping programme is maintained by the Icelandic MRI to increase knowledge of bathymetry, topography, substrate distribution and the characteristics of benthic communities (ICES, 2015). Mitigation measures Large areas of the Icelandic EEZ have been temporally or permanently closed to fishing activities to protect vulnerable marine habitats. In addition, the use of bottom-contacting fishing gear has been prohibited to protect vulnerable marine habitats in the Icelandic EEZ (Regulation No. 79/1997). ICES (2015). Report of the North-Western Working Group (NWWG), 28 April 5 May, ICES HQ, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM2015/ACOM: pp. All content 2017 Seafish. Origin Way, Europarc, Grimsby, DN37 9TZ. This page created on 5th December 2017 at 08:16pm.

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