MSC FISHERY ASSESSMENT REPORT

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1 Public Comment Draft Report for: ICELANDIC GROUP PLC Icelandic Haddock Fishery REPORT NO REVISION NO

2 Date of first issue: Project No.: DET NORSKE VERITAS CERTIFICATION LTD Client: Palace House Icelandic Group PLC 3 Cathedral Street London SE19DE DET NORSKE VERITAS CERTIFICATION LTD Palace House 3 Cathedral Street London SE19DE United Kingdom Approved by: Organisational unit: Business Assurance, Unit Norway Client ref.: United Project Kingdom Name IGP Icelandic Haddock Fishery Country: Iceland Determination Phases/Type of report: Client Report Peer Review Report Public Comment Draft Report (Stakeholders review) Final Report Public Certification Report Ingvar Eyfjörð Aðstoðarforstjóri Nigel Edwards, Charles Boardman DET NORSKE VERITAS AS DNV Certification AS Veritasveien 1, 1322 HØVIK, Norway Tel: Fax: The objective of this project has been to assess the Icelandic Haddock fishery for the client group Icelandic Group PLC (IGP) and caught by demersal otter trawl, Danish seine, long line, hand line and gill net. against the MSC principals and criteria for sustainable fishing Report No.: Date of this revision: Rev. No. Key words: Report title: MSC Fishery Assessment report: Icelandic Haddock Fishery for the client group: Icelandic Group PLC (IGP) Work carried out by: Stephen Lockwood (Independent P1 & P2 expert) Benóný Jónsson (Independent country & P3 expert) Sandhya Chaudhury (Team Leader & Leadauditor, DNV) Work verified by: Anna Kiseleva No distribution without permission from the Client or responsible organisational unit Limited distribution more people!! Report N Revision Page 2 of 200

3 ABBREVIATIONS ACOM (ICES) CEFAS CFP DNV EEZ ETP EU FAM FAO H&G HCR HOG ICES IGP ICG ISSH ITQ IUCN MRI MSC MSY NAFO NAMMCo NASS NEAFC NGO NSSH Advisory Committee Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Common Fisheries Policy Det Norske Veritas Exclusive Economic Zone Endangered, threatened and protected species European Union Fisheries Assessment Methodology Food and Agriculture Organization Headed and gutted Harvest Control Rule Head on gutted International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Icelandic Group Plc Icelandic Coast Guard Icelandic summer-spawning herring Individual Transferable Quota International Union for Conservation of Nature Marine Research Institute Marine Stewardship Council Maximum sustainable yield Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission North Atlantic Sightings Surveys The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission Non-governmental organization Norwegian spring spawning herring Report N Revision Page 3 of 200

4 NWWG North-Western Working Group OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development P1 Principle 1 P2 Principle 2 P3 Principle 3 PI Performance Indicator SGBYC Study Group on Bycatch of Protected Species SSB Spawning Stock Biomass TAC Total Allowable Catch UK United Kingdom UNCLOS United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea VMS Vessel Monitoring System VPA Virtual Population Analysis WGECO Working Group on Ecosystem effects of fishing WGSE Working Group on Seabird Ecology Report N Revision Page 4 of 200

5 LIST OF SYMBOLS & REFERENCE POINTS B msy B pa F F pa F med Biomass corresponding to the maximum sustainable yield (biological reference point); the peal value on a domed yield-per-recruit curve. Precautionary biomass below which SSB should not be allowed to fall to safeguard it against falling to B lim. Instantaneous rate of fishing mortality Precautionary buffer to avoid that true fishing mortality is at F lim when the perceived fishing mortality is at F pa. F in an equilibrium population where recruitment per spawning stock biomass in half of the years has been above the replacement level (biological reference point) Report N Revision Page 5 of 200

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS: ABBREVIATIONS... 3 LIST OF SYMBOLS & REFERENCE POINTS SUMMARY The Assessment team Assessment timeline Scores for each Principle Strength and weakness Determination Conditions, recommendations and timescales 10 2 INTRODUCTION The Unit of Certification Report Structure and Assessment Process 15 3 NORTH ATLANTIC HADDOCK The Icelandic HADDOCK stock (ICES Division Va) The distribution and biology of Icelandic haddock Biological research on Icelandic haddock 20 4 THE ICELANDIC HADDOCK FISHERY The history of haddock fishing in Iceland Fleet structure & fishing practices 26 5 ECOSYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS The marine environment Benthos and biogenic habitats Fish communities Seabirds Marine mammals Bycatch and discards Bycatch & interactions with ETP species Other fisheries relevant to this assessment The fishery s effect on the surrounding ecosystems Closed areas Waste management 64 Report N Revision Page 6 of 200

7 6 STATUS OF THE ICELANDIC HADDOCK STOCK Data sources Monitoring stock status Stock management plan and harvest control rule Management reference points Management advice and forecast 69 7 FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE UNIT OF CERTIFICATION Cooperation on shared and migratory fish stocks Management objectives and measures Management responsibilities and interactions Legislation Consultative process Enforcement and control 76 8 BACKGROUND TO THE REPORT Authors/Reviewers Previous certification evaluations Harmonisation with overlapping fisheries Stakeholder consultations Field Inspections Assessment Criteria Evaluation Techniques Limit of Identification of Landings from the Fishery Scope of certification Conditions associated with this certification 93 9 PEER REVIEW STAKEHOLDER COMMENTS OBJECTION PROCESS FORMAL CONCLUSION AGREEMENT INFORMATION SOURCES REFERENCES ENCLOSURE 1: OVERVIEW OF IDENTIFIED STAKEHOLDERS Report N Revision Page 7 of 200

8 ENCLOSURE 2: CLIENT ACTION PLAN ENCLOSURE 3: PEER REVIEW COMMENTS 108 ENCLOSURE 4: SCORING TABLE 148 ENCLOSURE 5: DEFAULT SCORING COMMENT TABLE ENCLOSURE 6: HARMONISATION: ENCLOSURE 7: CERTIFICATE SHARING Report N Revision Page 8 of 200

9 1 SUMMARY This report provides information on the assessment of the Icelandic Haddock Fisheries, on behalf of Icelandic Group PLC (IGP) against the Marine Stewardship Council s Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing. The report is prepared by Det Norske Veritas. In case of successful certification, only Icelandic haddock, caught by Icelandic registered and licensed vessels within Icelandic EEZ (ICES area Va), landed in Iceland or England, irrespective of product form (e.g. frozen, chilled, fillet) and sold only through Icelandic Group or authenticated certificate sharers would be eligible to carry MSC logo and be marketed to the end consumer as MSC certified. The assessment team used the default assessment tree as defined in the MSC Fishery Assessment Methodology version 2.1 (FAM v.2. (1).1). 1.1 The Assessment team Sandhya Chaudhury, Lead Auditor & Team Leader, DNV Stephen Lockwood, Expert for Principle 1 & 2 Benóný Jónsson, Expert for Principle Assessment timeline Announcement of Main Assessment: 26 th October 2010 Site Visit and Stakeholder Consultation: 17 th & 18 th January 2011 Expected Date of Certification: October Scores for each Principle Principle 1: 85.6 PASS Principle 2: 90.7 PASS Principle 3: 97 PASS 1.4 Strength and weakness Strengths The attributes of the Icelandic haddock fisheries that are helpful in achieving sustainability in and thereby complying with MSC principles are: - Strict adherence to laws, regulations and requirements - Cooperation with stakeholders Report N Revision Page 9 of 200

10 1.4.2 Weaknesses The attributes of the Icelandic haddock fisheries that may be a hindrance to achieving sustainability and thereby meeting the MSC principles are: - Absence of a Harvest Control Rule - No formalized registration of by-catch beyond registration in the logbook 1.5 Determination The fishery achieved a score of 80 or more for each of the three MSC Principles, and did not score under 60 for any of the set MSC Criteria. The assessment team therefore recommends the certification of the Icelandic haddock fishery for the client group Icelandic Group PLC. 1.6 Conditions, recommendations and timescales Conditions: The fishery attained a score of 80 or more against each of the three MSC Principles, but a score of below 80 against two Scoring Indicators. The assessment team has therefore set a condition for continuing certification that the client is required to address. The condition is applicable to improve performance to at least the 80 level within a period set by DNV but no longer than the term of the certification. Condition 1 PI CATEGORY : PI: The stock is at a level which maintains high productivity and has a low probability of recruitment overfishing. SG: 80 ASSESSMENT TEAM FINDINGS: Because of its erratic recruitment characteristics it is questionable whether a stock reference point is realistic. The stock has exceeded its long term average for the past decade. In recent years the fishery has fluctuated around its target (fishing mortality rate: pre2007 Fpa) reference point but has been higher than the current reference point of F = PI CATEGORY : PI: There is a robust and precautionary harvest strategy in place SG: 80 ASSESSMENT TEAM FINDINGS: The Icelandic haddock fishery is similar in scale to the cod fishery and larger than the saithe fishery, both of which already have clearly formulated and flexible harvest control rules. As the biological sampling and data gathering regimes do not differ significantly among the three species, it is not immediately apparent why a comparable HCR should not be developed and applied to the haddock fishery. Report N Revision Page 10 of 200

11 ACTION: The client is required to provide documentary evidence that they support MRI in developing a long-term HCR and that such support includes support for and compliance with associated management measures. TIMESCALE: 6 months from the date of certification. RECOMMENDATION: Recommendation : The client should investigate potential opportunities for collaboration with MRI that might contribute to the early definition of biological reference points for ling (Molva molva) and Atlantic Catfish (Anarhichas lupus). Recommendation 2.3.1: As Iceland is a signatory to various international conservation conventions it is recommended that all vessels be required to return live common skate (Dipturus batis) to the sea as soon as practically possible after capture. Recommendation 2.2 & 2.3: Skippers of all vessels in the client fleet should be required to record all bycatch and ETP species (ie. turtles, birds, marine mammals,etc.) caught, irrespective of whether they are landed or not. Recommendation 2.4: Skippers should also be required to avoid fishing within the vicinity of any biogenic reef (eg. Cold water coral, Lophelia), irrespective of whether such reefs already fall within a closed or protected area. Recommendation The client should produce evidence that they are supporting the MRI habitat mapping programme, not least by skippers providing MRI with seabed habitat distribution data. Report N Revision Page 11 of 200

12 2 INTRODUCTION This report sets out the results of the assessment of the Icelandic Haddock Fisheries for the client group Icelandic Group PLC (IGP), against the Marine Stewardship Council Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing. 2.1 The Unit of Certification The MSC Guidelines specify that the unit of certification is "The fishery or fish stock (=biologically distinct unit) combined with the fishing method/gear and practice (=vessel(s) pursuing the fish of that stock) and management framework." The fishery proposed for certification is defined as: Name of Fishery Species: IGP Icelandic Haddock Atlantic haddock Species Latin Name Melangrammus aeglefinus Stock: Icelandic haddock stock (ICES Division Va) / FAO 27, Fig. 2.1 Scope: The fishery is within the scope as defined in Section 3 of FAM v2.1. Principle 3, Criterion A1: This fishery is not conducted under a controversial unilateral exemption to an international agreement. The fishery is managed under Icelandic jurisdiction by the Ministry of Fisheries with the Fisheries Directorate providing information regarding resource management as well as performing a regulatory role. Principle 3, Criterion B14: This fishery does not use destructive fishing practices such as poisons or dynamite. Geographical area: Exclusive economic zone (200 miles) of Iceland, Fig. 2.1 Harvest method: Management: Client Group: Demersal otter trawl, Danish seine, long line, hand line and gill net Coastal state (Iceland) management regime. Ministry of Fisheries & Agriculture, Iceland; Directorate of Fisheries; Icelandic Coastguard Service. Icelandic Group PLC and authenticated certificate sharers. In the course of the certification it is possible that further clients may join the client group, Icelandic Group plc, through a certification sharing agreement. This would be in accordance with the MSC s stated desire to allow fair and Report N Revision Page 12 of 200

13 equitable access to the certification. The client has provided a statement for certificate sharing (see enclosure 7) and will provide details of the sharing mechanism to the Certification Body and the MSC if the fishery is certified. If new certificate sharers join the client group in the course of the assessment or, if/when the fishery is certified, the client representative is obliged to contact the CB as soon as possible and request the inclusion of their new certificate sharer; provide information to show that the unit of certification has not been compromised; and, that the new inclusions have agreed to meet and abide by MSC requirements and conditions of certification. On confirmation by the CB that any new certificate sharer is within the scope of the assessment the CB will formally notify the MSC. If the fishery is successfully certified, any new authenticated certificate sharers will be added to the list of certificate sharers and these changes will be provided to the MSC for posting on their website. The client, Icelandic Group plc will provide appropriate information that allows the CB to confirm that the certificate sharer is within scope and also confirmation that the certificate sharer will operate in accordance with any operational requirements that may result from any Condition of Certification. Report N Revision Page 13 of 200

14 Figure 2.1 ICES statistical divisions (red) and coastal states 200 mile fishery limits (EU states limits are aggregated to single boundary). Report N Revision Page 14 of 200

15 2.2 Report Structure and Assessment Process The aim of this assessment is to determine the degree of compliance of the fishery with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing, as set out in Chapter 8, Section 8.5. This report sets out: the background to the fishery under assessment; the qualifications and experience of the team undertaking the assessment; the standard used (MSC Principles and Criteria); stakeholder 1 consultations carried out; the methodology used to assess (score) the fishery against the MSC Standard. MSC s default Scoring Indicators have been adopted by the assessment team for the assessment of the IGP Icelandic haddock fisheries. The scoring table sets out these Scoring Indicators and Scoring Guidelines which aid the team in allocating scores to the fishery. The comments in this table sets out the position of the fishery in relation to these Scoring Indicators. The intention of Chapters 3-7 of the report is to provide the reader with background information to interpret the scoring comments in context. Finally, as a result of the scoring, the Certification Recommendation of the assessment team is presented, together with any conditions attached to certification. In draft form, this report is subject to critical review by appropriate, independent, scientists (peer review) and public scrutiny on the MSC website. The comments of the Peer Reviewers and stakeholders are appended to the final report. The report, containing the recommendation of the assessment team, peer review comments and any further stakeholder comments is then considered by the DNV Governing Board (a panel of experts independent of the assessment team). The Governing Board then makes the final certification determination on behalf of Det Norske Veritas Certification AS (DNV). It should be noted that, in response to comments by peer reviewers, stakeholders and the DNV Governing Board, some points of clarification may be added to the final report. 1 Stakeholders are all those parties that have an interest in the management of the fishery and include, but are not limited to, fishers, management bodies, scientists and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO s). Report N Revision Page 15 of 200

16 3 NORTH ATLANTIC HADDOCK 3.1 The Icelandic HADDOCK stock (ICES Division Va) Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is found throughout the temperate sub-arctic waters of the North Atlantic from the Gulf of Maine on the east coast of North America, across the southernmost part of Greenland, Iceland, Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, Baltic and southwards around the British Isles to the Bay of Biscay 2. Although it is a single species throughout this distribution, it comprises numerous populations that show a varying degree of intermixing. Some are sufficiently isolated (by distance or oceanic hydrodynamics) from neighbouring populations that they are identified as unit stocks, which can be assessed and managed separately. While some haddock unit stocks may be at a low level and give cause for concern, other stocks are in robust condition and have gained MSC certification for supporting sustainable fisheries, e.g. North-east Arctic haddock 3 and North Sea haddock 4. The haddock around Iceland are more or less isolated from neighbouring haddock stocks by the deep water of the Denmark Strait to the west, the Faroe Iceland channel to the south-east and the Norwegian Sea in the east. It is deemed to be a unit stock that can be scientifically assessed and managed as a separate entity (NWWG, 2010; ACOM hadd, 2010); 5,6 all haddock caught within ICES Division Va is attributed to this stock and recorded, assessed and managed accordingly NWWG, Report of the North-Western Working Group. ICES CM 2010/ACOM: ACOM hadd, ICES Advice Book 2: Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland Haddock in Division Va (Icelandic haddock) Report N Revision Page 16 of 200

17 3.2 The distribution and biology of Icelandic haddock This description of haddock biology in Icelandic waters is a précis of what appears on the Icelandic marine fisheries website 7 prepared by Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, University of Akureyri 8 and from the ICES North-Western Working Group (NWWG, 2010). Haddock are found throughout Icelandic waters, but mostly along the south and west coasts at depths less than 200 m (Fig. 3.2a). The most important spawning grounds are off the south and south-western coast during April May. From there, eggs and larvae drift clockwise, north then east with prevailing currents (see 5.1 Ecosystem Characteristics) until they complete metamorphosis and settle in nursery areas in shallow coastal waters (NWWG, 2010). Throughout its life, haddock is primarily a benthic feeders (worms and small molluscs) but as it grows it will also feed on small fish, particularly sandeels (Ammodytes tobianus) and capelin (Mallotus Villosus). if they are abundant. With this preference for benthic species, haddock is more generally associated with sedimentary substrata than the hard bottoms favoured by cod (Gadus morhua). 500 m 200 m 200 m Fig 3. 2a The relative distribution of mature Icelandic haddock, as defined by the intensity of commercial catches. Darker colours indicate higher catch rates skjal/graph/5-haddock-(g)-catch-distribution-(hafro).png Report N Revision Page 17 of 200

18 Proportion of population mature DET NORSKE VERITAS As they grow, they move into deeper water gradually joining with the mature population. Across the stock as a whole, 50% of the population reach sexual maturity between 3 and 4 years of age (Fig. 3.2b). Approximately 70% of the haddock caught in the Icelandic fishery ( ) are 4 years of age or older and c. 90 % are 3 years of age or older (NWWG, 2010). The minimum landing size for haddock in Iceland is 45 cm; c. 2 3 years of age. Fish up to 10+ years of age are found in the Icelandic fishery but they have been recorded up to 18 years of age Age in years Figure 3.2b Five-year mean ( ) Icelandic haddock maturity ogive (data from NWWG, 2010). A common characteristic of haddock is the irregularity of recruitment irrespective of stock size. Whereas the interanual variation in recruitment to many fish stocks may fluctuate by a factor of three or four, fluctuations between peaks and troughs exceeding an order of magnitude appears to be the norm for haddock (Fig. 3.2c). Associated with these fluctuations in numerical abundance are variations in growth rates. Strong year classes invariably have lower weights at age than are found during periods of poor to average recruitment. Currently, the Icelandic stock is buoyed by an abundant 2003 year class which has had lower than average mean weight throughout its life (NWWG, 2010). Inevitably these fluctuations in abundance and weights at age result in periods of glut and famine in haddock fisheries. Report N Revision Page 18 of 200

19 Iceland: Division Va NE Arctic: SubAreas I & II West of Scotland: Division VIa North Sea: SubArea IV & Div. IIIa Figure 3.2c Estimates of recruitment to four haddock stocks in the NE Atlantic illustrating the irregularity and high variability in levels of recruitment. (Note different y-axis scales and age of recruitment: ACOM, 2010; Advice Book Ch 2, Iceland; Ch 3, NE Arctic; Ch 5, West of Scotland; Ch 6, North Sea). As can be inferred from the relative distribution of catches shown in Fig. 3.2a, haddock are normally most abundant along the south and west coasts of Iceland; there are relatively few fish along the north and north-east coasts. This has changed in recent years, however, presumably in response to the increasing seawater temperatures. Over the past decade the percentage of the total haddock population (>42 cm in length) found in the north north-east area has more than doubled and commercial landings from the area have increased by a factor of three or four (Fig. 3.2d). Figure 3.2d Percentage of the landings and the biomass of 42cm and older haddock (from R.V. survey data) that is in the north area (shaded area in inset map) (NWWG, 2010). Report N Revision Page 19 of 200

20 3.3 Biological research on Icelandic haddock In terms of weight of fish landed in Iceland, haddock is the second most important demersal species (102 kt, 2008) after cod (151 kt) and sixth overall after herring (Clupea harengus) (371 kt), blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) (164 kt) and capelin (Mallotus Villosus) (149 kt). In terms of export value, while cod exports dominate and account for 40% of all tangible (i.e. products rather than services) Icelandic exports 10, haddock also makes a significant contribution. Nevertheless, haddock is of lesser importance compared with cod and the major pelagic species and has a lower priority in the research undertaken by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute (MRI: Hafrannsóknastofnunin 11 ). MRI was established as part of the Ministry of Fisheries 12 in 1965 but since 1937 had previously been a department within the University of Reykjavik. MRI has a statutory duty to maintain research programmes necessary to provide scientific advice to the Minister of Fisheries on the status and management of principal Icelandic fish stocks, including haddock. (In turn, the minister has a statutory duty to consult MRI but no statutory duty to accept MRI s advice.) The Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries 13 is the agency within the Ministry of Fisheries with statutory responsibilities for all aspects of day-to-day management of fisheries in Iceland, including, data collection, monitoring and enforcement. The directorate monitors the fishery and fish landings to ensure compliance with the current management regime and catch quotas; it undertakes a biological sampling programme on behalf of MRI when fishery inspectors are embarked as trip-long observers and when making ad hoc boarding inspections from coastguard (Landhelgisgæsla Island 14 ) patrol ships. The sampling programmes provide the basic data on length, sex, maturity, weight and age essential to underpin a robust and reliable stock assessment management programme. In addition to collecting the statutory daily returns on the quantity of fish caught (not just landed, as there is a prohibition on discarding fish with positive incentives to ensure all fish undersize and excess to current quota allowance are landed), the Directorate also monitors, collects and collates the effort deployed in catching the fish. These data enable MRI to calculate catch-per-unit-of-effort indices, a simple index of stock abundance against which more rigorous methods can be compared and refined. Information on size distributions of catches is also put to more immediate use through a system of real-time closures to protect juvenile fish. If Directorate inspectors conclude, either as a result of direct observation at sea or through the onshore catch monitoring system, that the proportion of juvenile fish in the catch is too high (25% or more of <55 cm cod and saithe (Pollachius virens), 25% or more of <45 cm haddock and 20% or more of <33 cm redfish (Sebastes)), the area in which the fish were caught is closed for a minimum of two weeks. Skippers are also encouraged to take the initiative and to report such areas, and occasionally en Report N Revision Page 20 of 200

21 they do. MRI is involved in the review of this information and advises on whether such areas should become a permanent conservation measure. There is neither a minimum nor maximum size for such real-time closed areas; co-ordinates are set to meet the specific needs. The decision to close an area is taken very quickly, typically no more than h, and details are made known through the usual industry channels for notifying changes in regulations and through the fisheries notice broadcasts following the midday weather forecast each day. In addition to the fundamental biological sampling programme undertaken in partnership with the Directorate and coastguard, MRI maintains its own sea-going research programme aboard its two research vessels, R.V. Árni Friðriksson and R.V. Bjarni Sæmundsson. The research vessels are used to carry out a spring and autumn groundfish survey each year (Björnsson et al., 2007) 15 from which standardised recruitment and abundance indices are estimated for as many of the groundfish species caught as possible (i.e. catch numbers are sufficiently numerous and frequent). These fishery independent measures of stock are used as a benchmark against which to test and refine stock estimates based on the usual range of length and age-based models employed in current fishery assessments. Other aspects of research and data acquisition are undertaken in direct collaboration with the fishing industry, using commercial fishing vessels where these are more appropriate than the larger RV. While demersal fish stock research is dominated by interest in cod, many of the findings can be applied to the haddock and its management. Multi-species interactions and their assessments are a core research activity of MRI 16. The potential for broader environmental variables to influence demersal stocks in a systematic (i.e. predictable) manner is also kept under review, e.g. temperature, salinity, ice cover and the position of the polar front, strength and influence of the Irminger Current on haddock larval dispersion and recruitment 17. Assessments of the state of the Icelandic haddock stock are made annually by MRI and the findings published in the annual Status Report 18. In addition, MRI scientists are active core members of numerous ICES stock assessment working groups to which they contribute the national data and stock assessments, not least for haddock (NWWG, 2010). In addition to monitoring fisheries to assess their effect on the exploited stock, MRI has a research programme examining the effects of fishing on the seabed. Of particular relevance to demersal fisheries is the study of the effects of otter trawling. These effects were investigated with a manipulative field experiment over four areas that were intensively trawled and four 15 Björnsson, H, Sólmundsson, J., Kristinsson, K., Steinarsson, B. Æ., Hjörleifsson, E., Jónsson, E., Pálsson, J., K. Pálsson, Ó. K., Bogason, V. & Sigurðsson, Þ., Stofnmæling botnfiska á Íslandsmiðum (SMB) og Stofnmæling botnfiska að haustlagi (SMH) Undirbúningur, framkvæmd og helstu niðurstöður. Hafrannsóknastofnunin. Fjölrit 131. (English abstract) ID=12&REF= ID=11&REF=2 18 ( Report N Revision Page 21 of 200

22 areas left undisturbed. The results showed that only a few species were affected by trawling 19. Similar conclusions were drawn from an inshore study of the effects of Danish (fly) seining (Thórarinsdóttir et al., 2010), 20 a method by which twice as much haddock is caught as cod. In general, the effects of otter trawling in shallow areas with a soft seabed are relatively minor, not least because shallow-water benthic communities are adapted to frequent disturbance by wave and tide action. Effects of trawling on large structural biota such as corals and sponges, however, are more severe (Hall, 1999). 21 Although little evidence exists on the effects of trawling on these groups of animals in Icelandic waters, it is likely that their distribution is now more fragmented than prior to trawling (i.e. more than one hundred years before present) Thórarinsdóttir, G.G., Einarsson,H. A., Ólafsdóttir, S.H. & Ragnarsson, S. Á The impact of a fly-dragging fishery on the bottom community in Skagafjörður. Marine Research in Iceland 151. (In Icelandic, with English abstract, figure and table legends). 21 Hall, S.J The effects of fishing on marine ecosystems and communities. Oxford: Blackwell Science. Report N Revision Page 22 of 200

23 4 THE ICELANDIC HADDOCK FISHERY 4.1 The history of haddock fishing in Iceland Historically, the dominant demersal fishery in Icelandic waters has always been the cod fishery. The haddock fishery has always been the lesser species, rarely the object of a targeted fishery but rather an important bycatch in the cod fishery. This is still very much the case today although haddock tend to be the dominant species in the Danish seine fishery and may be targeted seasonally, e.g. during the haddock spawning season (when cod condition may be poor following their own spawning a month or so earlier), as part of a vessel s strategy to manage its cod quota efficiently. International trawl fisheries for demersal species were established soon after the introduction of steam trawling in the late 19 th century but for centuries before that, in the era of sail and oar, vessels from other European countries fished with longlines in Icelandic waters (Kurlansky, 1997). 22 Throughout this time, right to the late 1940s, there were effectively no restrictions on the who, what, where and how much haddock was taken. Not until the late 1940s were minimum landing and mesh sizes introduced as a result of international agreement. Following the introduction of the minimum landing and mesh sizes, Iceland began to take increasingly greater responsibility and control for fishery matters around its shores. A 3 mile fishery limit was established in 1901 but then extended progressively to 4 miles (1952), 12 miles (1958), 50 miles (1972) and then to the current 200 mile exclusive fishing zone (EFZ, 1976). With each extension to the fishery limits, Iceland has accounted for an increasing proportion of the total annual landings of haddock from Icelandic waters (Fig. 4.1a) and now accounts for all but c t, mostly taken by Faroe Islands at the Iceland Faroe median line (NWWG, 2010). Figure 4.1a Nominal catch (tonnes) of haddock from Icelandic waters Kurlansky, M Cod: a biography of the fish that changed the world. New York; Walker & Co Report N Revision Page 23 of 200

24 In the early 1960s, the nominal international annual catch peaked at c. 120 kt followed by a prolonged period from 1970 through to the new century when landings fluctuated between c. 40 and 60 kt. Following the recruitment of a strong year class, however, the landings have recently increased once more to over 100 kt, but are beginning their inevitable decline pending the next strong year class. In 1984, the Icelandic government (Althing) introduced a system of transferable vessel quotas. The quotas are based on Marine Research Institute advice for total allowable catches 24 (TAC; recommendations, taking some socioeconomic considerations into account. Before 1990 the quota year corresponded to the calendar year. In 1990 it was decided to align the quota year more closely with fishing year (Fig 4.1b) and run from September 1 through to August 31 the following year. In 1990, a system of individual transferable quotas (ITQs); was established for the fisheries. Since fishing season, all vessels operate under the TAC ITQ system. (The Icelandic TAC and quota management system is described in greater detail later in this report.) Figure 4.1b Nominal catch of haddock by months in Icelandic waters, Division Va 25 (statice-&-directorate-of-fisheries).png). There is a statutory requirement to record, report and land all fish caught in Icelandic waters or by Icelandic registered fishing vessels, including undersize fish and fish excess to the capture vessel s quota. To control these excess catches, individual vessels have substantial flexibility to exchange and buy quota. In addition, some flexibility is allowed to transfer Report N Revision Page 24 of 200

25 allowable catch of one species to another through a cod-equivalent procedure. These measures 26, which can be acted on more or less instantaneously, are intended reduce any inclination to discard or misreport than might be expected if individual vessels are restricted by rigid TAC measures alone. Vessel owners are also allowed to keep a percentage of the money raised by sale of undersize fish landed (the balance goes to MRI). (Details of these systems are given later in this report.) Under the current management regime, the Directorate of Fisheries maintains a centralized, publicly accessible, electronic vessel-by-vessel catch recording database that is updated every 6 hours ( & the frequency with which vessels are required to report. Catches can only be landed at an approved landing place and the Directorate must be given prior notice of intention to land so that fishery inspectors can be on hand to inspect the catch if they wish. As well as being reported at regular intervals through the e-logbook system, offshore (larger) fishing vessel positions are monitored by satellite (hourly), aerial surveillance aircraft and, for coastal craft, radio position fixing (every 15 minutes). (The fishing activity and catch monitoring systems are described in detail later in this report.) Each year, the data gathered are summarised in annual reports prepared by the Directorate and MRI on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries. Included in these reports are descriptions of the distribution of fishing activity (catches) for key species in Icelandic waters (Fig. 4.1c) Report N Revision Page 25 of 200

26 Figure 4.1c The catch distribution of cod, saithe, haddock and golden redfish around Iceland, 2009 (NWWG, 2010). 4.2 Fleet structure & fishing practices For all practical purposes, there are no non-icelandic registered vessels fishing for Icelandic haddock (NWWG, 2010), therefore, only Icelandic vessels are considered in the following analysis. The Icelandic demersal fishing fleet comprises factory freezer trawlers, fresh-fish trawlers, Danish (Scottish fly) seiners, inshore and offshore longliners, gillnetters (including tangle net), auto-jigger and handliners plus licensed recreational charter vessels that must have quota to meet their clients catches. The fleet employs some of the most sophisticated technology available for navigational and fish detection as well as the development of more effective fishing gear. The vessels also utilise the most up-to-date ideas and designs available, and all but the very smallest boats work shelter decks that enable them to fish more days per year in the harsh Icelandic environment than if they were traditional open-deck designs. They fish for haddock throughout the year but their catches peak in spring (spawning season) and autumn (Fig. 4.1b). Report N Revision Page 26 of 200

27 For the larger (peripatetic) vessels, the fishing year commences in the south-west, on and around the main cod spawning ground. From there, vessels either follow the cod northwards along the west coast towards the polar front area where there is a major intensity of fishing effort in summer, or remain off southern Iceland to target the spawning haddock. Trawlers account for c. 50% the landings followed by longliners (c. 30%) but their contribution in recent years has shown a decline (Fig. 4.2a). Figure 4.2a Icelandic haddock catch (t) by fishing method The characteristics of each fishing method employed in the haddock fishery is described below but for convenience, and to minimise unnecessary text, it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the fishing methods used in this fishery. For anyone who does not have this background knowledge or understanding, Galbraith et al. (2004) 28 have prepared a comprehensive layman s guide to fishing gear and methods. The 2008 landings of fish in Iceland by gear type are given in Table 4.2b Galbraith, R.D. & Rice, A; after Strange, E. S, (2004). An Introduction to Commercial Fishing Gear and Methods Used in Scotland. Scottish Fisheries Information Pamphlet 25. Aberdeen, Fisheries Research SeR.V.ices. Report N Revision Page 27 of 200

28 4.2.1 Demersal trawlers (catch in 2008: all species 283 kt, haddock 52 kt) Figure Catch distribution of haddock and other retained species by demersal trawl 2008 (NWWG, 2010). Currently, there are 81 registered demersal trawlers in the Icelandic fishing fleet ranging from relatively small low-powered vessels limited to inshore waters, to large factory freezer trawlers working offshore: Length (m) Power (kw) <10 0 <100 0 <20 5 < <30 20 < <40 11 < <50 9 < <60 21 < <70 11 < <80 4 > Report N Revision Page 28 of 200

29 The distribution of demersal trawl-caught haddock, and main retained bycatch, is shown in Figure 4.2.1; trawlers account for c. 50% total haddock landings (52 kt; Fig. 4.2a). The next most important species (<10 kt) in the demersal trawler landings after cod and haddock are saithe, golden redfish (Sebastes Marinus), deepwater redfish (Sebastes Mentella), and Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) (Fig ; Table 4.2). Of these, landings of saithe, deepwater redfish and Greenland halibut tend to be dominated by targeted fishing rather than being bycatch in the general (cod) demersal fishery. Greenland halibut in particular is mainly taken outside the main haddock fishing grounds at depths of 500 m or more (Fig 4.2.1). The majority of vessels land their fish gutted, on ice, but the factory freezer trawlers fillet the fish at sea. All demersal trawlers work as single-boat trawlers, i.e. there is no pair trawling. The small number of Icelandic twin-rig trawlers target Greenland halibut (beyond the normal distribution of haddock). There is one vessel currently working a semi-pelagic (bottomskimming) rig to assess its suitability for gadoid fishing 29. The remainder use more traditional rigging but with a variety of doors, bridles and sweep arrangement, chosen by the skipper. The largest vessels in the fleet work trawls with 5 6 m headline height and a spread between door of up to m (actual spread depending on vessel power, water depth, weather, seabed etc as well as gear dimensions). As the greater part of the haddock-associated fishing grounds around Iceland are hard grounds (i.e. rock and boulders), virtually all use rubber wheels [up to 24 inch (sic) diameter] rock-hopper rigged (i.e. with an off-centre second wire passing through the wheels to prevent turning. As the wheels drag across the seabed, they try to turn, twisting the axial and off-centre ground ropes around each other creating an accumulator spring. As tension in the spring exceeds drag, the wires untwist suddenly, which causes the ground rope to hop. This enables the gear to be used on rough seabed with minimised risk of becoming fast.) This gear may not dig into soft sedimentary substrata but it undoubtedly has the capacity to abrade and disrupt surface turf communities by scraping and turning rocks and boulders. 29 This type of trawl may fish with the ground rope in contact with the seabed but uses doors that fly rather than drag across the seabed. Preliminary findings are promising with no decline in catch rates compared to more traditional gear. Also, preliminary experience indicates a fuel saving of up to 10% (Consultation meeting with E. Dagbjartsson & G Tómasson, Þorbjörn, Grindavik). Report N Revision Page 29 of 200

30 Table 4.2 Nominal landings (t) of fish and marine invertebrates caught by the Icelandic fleet 2010 categorized by gear types (Directorate of Fisheries data; NWWG, 2011). Report N Revision Page 30 of 200

31 4.2.2 Danish seine (catch in 2008: all species 37 kt, haddock 16 kt) Currently there are 60 Danish seine netters on the Icelandic fishing register; they are all less than 40 m maximum length and less than 1000 kw power: Length (m) Power (kw) <10 1 <100 0 <20 22 < <30 29 < <40 8 < The Danish seine is a much lighter construction than the trawls favoured by Icelandic skippers and is only used on relatively flat sand or mud seabed (areas favoured by haddock rather than cod) without significant obstructions on which to come fast. (Skippers avoid such ground as the gear is light and easily damaged.) It is used c (i.e. hours of daylight) throughout the year, principally targeting flatfish, but with haddock, cod and other gadoids taken as bycatch. For flatfish, a low headline height net is used but when gadoids are targeted a high-headline net is used. Haddock is the most abundant species caught by Danish seines (Table 4.2), followed by cod, plaice plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), common wolfish/catfish (Anarhichas lupus), lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) and saithe. The gear is shot away and once fully deployed is hauled back to the boat (Galbraith et al. 2004). The original Danish method involved the boat laying an anchor and hauling the net back against the anchor. Subsequently, Scottish fishermen modified the method by dispensing with the anchor and hauling on the fly (fly seining), i.e. by hauling the net while the vessel steams ahead sufficiently to haul the net to the vessel. Icelandic fishermen use this fly-fishing technique thereby eliminating any risk of anchor-related environmental damage. The lightweight construction and method of hauling also means that the gear skims the seabed without digging in, thereby minimising abrasion or benthic disturbance (Thórarinsdóttir et al., 2010). It is a minority fishing method relative to others such as trawling and longlining (Fig. 4,2b; Table 4.2) Longlines (catch in 2008: all species 110 kt, haddock 33 kt) There are 296 registered longliners in the Icelandic fleet, overwhelmingly small, low-powered vessels: Length (m) Power (kw) < < < < <30 12 < <40 11 < In common with most small vessels, their fishing effort and catches are concentrated inshore (Fig ). Report N Revision Page 31 of 200

32 The longline season differs from the other gears fisheries in that virtually all longliners cease fishing during the long-day, short-night period of summer (a practice that helps to reduce risk of seabird bycatch). Some of these vessels may continue fishing but with an alternative gear (typically gillnets) during the summer. The distributions of longline-caught haddock and cod are shown Fig These two species account for over 80% of longline landings; the next five most important species are tusk (Brosme brosme), common wolfish (Anarhichas lupus), ling (Molva Molva) and blue ling (Molva Dipterygia) (Table 4.2). Blue ling tends to be a targeted fishery >500 m, i.e. outside the main haddock fishing area. Both the absolute quantity and proportion of Icelandic catch taken by longliners has increased over the past 20 years and is now comparable with that landed by trawlers (Fig. 4.2a; Table 4.2), even though the longliners work a shorter season. Figure Longline catch distribution by species From left to right: cod, haddock, other species. (NWWG, 2010) The Icelandic longline fleet still tends to favour traditional J hooks rather than circle hooks (which have the putative advantage of losing less catch). All the vessels are fitted with automatic baiting machines that enable them to work more hooks per day than if baiting manually, and to work more or less continuously while at sea. Irrespective of whether it is a small (<10 m; hooks) boat working on a daily basis or one of the larger offshore longliners that is at sea for several days (25+ m; hooks), the method is fundamentally the same. The line is shot (5 10 h) and once shot, the vessel immediately returns to the initial shoot position and begins hauling the same line. Thus, any fish caught is taken aboard less than 24 h after fishing commenced; indeed, the inshore day boats land their catch no more than h after leaving harbour. The offshore vessels ice but do not freeze their catch. Vessels use a variety of bait, subject to availability and skipper s preference: herring (Clupea Harengus) (Norwegian spring spawners), c t; Pacific saury (Cololabis saira), c t; South Atlantic squid (loligo), c t; artificial bait (trade name Sardinella), c. 125 t. The selection of bait is dependent on many variables, not the least of which are skipper preference (which is influenced by target species), availability and relative price. Bait species are discussed in further detail below ( 5.8). Report N Revision Page 32 of 200

33 The Directorate of Fisheries require longliners to take all reasonable measures to avoid seabirds taking bait or catch. [It is an offence in Iceland to catch a seabird with hooks (Reg. 456, 1994)]. 30 Few, if any Icelandic vessels use water-spray bars or purpose-made streamers to deter birds from diving to take bait, as are used in some other longline fisheries, but the brightly coloured flags on the spare dahn buoys on the after deck probably have some deterrent effect. The principle bird deterrents used on the larger longline vessels are automatic gas guns (such as are often used to deter birds on fish farms and from feeding on emerging arable crops). During the winter months, however, such measures are rarely necessary as the lines are shot and hauled in the dark when few, if any, diving birds are active. As both the gear and the potential catch are of great value, skippers will expend considerable effort to recover lost gear if the marker dahns are lost for any reason. Many boats are now fitted with a specific winch and grapnel system to facilitate the speedy and efficient recovery of otherwise lost gear. Any gear that is not recovered poses a finite risk of ghost fishing as once bait or catch has rotted from the hook, hooks will lay ineffectively on the seabed. Some environmental NGO have expressed concern over the years that seals are attracted to the dahns and can become ensnared in the dahn anchor ropes but there is no evidence that this is a problem of any significance in Iceland Gillnets (catch in 2010: all species 32 kt, haddock 944 t) The gillnet fishery is carried out exclusively with bottom-set gill nets but tangle nets, used in directed fisheries for lumpfish and monkfish are also classified as gillnets in official summary statistics (Table 4.2). In total, there are 519 boats registered as (gill) netters, broken down as: Gillnetters Length (m) Power (kw) <10 24 < <20 57 < <30 13 < <40 13 < <50 4 <2000 Lumpfish net < < < < Monkfish net <10 13 <100 8 <20 41 < <30 4 < <40 5 < Reg. 456, REGLUGERÐ um fuglaveiðar og nýtingu hlunninda af villtum fuglum, nr. 456/1994. Regulation on bird hunting and utilization of wild birds, nr. 456/1994 Report N Revision Page 33 of 200

34 The gillnet fishery is a highly selective, large-mesh [minimum 5½ inch (sic; mm): maximum 8 inch (sic; mm)] 31 fishery yielding large fish. With such a large mesh, it is inevitable that catches are dominated by cod (19.5 kt; Table 4.2). Indeed, haddock comes fifth in the list of gillnet landings after saithe (6.4 kt), monkfish (Lophius piscatorius) (1.7 kt) and lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) (42 t kt of roe). While virtually all the gillnet catches are made inshore, the haddock catches are greatest around to the Reykjanes Peninsula (Fig ), close to the main spawning grounds where large mature fish are most likely to occur. Despite this predominance of premium fish in the catches, the quantity of fish taken by gillnetters has declined over the past two decades and is now only half of what it was in the 1980s (Fig. 4.2a; Table 4.2). Figure Gillnet and tangle net) catch distribution by species 2008 (NWWG, 2010) The gillnet fleet is aware that some diving species, e.g. eider duck, are vulnerable to ensnarement in gill nets and the Fisheries Directorate and MRI encouraged the fleet to do all it can to minimise the risk. During the nesting season, there are some closed areas in which gillnetters cannot fish to safeguard nesting eider duck (see 5.10). 31 Reglugerd Nr 115 um þorskfisknet. 13 February Report N Revision Page 34 of 200

35 Some environmental NGOs have expressed concern over the years that seals are attracted to the dahns and can become ensnared in the dahn anchor ropes but there is no evidence that this is a problem in Iceland. Any birds or mammals that are ensnared and drowned within the net are often retained for personal consumption but cannot be offered for commercial sale. As both the gear and the potential catch are of great value, skippers will expend considerable effort to recover lost gear. Many boats are now fitted with a specific winch and grapnel system to facilitate the speedy and efficient recovery of otherwise lost gear. As much of the gillnet activity is close inshore (Fig ) and Icelandic waters are inherently stormy, it is highly unlikely that any lost gillnet will remain in a fishable condition for more than a few days if lost; i.e. ghost fishing is not seen to be a significant problem Handline and auto-jiggers (catch in 2010: all species 6 kt, haddock 16 t). These are basically the same method but, as the names imply, one is manual and the other automated. Both are characteristically small-boat (<10 m) methods used in coastal waters close to the home port, working daylight hours: Length (m) Power (kw) < < < < <30 5 < <40 2 <1500 Cod and saithe dominate the catches (<60% and <40% respectively), almost to the exclusion of all other species (Table 4.2). Despite this dominance of cod and the number of boats involved, the proportion of total Icelandic landings has never been great and has declined in recent years (Fig. 4.2a) Recreational angling charter boats (catch in 2010: all species 0.3kt, haddock 15t) A very high proportion of the Icelandic population live close to the coast (c. 60% of the c total population live in Reykjavik alone) and many have their own boat to fish, although not a registered fishing vessel. They have the common-law right to fish for, and retain any species for personal consumption; such catches are not recorded. Anyone not having a boat of their own, including tourists, fish from commercially run recreational angling charter boats; these boats are licensed fishing vessels and must have quota to catch and retain fish. (The ban on discards applies to these vessels as much as to any other.) There are 52 licensed vessels, 50 less than 10 m in length and two less than 20 m (48<100 kw, 4>100 kw). Report N Revision Page 35 of 200

36 5 ECOSYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS 5.1 The marine environment The overview of the ecosystem that follows draws heavily on the ecosystem description that appears on the Ministry of Fisheries website 32 and in the ICES North-Western Working Group Report (NWWG, 2010), both of which draw no less heavily on the MRI periodic reports on the state of the environment (MRI env, 2008). 33 Iceland is situated in the central North Atlantic at the junction of the Mid-Atlantic (Reykjanes) Ridge and the Greenland Scotland Ridge, just south of the Arctic Circle. The Icelandic EEZ encloses a sea area of km 2 of which c km 2 is less than 500 m deep (i.e. the depth at which most haddock are found and caught). Generally, hard bottom is found in shallower areas while softer sediments dominate in the troughs and outside the continental slope. Figure 5.1 The residual current system around Iceland (Marine Research Insitute Iceland 34 ) Despite its northerly latitude, the climate is moderated by warm waters of the north-bound Irminger current along its western and northern seaboards and the North Atlantic Drift along the southern shores. The Polar Front lies west and north of Iceland and separates the cold and southward flowing waters of Polar origin from the northward flowing waters of Atlantic MRI env, Þættir úr vistfræði sjávar Hafrannsóknir 145. Environmental conditions in Icelandic waters Marine Research in Iceland 145. (In Icelandic with English abstracts, table and figure legends.) Report N Revision Page 36 of 200

37 origin (Fig. 5.1). South and east of Iceland the North Atlantic Current flows towards the Norwegian Sea. The Irminger Current is a branch of the North Atlantic Current and flows northwards over and along the Reykjanes Ridge and along Iceland s western shelf break. In the Denmark Strait it divides into a branch that flows north-eastward and eastward to the waters north of Iceland and another branch that flows south-westwards along the East Greenland Current. In the Iceland Sea north of Iceland a branch out of the cold East Greenland Current flows over the Kolbeinsey Ridge and continues to the southeast along the north-eastern shelf break as the East Icelandic Current, which is part of a cyclonic gyre in the Iceland Sea, and continues into the Norwegian Sea along with Atlantic water flowing eastwards over the Iceland Faroes Ridge (NWWG, 2010). The Icelandic Shelf is a high productivity ecosystem ( g C m -2 yr -1 ) but productivity is higher in the southwest regions than to the northeast and higher on the shelf areas than in the oceanic regions (NWWG, 2010). Water masses and sediment types appear to determine the structures of benthic communities around Iceland. Research-vessel surveys indicate that shrimp biomass in Icelandic waters, both in inshore and offshore waters, has been declining in recent years. Consequently the shrimp fishery has been reduced and is now banned in most inshore areas. The decline in the inshore shrimp biomass is in part considered to be environmentally driven, both due to increasing water temperature north of Iceland and due to increasing biomass of younger cod, haddock and whiting (NWWG, 2010; 3.3 above). Changes in sea temperatures have also had considerable effects on the fish fauna of the Icelandic ecosystem. Species which are at or near their northern distribution limit in Icelandic waters have increased in abundance in recent years. The most notable examples of increased abundance of such species in the mixed water area north of Iceland are haddock, whiting, monkfish, lemon sole and witch. Pelagic mackerel and semi-pelagic blue whiting have been found and fished in east Icelandic water in far larger quantities than ever before. In contrast, coldwater species like Greenland halibut has become scarcer. The larval drift and nursery areas of capelin have both shifted west to the colder waters off east Greenland. The arrival of adult capelin on the overwintering grounds on the outer shelf off north Iceland has been delayed; migration routes to the spawning grounds off south and west Iceland have been located farther off north and east Iceland and not reached as far west along the south coast as was the rule in most earlier years. The change in availability of capelin in the traditional grounds may have had an effect on the growth rate of some predators, principally cod but also haddock. 5.2 Benthos and biogenic habitats Internationally, the benthic species and habitat that attracts greatest interest is the long-lived reef-building cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa (Hall-Spencer & Stehfest, 2009). 35 The larvae 35 Hall-Spencer, J. M. & Stehfest, K. M Background Document for Lophelia pertusa reefs. OSPAR; London. Report N Revision Page 37 of 200

38 settle on hard substrata in relatively deep water where temperatures are c o. It is widely distributed along the edge of the continental shelf in the NE Atlantic (Fig. 5.2). Figure 5.2 Occurrence of Lophelia pertusa (yellow dots > 10 years old records, red dots < 10 years old records) around Iceland and the Faroes with L. pertusa management closers indicated. Hatched red areas indicate areas closed to bottom trawling for other management purposes. White lines indicate EEZ boundaries. Bathymetry is shown in m, m and then 500 m depth intervals. 36 Based on information from fishermen, eleven coral areas were known to exist close to the shelf break off northwest and southeast Iceland around Since then more coral areas have been found, reflecting the development of the bottom trawling fisheries extending into deeper waters in the 1970s and 80s. At present considerably large coral areas exist on the Reykjanes Ridge and off southeast Iceland; other known coral areas are small (Steingrímsson & Einarsson 2004). 37 Through MRI, the Ministry of Fisheries is maintaining a coral mapping programme with the possibility of increasing the number of no-fishing zones established already for their protection (see 5.10). Preliminary results (from the mapping programme), from Hornafjarðadjúp, show that three different zones can be distinguished within the coral area, live coral zone, dead coral zone and coral rubble zone. The fauna composition is 36 Hall-Spencer, J.M. & Stehfest, Kilian., 2009 Assessment of Lophelia pertusa reefs in the OSPAR area. JNCC, Peterborough, UK Steingrimsson, S.A. and S.T. Einarsson Kóralsvæði á Íslandsmiðum: Mat á ástandi og tillaga um aðgerðir til verndar þeim (Coral grounds off Iceland: assessment of their staturs and proposal for mitigation measurements). Hafrannsoknastofnunin Fjolrit 110, 39 p. (In Icelandic, English summary). Report N Revision Page 38 of 200

39 different between these zones. The diversity is high for the dead coral and coral rubble zones but lower for the live coral zone (Ólafsdóttir, 2009). 38 In common with many other corals, Lophelia is brittle which makes it vulnerable to physical damage, in particular from fishing gear (ACE, 2002). 39 In the Norwegian EEZ, for example, L. pertusa is estimated to cover somewhere between 1500 and 2000 km 2 of seabed, mostly concentrated between depths of m (Fosså et al., 2002). 40 Analysis of information collected by direct observation and fishermen s interviews suggest that between one third and one half of the total reef area of Norway has been damaged to an observable extent (Mortensen et al., 2002). 41 The current and past distribution of L. pertusa reefs around the Faroe Islands also show changes, and these are thought to be due to fishing (WGECO, 2001). 42 MRI continues to maintain a seabed mapping programme that identifies the location and distribution of Lophelia reefs. 5.3 Fish communities Icelandic waters are comparatively rich in species and contain over 25 commercially exploited stocks of fish and marine invertebrates. As discarding of commercially species is prohibited in Iceland, most of these species are described in some detain in the Bycatch section ( 5.6) that follows. Most fish species spawn in the warm Atlantic water off the southern and south-western coasts. Fish larvae and 0-group drift west and then north from the spawning grounds to nursery areas on the shelf off north-west, north, and east Iceland, where they grow in a mixture of Atlantic and Arctic water. Information on status and trends of all commercial species are collected in the biannual MRI bottom-trawl survey. 5.4 Seabirds This summary of seabirds around Iceland is a précis of what appears on the Icelandic marine fisheries website prepared by Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, University of Akureyri 43. Some of the largest seabird colonies in the world can be found in Iceland; they comprise relatively few but very abundant species. The fulmar (Fulmaris glacialis) and puffin (Fratercula arctica) are the most abundant species, the former with 1 to 2 million breeding 38 Ólafsdóttir, LÍFRÍKI Á KALDSJÁVARKÓRALSVÆÐUM VIÐ ÍSLAND Hafrannsóknir nr. 145: Species diversity and associated fauna composition of cold-water corals in Icelandic waters. Marine Research in Iceland 145: (In Icelandic with English abstract, figure and table legends.) 39 ACE, 2002 Identification of areas where cold-water corals may be affected by fishing. ICES Advisocry Committee for Environment Advice to EC-DG Fish Fosså, J.H., Mortensen, P.B. and Furevik, D.M., The deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa in Norwegian waters: distribution and fishery impacts. Hydrobiologia 471, Mortensen, P. B., Hovland, M.T., Fosså, J. H. & Metvik, D. M Distribution, abundance and size of Lophelia pertusa coral reefs in mid-norway in relation to seabed characteristics. J Marine Biological Association UK 81,: WGECO, Study Group on Mapping the Occurrence of Cold-Water Corals. ICES CM:2002/ACE05/ref E/WGECO Report N Revision Page 39 of 200

40 pairs and the latter with 2 to 3 million. The abundance of fulmars has increased greatly over the past century, probably because it is a surface feeding scavenger and has benefited enormously from the discarded fishery offal. Other related species nesting in Iceland are Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), and Leach s petrel (Oceanodroma leucorrhoa). The gannet (Morus bassanus), cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and shag P. (aristotelix) are the largest of the seabirds around Iceland. All three species have been hunted in Iceland throughout the centuries but adult gannets are now protected. The herring gull (Larus argentatus) and great black-backed gull (L. marinus) nest and live around Iceland the entire year. Others, such as Iceland gulls (L. glaucoides) and glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus), mostly breed in the Arctic north of Iceland but visit Icelandic waters in the winter. Still others, like the lesser black-backed gull (L. fuscus) and black headed gulls (L. ridibundus), nest in Iceland in summer, but usually migrate south to Europe or North America in winter. The most common gull species is the blacked-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) which is more abundant than all the Larus species combined. Kittiwakes are the only true offshore gull and are rarely seen close to land except during the breeding period. Like fulmars, kittiwakes are closely associated with fishing boats as they scavenge for offal discarded during fishing operations. Other related species are the terns, of which only the Arctic tern (Sterna paradisea) breeds in Iceland, and two species of skuas, Arctic skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) and great skua (S. skua). In addition to the puffin, there are huge colonies of other auks around Iceland: Brunnich s guillemots (Uria lomvia), common guillemots (Uria aalge), razorbills (Alca torda), little auks (Alle alle) in winter and black guillemots (Cepphus grille). Auks are considered a delicacy in Iceland and have been harvested for centuries. Finally, one truly marine duck is found around Iceland, the common eider (Somateria mollissima), but it lives exclusively in shallow coastal waters. There are closed areas in which gillnetting is prohibited during the nesting season to protect eiders ( 5.10). Most seabirds feed on small fish, cephalopods or crustaceans in the upper levels of the water column. Generally, the smaller the bird the smaller the prey: cormorants can, for example, feed on quite large fish, while the little auk mainly eats copepods. On the whole, the main fish prey is the capelin (Mallotus villosus) in north Icelandic waters and sandeels (Ammodytidae) in south Icelandic waters. In this context, they are in direct competition with cod and haddock and may be disadvantaged in the presence of a high cod and haddock stock biomass. It might be argued, therefore, that the demersal fisheries tend to reduce gadoid stock size and hence predation pressure on the pelagic species, thereby favouring the avian predators rather than increasing ecological pressure. These species interactions are all part of the mosaic of multispecies ecosystem research and modelling undertaken by MRI. Although bird species might feed on similar prey they use quite different methods. Fulmars, kittiwakes and terns are poor divers but very good flyers. They skim the surface over vast distances in search of food on the surface. These have also been able to adapt well to scavenging from fisheries. Others, like the cormorants and the auks, are poor flyers but very good divers and can dive quite deep for prey. The main exception to this prey selection pattern is the eider. They forage in shallow waters for various benthic invertebrates. Report N Revision Page 40 of 200

41 While there is no statutory requirement for Icelandic-registered fishing vessels to record seabird bycatch, they are encouraged to do so in the e-logbook. Directorate of Fisheries observers do record bird and mammal bycatch and these data are reported to ICES (SGBYC, 2010: WGSE, 2010) 44, 45. During 2009, MRI observers recorded 184 gullimots, 35 fulmars, 5 red-throated divers (Gavia stellata), 3 Brünnich's guillemots, 2 black-backed gulls, 2 common shag, 2 razorbills and one eider duck (SGBYC, 2010). These observations were not raised to fleet values but if the same raising fact is applied as for porpoise (see below) to total guillemot bycatch might be of the order 4500 birds per year, perhaps 0.5% the Icelandic breeding population Marine mammals This description of marine mammals around Iceland is a précis of what appears on the Icelandic marine fisheries website prepared by Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, University of Akureyri 47. Iceland has a rich variety of marine mammals around its shores, including the occasional polar bear (Ursus maritimus) (c. 50 records over the past century; two came ashore in north Iceland in 2010), but these are usually limited to floating ice to the north of Iceland. There are 11 species of whales, dolphins and porpoise, and seven species of seals. They are the baleen whales: blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whale (Balaenopterus physalus), minke whale (Balaenopterus acutorostrata), and toothed whales: sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), harbour or common porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus), long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Other marine mammals include the indigenous grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and common or harbour seal (Phoca vitulina), plus winter-migrant Greenland or harp seals (Phagophilus groenlandicus), ringed seals (Phoca hispida), hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) and vagrant bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus). The frequency of direct, physical interaction between demersal fishing vessels and large whales is likely to be trivial but there can be direct trophic competition. For example, minke whales are known to prey on a wide variety of fish, including haddock (Haugh et al.) SGBYC, Report of the Study Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (SGBYC). ICES CM 2010/ACOM: WGSE, Report of the Working Group on Seabird Ecology (WGSE). SCICOM Steering Group on Ecosystem Functions. ICES CM 2010/SSGEF:10; REF. SSGEF, SCICOM Haug, T., Gjøseter, H., Lindstrøm, J.U. & Nilssen, K.T Diet and food availability for north-east Atlantic minke whale (Blaenoptera acutorostrata), during the summer of ICES Journal of Marine Science 52, Report N Revision Page 41 of 200

42 Trophic competition for pelagic prey species (e.g. herring (Clupea harengus) and capelin) probably occurs on a greater scale between target gadoid species and whales. The demersal fisheries, however, tend to reduce gadoid stock size and hence predation pressure on the pelagic species thereby favouring the cetacean predators rather than increasing ecological pressure. These species interactions are all part of the mosaic of multi-species ecosystem research and modelling undertaken by MRI (Stefánsson et al., 1997). 49 MRI undertakes directed cetacean monitoring surveys as part of its contribution to the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCo) and takes part in North Atlantic Sightings Surveys (NASS) for porpoise. In 1987 it was estimated by MRI that there were more than porpoises around Iceland but this is a conservative number as the survey was not conducted in close inshore waters, where the porpoise is probably most abundant. Porpoises are vulnerable to entanglement in gill nets, such as those used for catching cod and lumpsucker but this has been occurring in Icelandic waters for decades and there are no signs that the porpoise stocks have declined as a result (OSPAR, 2009). 50 While there is no statutory requirement for Icelandic-registered fishing vessels to record marine mammal bycatch, they are encouraged to do so in the e-logbook. Directorate of Fisheries observers do record bird and mammal bycatch and these data are reported to ICES (SGBYC, 2010: WGSE, 2010). 5.6 Bycatch and discards In fishery terms, the bycatch is all the catch that is not a target species for the fishery under consideration. Bycatch comprising commercial species are retained (MSC retained species). Anything that is caught but not retained is discarded (MSC bycatch and ETP species) and can include benthos, fish, seabirds and marine mammals. There is a statutory requirement for all Icelandic-registered fishing vessels to retain all commercial fish, including fish excess to quota and undersize fish; thus, discarding of these species is minimal (<5%; Pálsson, 2003). 51 Catches of retained species are recorded (Table 4.2) in exactly the same manner as target species and quantities are set against vessel quota for the species and the national TAC. When Directorate of Fisheries inspectors are aboard a vessel, inspectors keep a record of nonretained bycatch such as birds and mammals. There is also provision in the e-logbook for skippers to record such catches but, at present, there is no requirement for such information to be kept although skippers are encouraged to do so. Many vessels retain seabirds or mammals that may be taken while fishing for personal use virtually all living marine resources are eaten in Iceland. Even if retained, however, there is no statutory requirement to record the catch of species other than fish and shellfish 49 Stefánsson, G., Sigurjónsson, J., & Víkingsson, G. A. (1997). On dynamic interactions between some fish resources and cetaceans off Iceland based on a simulation model. Journal Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Science 22, OSPAR, Background document for harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena. Biodiversity Series 420/2009. OSPAR Commission Pálsson, Ó K A length based analysis of haddock discards in Icelandic fisheries. Fisheries Research 59: ( Report N Revision Page 42 of 200

43 A team of Directorate of Fisheries inspectors is always at sea aboard commercial fishing vessels, monitoring fishing activity and taking biological samples (length, weight, maturity, otoliths for aging) for MRI. Inspectors also keep records of any fish that is discarded (Pálsson, 2003). For small day boats working longlines and set nets the inspectors also undertake post hoc discard comparison exercises. They meet a vessel as it lands and measure the catch to obtain a length-frequency distribution. The next day they go with the same boat to fish the same ground (the Directorate has the necessary data from its satellite and radio monitoring systems to ensure this is the case) and measure the fish as caught. Any discrepancy between the two length-frequency distributions is taken as a measure of discarding the previous day (Pálsson, 2003), and could lead to prosecution if the discrepancy was considered unacceptable. The discard rate for haddock are 2 6%, somewhat higher than for cod, less than 1 2% of the reported landings over the time investigated (Pálsson et al., ; NWWG, 2010), possibly due to an abundance of small fish from the strong 2003 year class. Discarding of saithe and golden redfish has been negligible over time period of investigation. Estimates of discards of cod and haddock in 2006 by individual fleets are given in Table 5.6. These relatively low (mostly 1% but Danish seine haddock c. 6%) discard rates compared to what is generally assumed to be a side effect of a TAC system may be a result of the various measures, including the flexibility within the Icelandic ITQ system. Since the time series of discards is relatively short it is not yet included in the stock assessments (NWWG, 2010). Table 5.6 Estimates of discard of cod and haddock in the Icelandic fisheries in 2008 (Pálsson et al., 2009) Some species caught in Icelandic waters are caught in fisheries targeting only one species, with very little bycatch; e.g. herring, capelin, blue whiting, Greenland halibut and ocean redfish (S. mentella) fishery. Other demersal fisheries are more mixed, where a target species of e.g. cod, haddock, saithe or golden redfish may be caught mixed with other species in the 52 Pálsson, O.K., Björnsson, H., Arason, A., Björnsson, E., Jóhannesson, G. & Ottesen, Þ Discards in demersal Icelandic fisheries Marine Research in Iceland 147. (in Icelandic with English abstract). Report N Revision Page 43 of 200

44 same haul. Fishermen can however have relatively good control of the relative catch composition of the different species by varying the time or place of fishing. e.g. The saithe fishery along the shelf edge is often in the same areas as the redfish fisheries but vessels often target redfish during daytime and saithe at night (NWWG, 2010). Consequently, the fishery for one of those species is relatively free of bycatch of the other species even though they take place in the same area. There are, however, species in Icelandic waters that can be classified as bycatch species; e.g. in the demersal trawl fisheries, 75% of the annual plaice yield is caught in hauls where plaice constitute the minority of the catch. There is a wide variety of benthic organisms across the Icelandic continental shelf, including some of commercial importance. The Icelandic queen scallop (Chlamys islandica): was harvested by dredging until the stock collapsed around due to a parasitic infection; there is no fishery at present 53. The ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) is found at depths of 5 50 m in sandy or muddy-sand substrata (Ragnarsson & Þórarinsdóttir). 54 It is fished commercially in Iceland and MRI undertakes a stock assessment and provide TAC advice: In 2009, only 615 t of ocean quahog were landed, compared to the maximum t in Since 1987 a fishery for human consumption has been developing, but annual landings have been variable because of variable effort. MRI recommends a harvesting policy of 2.5% of the estimated stock size corresponding to no more than t in the quota year The Ministry of Fisheries has not set a TAC for Small quantities of blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and whelk (Buccinum undatum) are also taken from shallow coastal areas. The northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) is widespread, abundant and supports major fisheries but is least abundant along the south coast 56. The Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), however, is most abundant along this coast but the stock is small and MRI recommend that catches be limited to no more than 2100 t Retained commercial species Although much of the time haddock is the second most important species in Icelandic demersal fisheries, they are mixed species fisheries in which a wide variety of other demersal (groundfish) species are taken. The status of each species in Icelandic waters is assessed to some extent or another (full analytical assessment through to simple abundance indices from research-vessel trawl surveys and commercial cpue) by the MRI. This summary of these species and their status is a précis of what is prepared for the Icelandic marine fisheries website 58 by Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson (University of Akureyri), with data from MRI and ICES Ragnarsson, S. A., & Þórarinsdóttir, G. G Abundance of ocean quahog, Arctica islandica, assessed by underwater photography and a hydraulic dredge. Journal of Shellfish Research 21, Report N Revision Page 44 of 200

45 For the purposes of this Marine Stewardship Council assessment, it is also necessary to identify which of the retained species are main retained species as this has bearing on the sustainability scoring of the haddock. MSC advise that any species that constitutes 5% or more of the catch should be considered to be a main retained species and the stock status taken into account. The total Icelandic catch of demersal species is of the order 500 kt ( t, 2008; Table 4.2). Thus, main retained species would be limited to those with a total catch of the order 25 kt or more: cod, saithe and redfish (Table 4.2). Even if a more conservative interpretation of the main retained guidance notes is taken and it is assumed to be 5% of the non-target catch [i.e. c. 500 kt (all demersal) 102 kt (haddock) 400 kt retained species], the cutoff would be equivalent to c. 20 kt. Even at this level, it is still only the catches of cod, saithe and redfish that exceed the qualifying threshold for main retained species (Table 4.2). It is these species, therefore, that are deemed to be main retained species in the assessment that follows Main retained species 5.6.2a Cod (Gadus morhua) Cod is abundant around Iceland over soft and hard substrata at depths down to c. 500 m (Fig a). They reach the minimum landing size of 55 cm by the time they are 5 years of age when 50% of the population off southern Iceland are mature (6 7 years of age further north). MRI multi-species research has established a positive relationship between capelin abundance and weight at age of cod. This relationship is used in the forecast of stock abundance and recommendations for TACs. Figure 5.6.2a Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic cod catches Report N Revision Page 45 of 200

46 Cod is abundant around Iceland over soft and hard substrata at depths down to c. 500 m (Fig a). They reach the minimum landing size of 55 cm by the time they are 5 years of age when 50% of the population off southern Iceland are mature (6 7 years of age further north). MRI multi-species research has established a positive relationship between capelin abundance and weight at age of cod. This relationship is used in the forecast of stock abundance and recommendations for TACs. The stock is subject to a full analytical assessment relative to Btrigger by MRI and subsequently by ICES (NWWG, 2010). The stock forecast and recommendation for the TAC is based on a formally defined harvest control rule with explicit provision as to what should happen in the event that spawning stock biomass falls below the critical threshold (B trigger ). ICES has reviewed the HCR and concluded that it is consistent with the precautionary approach to fishery management. The MRI assessment of the stock states that: Total nominal landings of Atlantic cod in 2009 were t. Based on domestic advice, the national TAC for cod in the quota year was set at t. Weight at age in commercial catches is 7 18% below its long term average. The decline is most likely due to lower capelin abundance in recent years. Biomass indices in the spring survey have increased during the last 4 years. The autumn survey indices have the same trend. The spawning stock biomass has been low during the last 35 years. It reached an historical low in 1993 ( t), but has since increased and is currently estimated to be about t. The year classes are estimated to be below average; estimated at 115 million fish compared to the long term average of 180 million. The first estimate of the 2008 and 2009 year class indicates it may be close to the long term average. The reference biomass (B 4+ ) was estimated at approximately t in or at its lowest historical level. The reference biomass is estimated to have been around t at the beginning of The exploitation rate has decreased significantly from about 40% in 2000 to approximately 22% in Fishing mortality has declined at the same time from 0.7 to 0.4. Fishing mortality is estimated to be lower in The Government of Iceland has adopted a management plan for the Icelandic cod stock to be implemented during the next five fishing years. ICES has evaluated the plan and concluded that it conformed to international agreements on precautionary approach to fisheries management and MSY. Based on the present assessment the TAC in should be set at t. according to the management plan. The Marine Research Institute emphasizes the importance of managers subtracting all other expected catches prior to allocating the ITQ catches to the fishing fleet. Furthermore, it is recommended that regulations on mesh size of gillnets and area closures on spawning grounds remain in effect Report N Revision Page 46 of 200

47 The TAC for Icelandic cod is t 61, as determined by the HCR and endorsed by ICES (ACOM cod, 2010) b Saithe (Pollachius virens) Figure 5.6.2b Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic saithe catches 63. Saithe are found throughout the shelf waters around Iceland but the fishery is concentrated along the shelf break ( m; Fig 5.6.2b). There is a directed saithe fishery separate from the bycatch taken in the directed cod fishery (which is distributed more evenly across the Icelandic shelf than is the saithe fishery; Fig. 3.2a), but in the context of this report it is assumed to be a main bycatch species. The stock is subject to a full analytical stock assessment and stock status is judged relative to the current ICES criteria for MSY management; i.e. setting a threshold biomass (B trigger ) above which the fishery should be managed at a level consistent with F msy and below which F is reduced in a linear manner with falling biomass until such times as the stock increases above B trigger once more. MRI is working to develop a more explicit expression of this approach as a formal harvest control rule. The current MRI stock summary states: In 2009, landings of saithe were t; a decrease of approximately 13% compared to The annual landings have exceeded t since 2004, having then increased from an average of t in the years Mean weight at age has been low since 2005 but since 2008 an increase for most age groups has been observed pid=8 62 ACOM cod, ICES Advice Book 2: Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland Cod in Division Va (Icelandic cod) Report N Revision Page 47 of 200

48 The spawning stock biomass at the beginning of 2010 is estimated to be t and fishing mortality in 2009 is estimated at 0.47, well above the target of 0.3. In recent years, increased targeting of small saithe has been observed, which reduces yield and spawning stock biomass per recruit. An ICES sponsored benchmark assessment of the Icelandic saithe stock was carried out in As a result, the assessment method was changed and a harvest control rule (HCR) was suggested and tested. F msy for the stock is now estimated Landings in 2010 are predicted to be around t and the spawning stock to increase to t. in 2011.The advice in recent years has aimed at keeping the fishing mortality at or below 0.3. Considering both the benchmark results and the change in emphasis from biological reference points in ICES, the MRI recommends that the TAC should not exceed t in the quota year 2010/2011. This yield is likely to correspond to a fishing mortality (F 4 9 ) close to ICES advice notes that SSB is above critical reference level (B trigger ) and that there is no indication of impaired recruitment (ACOM saithe, 2010). 65 ICES advice was for a TAC 2011 of t but, in response to a forecast of increasing SSB, Iceland has set a TAC of t for the fishing season c Redfish There are three, possibly four, redfish (Sebastes) species found in Icelandic waters. The most common species and the best known is the golden redfish (Sebastes marinus). The Norway redfish (Sebastes viviparous) is usually found in shallower waters than the other species, is quite small and of little commercial interest. The third species is Sebastes mentella which forms two stocks, one deepwater and the other oceanic. Both fisheries for S. mentella are directed fisheries beyond the range of directed haddock fisheries (Fig c & d and Fig. 3.1a), consequently, the species is not considered as a retained species in the haddock fishery. Fig c Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic deepsea (demersal) Sebastes mentella catches ACOM saithe, Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland: Saithe in Division Va. ICES Advice Book 2, Report N Revision Page 48 of 200

49 Figure 5.6.2d Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic oceanic (pelagic) Sebastes mentella catches e Golden redfish (Sebastes marinus): t (2008) Fig e Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic golden redfish (Sebastes marinus) catches 69. Golden redfish is one of the most common and commercially important fish in Icelandic waters. Golden redfish is found all around Iceland on various bottom types but predominantly from depths of c. 200 m and deeper, i.e at the fringe and beyond normal haddock distribution Report N Revision Page 49 of 200

50 (Fig e and Fig 3.2a). Juvenile fish are most abundant along the north coast. It is found both close to the bottom and in the water column (usually at night) and can therefore be classified as bentho-pelagic. It is mostly subject to a target fishery with saithe; redfish in daylight and saithe at night, which place it at the fringe rather than in the body of the directed haddock fishery (Fig 3.2a). This being the case, it is a moot point whether it falls within the MSC criteria for defining a main retained species. The stock is subject to a qualitative assessment in which the status of the stock is inferred primarily from the abundance indices estimated during the two MRI research-vessel trawl surveys each year. The MRI stock reports states that: In 2009, approximately t of golden redfish (Sebastes marinus) were landed; more than t less than in Effort has remained relatively stable at low levels in recent years. CPUE decreased from 2004 to 2006 after an increase to a record high level in 2004 and has since then been relatively stable. Survey indices of the fishable part of the stock declined to a record low level in the mid 1990s, but have since then increased to about 60% of the observed maximum because of increased recruitment to the fishable stock. There are indications from the autumn survey that year classes are above average in size. MRI recommends a TAC of no more than t in the quota year 2010/ ICES advice notes that: The basis for the calculation of the U pa is the Icelandic spring groundfish survey index series starting in Since 1990 the average U has been around half of U max the highest observed index in the time-series (276 in 1987). This has not resulted in any strong year classes compared to higher U. A precautionary U pa is therefore proposed at U max *0.6, corresponding to the U associated with the most recent strong year class. U is regarded as a proxy for SSB but represents the fishable biomass. The target biomass, U pa, is considered to be consistent with the MSY framework. Catches in 2010 should be less than t, because this is expected to keep the stock above U pa in the medium term. The undifferentiated Icelandic redfish TAC for the fishing season is t Other retained species The remainder of the retained species follow the order by weight landed in which they appear in Table 4.2; the quantities landed are all <17.5 kt, i.e. below the MSC 5% qualification criterion for main retained species a Atlantic wolfish/catfish (Anarhichas lupus) Atlantic catfish is found all around Iceland, but is most common off Vestfirdir (West Fjords) peninsula in the west (Fig a). It mostly occurs on mud or sand bottoms at depths between 40 to 200 m. Nominal annual landings over the past two decades have been relatively Report N Revision Page 50 of 200

51 stable at c t, virtually half of which is taken in the trawl fisheries and c. 60% of the remainder in the (inshore) longline fishery. Fig a Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic Atlantic wolffish catches 72. The stock is subject to a qualitative assessment in which the status of the stock is inferred primarily from the abundance indices estimated during the two MRI research-vessel trawl surveys each year. It is not subject to any level of assessment within ICES. The MRI stock status reports states that: Recruitment indices are now at an historical low level and the index of fishable biomass is decreasing. According to the stock assessment, the fishable part of the stock has been decreasing since 2006 and further decline is forseen as recruitment to the fishable stock will be low in the coming years. MRI recommends a TAC according to the management strategy of F 0.1 or t in the quota year In addition, the MRI recommends a continued closure of the major spawning area off west Iceland for fishing during the spawning and incubation season in autumn and winter 73. The recommendation of MRI is accepted in principle, if not explicitly, by the Ministry of Fisheries as the TAC for is t, including spotted catfish b Spotted wolfish/catfish (Anarhichas minor) The spotted catfish is no smaller than the Atlantic catfish, attaining lengths of 1 m or more. It is found all around Iceland, but is much more common in the colder waters in the north and east at depths of between 100 and 700 m, mostly on mud or sand bottom. From the late 1970s to the mid 1990s nominal landings fluctuated at c t but then increased to more than 3000 t around 2005 before falling back to the current level c t. There is no stock assessment; it is included in the aggregated catfish TAC for of t Report N Revision Page 51 of 200

52 5.6.3c Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) Fig c Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic Greenland halibut catches 76 The Greenland halibut is currently the most valuable flatfish species in Icelandic waters, but it is a deep-water species, mainly found in the cold waters to the west, north and east of Iceland.),from 200 to 2000 m depth, but usually below 400 m (Fig c). i.e. It is mostly outside the distribution of the directed haddock fishery (Fig. 3.2a) and is primarily caught in a directed trawl fishery d Ling (Molva molva) Fig d Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic ling catches Report N Revision Page 52 of 200

53 Ling is found across the Icelandic continental shelf to a depth of c m, with juvenile (smaller) fish tending to be in the shallower water (Fig d). Approximately 70% the annual catch is taken in the longline fishery and most of the remainder by trawl and Danish seine. At present, the species is not subject to a quantitative assessment, MRI monitor its relative abundance year on year through the research-vessel trawl-survey abundance indices. The most recent MRI stock status report states that: Survey indices in 2009 were around 60% of the 2007 value when they were at a historical high level. The drop is in all length groups which indicates that the 2007 value is an outlier and was not reflecting an actual increase in stock size. The index has been at similar levels in 2008 until 2010, near the historical highest level. Since 2007, F proxy (catch/index) has increased and was near the highest observed level in MRI recommends a TAC of less than 7500 t in the quota year , including catches of foreign vessels which have been about 15% of total landings in recent years 78. The Ministry of Fisheries has set the TAC for the fishing season at 7500 t, as recommended by MRI e Tusk (Brosme brosme) Fig e Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic tusk catches 80 Tusk is found all around Iceland, but is much rarer in the colder waters north and east of the country. Mostly it occurs on hard bottoms at depths between 20 to 1000 m (Fig e), older Report N Revision Page 53 of 200

54 fish usually in the deeper waters. More than 95% of the catch is taken by longline as the tusk is usually found over hard bottom where trawlers cannot operate. The MRI summary of stock status states: Indices of fishable biomass in the groundfish survey increased between 2001 and 2005 but have not changed significantly since then. However, recruitment indices have decreased by 50% at the same time. The tusk stock assessment is based on the Gadget model as recommended by the ICES benchmark meeting on the assessment of deepwater species (WKDEEP, 2010). 81 The MRI recommends that the catches be less than 6000 t in the quota year , including catches of foreign vessels. This advice is based on F 0.1 =0.2. It is furthermore recommended that the closure of nursery areas off the southeast and south coasts is continued 82. The Ministry of Fisheries has set the TAC for at 6000 t f Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Fig f Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic plaice catches 84 Plaice are widespread around Iceland on sandy or muddy seabed down to c. 200 m (Fig f). The MRI stock status report states that: In 2009, 6300 t of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) were landed; a decrease of 400 t from CPUE and survey indices have increased somewhat in recent years. Recruitment measurements from the groundfish survey do suggest some improvement in the last few years. The MRI recommends that the catch does not exceed 81 WGDEEP, Report of the Working Group on the Biology and Assessment of Deep-sea Fisheries Resources (WGDEEP): 7 Task (Brosme brosme). Available at: Report N Revision Page 54 of 200

55 6500 t in the quota year and regulations regarding area closures on spawning grounds remain in effect 85. The TAC is set at 6500 t g Blue Ling (Molva dipterygia) Fig g Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic blue ling catches 87 Blue ling is found on the slope to the continental shelf, most commonly at depths of m to the south and west of Iceland; it is primarily a deep-water species adjacent to, rather than fully cohabiting with haddock (Fig g). The annual catch is split almost equally between trawlers and longliners but MRI found that: In 2008 and 2009, the proportion caught by longliners increased considerably as a result of targeting of blue ling by that fleet. There are indications of increased recruitment to the fishable stock in recent years. The sustainable yield of the stock is unknown and the MRI recommends area closures on fishing grounds were targeting of blue ling is known to occur in order to decrease fishing mortality. Furthermore, a continued closure of known spawning grounds from 15 February 30 April, should be maintained 88. No TAC is set for blue ling h Lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus). Lumpsucker is a pelagic fish that spends most of its time in the open ocean but in the late winter the mature part of the stock migrates to very shallow water to lay demersal eggs, tended by the males, on rocky substrata. This is the time when the gillnet fishery for lumpsuckers is conducted as it is the roe (1345 t, 2008; Table 4.1) that is valued rather than the whole fish (81 t, 2008; Table 4.1). The MRI stock report states that: In 2009, t of cntpage.php?pid=8 Report N Revision Page 55 of 200

56 lumpsucker were landed; just under the average annual landings in The fishery is characterised by large variations in annual catches. The fishery is partly managed by stakeholders, seemingly with good effect in recent years, although the increased number of boats participating in the fishery in recent years is a cause for concern. The stock is assessed with limited data and must therefore be harvested with caution. The MRI does not recommend a TAC in the quota year 2010/ i Monkfish (Lophius piscatorius) Fig i Relative intensity distribution of Icelandic monkfish catches 91 Monkfish occurs at a very wide depth range, from shallow waters down to a depth of 1800 m (Fig i). Formerly, monkfish were only found in the warmer waters south of Iceland but with the warming trend in Icelandic waters the distribution has expanded to the waters west of Iceland and even off the north coast. Despite this, MRI has reported declines in indices of stock abundance: Results from surveys indicates strong fishable stock due to very good recruitment during the period Survey indices indicate, however, poor recruitment for year classes 2008 and With current fishing effort and the reduced recruitment in the last few years the fishable stock will decline rapidly in the coming years. The MRI recommends 2500 t as the TAC for the quota year The Ministry of Fisheries has set the TAC at 2500 t for main-species/other-demersal-fishes/monkfish/ 93 Report N Revision Page 56 of 200

57 5.6.3j Lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) Fig j Relative intensity distribution of Lemon sole catches 94 Lemon sole is found all around Iceland, but is much rarer in the colder waters north and east of the country. Mostly it occurs on rocky or sandy bottoms at depths between 50 to 350 m (Fig j). MRI has found that: Groundfish survey indices declined by one third from 1985 to 2000, but have since increased substantially. CPUE in the Danish seine fishery off southwest Iceland has doubled from the period to present. The MRI recommends a precautionary TAC of 1800 t in the quota year The Ministry of Fisheries has set the TAC for at 1800 t k Other retained species Other demersal species that are, or can be taken with haddock in the mixed demersal fisheries but for which the annual landings are less than 2000 t (Table 4.1) include: whiting (Merlangius merlangus) (1688 t), witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus) ( 1428 t), dab (Limanda limanda) (798 t), Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) (502 t), megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis) (320 t), long rough dab (Hippoglossoides platessoides) (278 t), skate (Dipturus (Raja) batis) (127 t), spurdog, (Squalus acanthias) (68 t), Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) (42 t). 5.7 Bycatch & interactions with endangered, threatened and protected species The endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species fall into four main groups: benthic species and their associated habitats, (large) fish species, birds and marine mammals. Iceland is a signatory to a wide range of international conventions that embrace the conservation and protection of marine biota, their habitats and environment, e.g. OSPAR, NAMMCo, Bern, Bonn, Ramsar, Rio conventions Report N Revision Page 57 of 200

58 5.7.1 Benthic Species & Habitats MRI maintains a seabed mapping programme using multi-beam echo sounders, not only to increase the detailed knowledge of the bathymetry and topography but also to map the distribution of substrata (habitat types), benthic communities and record the effects of fishing. In general, the effects of otter trawling in shallow areas with a soft seabed are relatively minor for most of the smaller species. Effects of trawling on large structural biota such as coldwater corals ( 5.2) and sponges are considered to be more severe. Although little evidence exists on the effects of trawling on this group of animals, it is likely that their distribution is now more fragmented than prior to fishing 96. The ocean quahog, or Iceland cyprine, bivalve mollusc Arctica islandica often attracts conservation concern (Hill et al., 2010), 97 not least because it is believed to live to a great age (400+ years; Ridgway & Richardson, 2010), 98 which tends to imply low rate of reproduction and sensitivity to exploitation. Nevertheless, it is not a species that appears on the IUCN data base of endangered or threatened species Fish All fish caught in Icelandic fisheries must be retained, recorded and landed. Those recorded in the annual landing statistics for 2008 are listed in Table 4.1 and the catch and status of many have been summarise above ( 5.3 & 5.4). Among these, it is the chondrichthyan species that attract general conservation concern (Camhi et al., 1998), 100 grey skate (Dipturus batis), sharp-nosed skate (Dipturus oxyrinchus), grenadiers Greenland shark, basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus). Additional occasional (irregular vagrant) captures in Icelandic waters include, blue shark (Prionace glauca), thresher shark (Alophias vulpes), porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) 101 and blue fin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) 102. The porbeagle, thresher and blue shark, and the bluefin tuna are all rare vagrants as southern Icelandic waters are at on the northern boundary of their distribution 103 and their presence in Icelandic waters is dependent on the vagaries of the northern boundary to the warm water of the North Atlantic drift. All are pelagic feeders and are unlikely ever to be taken in demersal trawls, Danish seines or bottomset gillnets. In contrast, the basking shark is vulnerable to capture in demersal fishing gear, both towed (personal observation) and static gear. Of the chimeras, it is the common rat-tail or rabbit fish (Chimaera monstrosa) that is most vulnerable to capture in the mixed demersal fishery as it is not confined to deep waters like other chimeran species 104. Even so, catch rates appear to be very low ( 1 t, 2008) with concomitant minimal effects from the mixed demersal fisheries Hill, J., Pearce, B., Georgiou, L., Pinnion, J. & Gallyot, J Meeting the MPA Network Principle of Viability: Feature specific recommendations for species and habitats of conser.v.ation importance. Natural England Commissioned Reports 43. Peterborough; Natural England. 98 Ridgway, I. & Richardson, c Arctica islandica: the longest lived non-colonial animal known to science. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. doi: /s Camhi, M., Fowler, S.L., Musick, J.A., Bräutigam, A. and Fordham, S.V. (1998) Sharks and their Relatives Ecology and ConseR.V.ation. IUCN/SSC Shark Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN Report N Revision Page 58 of 200

59 5.7.3 Reptiles One species of marine reptile has been recorded in Icelandic waters, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). It is the largest of the marine turtles and the species that can live in the coldest waters since it is able to maintain relatively high internal temperatures. It has both been sighted alive in the ocean, and found stranded dead, but this is very rare since Icelandic waters are much too cold for it to occur on a regular basis. There are no records of marine turtles having been caught in any type of fishing gear in Icelandic waters. Hence devices to avoid turtle bycatch in Icelandic fisheries are not necessary Seabirds An overview of the seabird populations in Iceland is given above ( 5.4). Hunting for seabirds for human consumption is an established tradition in Iceland and is subject to strict regulation (Reg. 456, 1994). Ideally information on birds entangled in fishing gear should be included in logbook returns but there are limited means of verifying the reliability of the reports. In April 2009 the Directorate of Fisheries implemented as monitoring programme of all marine mammal and seabird bycatch. All were taken in static gear in the period April to December: 184 common guillemots, 2 razorbills, 2 European shag, 1 red-throated diver, 35 fulmar, 2 black-back gull, 3 Brünich s guillemot, 1 eider duck (SGBYC, 2010). There are static-gear closed areas in place to protect eider duck during the nesting season. Longline vessels are also expected to employ bird scarers (gas cannons) or other similar methods to minimise bird bycatch when shooting their lines. During its most recent reviews of seabird fishery interactions, neither of the ICES working groups covering this topic highlighted Icelandic fisheries as raising specific concerns above the universal wish to see all seabird bycatch minimised wherever possible (SGBYC, 2010; WGSE, 2010) Marine mammals An overview of the marine mammal populations in Iceland is given above ( 5.5). Information on marine mammals entangled in fishing gear should be included in logbook returns but there are limited means of verifying the reliability of the reports. Between 2002 and 2008 a total of 1676 marine mammals were reported from the Icelandic gillnet fishery. Instances of zero bycatch are not reported which means that the utility of these data is debatable as it is not possible to differentiate between no bycatch and unreported bycatch. MRI investigated this by a questionnaire sent to all the fishing industry and the ratio of no bycatch and unreported bycatch, found in response to the questionnaire, was used in the analysis of harbour porpoise bycatch data. On the basis of e-logbook data alone, it was estimated that c harbour porpoise are taken in the Icelandic gillnet fishery each year, but this figure is increased to 2600 per year when the fishermen s questionnaire responses were taken into account (SGBYC, 2010). An MRI observer exercise undertaken during the lumpsucker gillnet fishing season reported that in addition to 16 harbour porpoise, 3 harbour seal, 23 harp seal and 1 bearded seal were caught (SGBYC, 2010). It was concluded that self-reporting of marine mammal captures in commercial fisheries is not a reliable means to gathering data but fishery reports may be useful in identifying potential high risk fisheries and most frequent bycatch species. Fishery report data may also give indications of changes or trends in bycatch rates over longer periods. The ICES working group also concluded, however, that although any marine mammal bycatch is undesirable and Report N Revision Page 59 of 200

60 should be avoided whenever possible, the numbers involved do not appear to pose any immediate threat to species populations (SGBYC, 2010) 5.8 Other fisheries relevant to this assessment Other demersal fisheries Demersal fishing in the north-western extremity of the Faroese EFZ by Faroese-registered vessels is relevant in that they catch some haddock originating from the Icelandic haddock stock. Small quantities will also be taken in the Icelandic trawl fishery for Greenland halibut (Fig c), saithe and golden redfish (Figs b & e), but almost certainly not in the deepsea and oceanic redfish (S. mentella; Fig c & d). The ICES stock assessment working group estimate that the total quantity of Icelandic haddock caught by non-icelandic vessels is no more than c t, a very small quantity relative to a total catch of t (NWWG, 2010). It is highly improbable that any of the Icelandic pelagic fisheries have any discernible implications for the haddock fishery Bait fisheries There are four main bait types used in the Icelandic longline fishery: herring, squid, Pacific saury and artificial. The precise quantity of each type is not known as they are supplied by numerous sources either direct to individual vessels or through intermediaries. One of the larger longline companies, however, provided information on their total (all species) bait usage for 2010 (8400 t) and it is assumed that total Icelandic bait use is proportional to the company s cod catch ( t) as part of the Icelandic longline cod catch ( t, 2008; Table 4.1). This estimate of bait use [8400(44000/ ) = t] is indicative of quantities used in a given year rather than absolute quantities. This total (all species) estimate of t has been subdivided to species by the same proportions as the quantities used by the company which provided information a Herring (Clupea harengus) 8800 t Other than supplies are domestic, there are no records of stock origin of herring used in the longline fishery. Traditionally, therefore, it is probable that herring bait comprised a mixture of Icelandic summer-spawning herring (ISSH) and Norwegian spring spawning herring (NSSH), possibly in proportion to the quantities landed, i.e. c. 3 NSSH:1 ISSH. However, since 2008, the Icelandic summer spawning herring stock has been suffering from a severe infestation of the parasitic fungus (Ichyophonus hoferi) 106 with a 40% reduction in stock biomass Since the discovery of the infection it has been prohibited by Icelandic law (Reg., 1999) 108 for the herring to be used for anything other than fish meal. Since the infection was first recorded, MRI has kept the situation under season-by-season review and has recommended that the fishery be closed until the situation improves and the stock returns above B pa once more. The Ministry of Fisheries has declared a zero TAC for the fishing 106 MAST, Parasite detected in Icelandic herring. Matvælastofun the Icelandic Food & Veterinary Authority. Press release 8/ Reg., Act no. 55/1998 on the treatment, processing and distribution of seafood and Regulation no. 233/1999 on health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of fishery products. Report N Revision Page 60 of 200

61 season It is assumed, therefore, that all herring used as bait in the Icelandic longline fishery is of NSSH origin. The Icelandic catch of NSSH was c t from a total international catch of c t in The spawning stock biomass is currently estimated to be in excess of 8 million tonnes, well above any critical biological reference and management levels, and is managed with respect to MSY and a precautionary approach (ACOM NSSH, 2010). 110 Several participating fisheries have received MSC certification 111. The quantity of herring taken from this fishery and used in the Icelandic longline fishery does not pose any direct or indirect risk to the sustainability or long-term stability of this stock or its fisheries b Squid 6600 t Squid bait is bought on the international market through commodity brokers and may comprise a number of species from widely separated stocks but world catches are dominated by a few species: the South Atlantic Argentine short-fin squid (SE Atlantic) Illex argentinus total international catch c.838 kt (FAO stats, 2008); 112 Japanese flying squid (NW Pacific) Todarodes pacificus c.402 kt; jumbo flying squid (eastern Pacific) Dosidicus gigas c.857 kt. Patagonian squid Loligo gahi c.25 kt (2004) t from the South Atlantic is also a popular source of bait (Rodhouse, 2005). 113 Although D. gigas is deemed to be highly vulnerable to exploitation pressures by the criteria of Cheung et al. (2005) 114, L. gahi, I. argentinus and T. pacificus are assessed as low vulnerability 115 but none of these stocks is deemed to be overexploited. Indeed, FAO ranks the Pacific fisheries for T. pacificus and D. gigas to be M F (where M is Moderately exploited, exploited with a low level of fishing effort. Believed to have some limited potential for expansion in total production and F is Fully exploited. The fishery is operating at or close to an optimal yield level, with no expected room for further expansion ) and the South Atlantic fisheries for I. argentinus and L. gahi both at F (FOA TP, 2005). 116 Whichever stock provides the greater part of the Icelandic squid bait, the quantity taken from any of these fisheries and used in the Icelandic longline fishery does not pose any direct or indirect risk to the sustainability of long-term stability of the stocks or their fisheries ACOM NSSH, Advice Ecoregion: Widely distributed and migratory stocks. Herring in the North-East Atlantic (Norwegian spring-spawning herring). ICES ACOM Advice Book FAO stats, Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics FAO Yearbook Rodhouse, P.G., 20. World squid resources. In: Review of the World Marine Fishery Resources. FAO Technical Paper 457. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5852e/y5852e19.pdf 114 Cheung, W.W.L., Pitcher, T.J. & Pauly, D A fuzzy logic expert system to estimate intrinsic extinction vulnerabilities of marine fishes to fishing. Biol. ConseR.V.. 124: genusname=todarodes&speciesname=pacificus 116 FAO TP, State of exploitation and annual nominal catches of selected species. In: Review of the World Marine Fishery Resources. FAO Technical Paper 457. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5852e/y5852e23.pdf Report N Revision Page 61 of 200

62 5.8.2c Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) 5500 t The Pacific saury or mackerel pike is found throughout the temperate coastal waters of the North Pacific rim. It is one of the most popular food fishes in Japan and has supported international annual catches ranging from c. 300 to 500 kt over the past half century (662 kt in 2008; FAO stats, 2008). In the mid 1990s the spawning stock fell from c. 6 Mt to less than 1 Mt [quite possibly in response to inter-decadal oceanic climatic variation (Tian et al., 2003) 117 ] but from 1998 onward it showed a steady and sustained increase to c. 2.4 Mt in 2004 (FRAG, 2004). 118,119 This rapid recovery is consistent with its biological characteristics being consistent with species showing low vulnerability (by the criteria of Cheung et al., 2003) 120 and high resilience to both fishing and natural population pressures 121. With the sustained level of catches and relative stock stability over such a prolonged period and most recent estimates of stock size, it is highly unlikely that the quantity taken from this fishery and used in the Icelandic longline fishery poses any direct or indirect risk to the sustainability of long-term stability of the stocks or their fisheries d Artificial bait 125 t At present, very little artificial bait is used in the Icelandic longline fishery (c. 0.5% of all bait used). It is a relatively new innovation still under evaluation by the longliners and by processors who seek to maximise the value of all aspects of the landed catch by utilising offal etc. As it is based on waste product (trade name 'Sardinella', which is not to be confused with fish of the Sardinella genus) rather than fish caught for purpose, it poses no adverse management risks; its development and use is to be encouraged. 5.9 The fishery s effect on the surrounding ecosystems It is implicit in all that appears above in 5 that the mixed demersal fishery can have a direct effect on a wide variety of other fish and indirectly on many seabirds and marine mammals. Where TAC and ITQ management is applied to a particular fish species, recognition of the problems of mixed-fishery assessments is implicit in the management regime. Where there is no such management there is a general presumption that the small quantities of fish involved do not represent a significant risk to fish communities of the marine ecosystem. Arguably, the greatest cause for concern is with respect to the Lophelia reefs. It is recognized that brittle nature of Lophelia is vulnerable to direct impact from demersal fishing gear, and the heavier a particular ground gear (doors, sweeps, bridles, footrope) is, the greater the damage such gear can impart. The distribution of Lophelia in Icelandic waters appears to be limited to waters beyond the normal distribution of haddock (cf Figs 3.2a & 5.2). The environmental and ecosystem effects of fishing continue to be the focus of Icelandic research effort. MRI maintain ecosystem - multi-species assessment programmes 122 and more general national participation in a Nordic countries investigation of fishery - environment 117 Tian Y, Akamine T, Suda M., Variations in the abundance of Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) from the northwestern Pacific in relation to oceanic-climate changes. Fisheries Research 60, FRAG, Marine fisheries stock assessment and evaluation for Japanese waters (Digest for fiscal year 2004). Fisheries Agency and Fisheries Research Agency of Japan Pacific saury stock summary in Japanese with hints in English Cheung, W.W.L., Pitcher, T.J. & Pauly, D A fuzzy logic expert system to estimate intrinsic extinction vulnerabilities of marine fishes to fishing. Biol. ConseR.V.. 124: bis+saira&lang=english and Report N Revision Page 62 of 200

63 interactions 123. Nevertheless, it would be preferable if towed-gear cod-fishing vessels adopted a positive policy of avoiding known Lophelia reef areas Closed areas In addition to allocating quotas on each species, there are other measures in place to protect fish stocks. Based on knowledge on the biology of various stocks, many areas have been closed temporarily or permanently, some for decades (Fig. 5.10). The permanent closures are aimed primarily at protecting fish nursery areas while seasonal closures, many of which were introduced at the insistence of the fishing industry, are to protect mature fish on the spawning grounds. In addition, a quick-response (real-time) closure system has been in force since 1976 to protect juvenile fish on the fishing grounds. Fishing is prohibited for at least two weeks in areas where the number of small fish in the catches has been observed by inspectors to exceed threshold percentages (25% or more of <55 cm cod and saithe, 25% or more of <45 cm haddock and 20% or more of <33 cm redfish). If, in a given area, there are several consecutive quick closures the Minister of Fisheries can close the area for longer time forcing the fleet to operate in other areas. Inspectors from the Directorate of Fisheries supervise these closures in collaboration with MRI; 93 areas were closed in Figure 5.10 Fishery conservation closed areas around Iceland. The boxes are of different nature and can be closed for different time period and gear type. The Rgl:number/year refers to the specific regulation that can be found on the Icelandic legislation website 124, or more specifically, the Ministry of Fisheries regulations website Elena Guijarro Garcia, E.G.,Ragnarsson, S.A., Steingrímsson,S.A., Nævestad, D., Haraldsson, H.P., Fosså, J.H., Tendal, O.S.& Eiríksson, H Bottom Trawling and Scallop Dredging in the Arctic Impacts of fishing on non-target species, vulnerable habitats and cultural heritage. TemaNord: Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen Report N Revision Page 63 of 200

64 5.11 Waste management Iceland has a policy that seeks to ensure that no vessel, including registered fishing vessels, disposes of rubbish at sea. To this end, all ports, harbours and landing places have waste disposal facilities that are free to use and readily accessible for all vessels. In particular, fishing vessels are encouraged to retain all waste fishing gear, both the vessel s own and any recovered from the sea while fishing, and keep it separate from general waste. There is a growing movement within the manufacturing sector to recycle these materials, quite often in the form of new fishing gear. Report N Revision Page 64 of 200

65 6 STATUS OF THE ICELANDIC HADDOCK STOCK The information that follows is a drawn from both Marine Research Institute, Iceland, and ICES sources, particularly the most recent report of the ICES North-Western Working Group (NWWG, 2010) and ICES advice to the international fishery commissions and member states (ACOM hadd, 2010). 6.1 Data sources The scientific data used for assessing Icelandic haddock are the same as for most marine fish stock assessments in the North Atlantic and comprise commercial fishing-vessel log books, reported landing statistics, biological sampling of landed catches and from research-vessel surveys which include surveys to gather information on abundance a recruitment indices. The data are gathered by the Directorate of Fisheries from the industry and during dedicated research programmes by the Marine Research Institute Landing and biological sampling data The ICES working group estimate of landings of Icelandic haddock in 2009 are t (Fig a). Of these landings tonnes were by Iceland and 625 t by other nations. The catch comprises over 50% (by number) mature fish spread across age groups Figure 6.1.1a Landings of Icelandic haddock (Div. Va) (NWWG, 2010). Discarding has been a larger problem in the Icelandic haddock fisheries than in other demersal fisheries in Icelandic waters, reaching up to 40% of the number landed and 22% of landings by weight in 1997 (Pálsson, 2003). Comparison of haddock samples taken at sea with those taken in port indicate that discarding was low in 2009 (Figure 6.1.1b), as it has been since Report N Revision Page 65 of 200

66 Figure 6.1.1b Comparison of haddock samples taken at sea aboard commercial vessels with samples from commercial landed catches (NWWG, 2010). Age 1 haddock are caught in large numbers in the biannual MRI groundfish surveys which provides an early and reliable index of recruitment to the fishable stock at age 2 4. The surveys also provide an index of total biomass (Fig c). Figure 6.1.1c Icelandic haddock. Total biomass indices from the groundfish surveys in March (line, ± S.E. shading) and the groundfish survey in October (closed circles, ± S.E. vertical bars) (NWWG, 2010). Both surveys show increases between 2002 and 2005 but the most recent surveys show a sharp decline with the steady demise of the 2003 year class. The index of total biomass from the groundfish survey in March 2010 is the lowest since Age disaggregated indices indicate that most of year classes are large with the 2003 year class much larger than any other year class. After 2008 the abundance of year classes 2003 and earlier is substantially reduced. Later year classes, including 2008 and 2009, are much smaller but year class 2007 is well above the mean (Fig. 3.2c). Report N Revision Page 66 of 200

67 6.2 Monitoring stock status The state of the stock year on year is monitored annually by applying tried and tested, as well as novel, age-structured population models, both VPA-type and statistical catch-at-age models. The 2010 assessment applied four different models: XSA, TSA, Adapt-type model, Adcam. The procedures adopted and protocols followed throughout the annual assessment process include consideration of uncertainties affecting the data and their implications for the stock. An initial MRI assessment is presented at the annual meeting of the ICES North- Western Working Group. Following review, and modification if necessary, the assessment if further reviewed within ICES by ACOM before publication of formal management advice. Methodologies are subject to review by a periodic ICES methods workshop (WKPRECISE, 2009; WGMG, 2010). 126,127 Beyond the traditional MRI ICES axis, standard methods have been challenged and alternatives to the official Icelandic management model put forward (e.g. Kristjansson, 2009), 128 but when subject to close critical scrutiny, such alternatives have been found wanting. Assessments in recent years has shown some difference between different models but greater differences between reference data sources, i.e the March and the October surveys. In earlier years models calibrated with the October survey have indicated smaller stock than when the March survey was used, although both surveys indicated that the stock was large. The 2010 assessment found that the October survey reference data indicates better state of the stock. The SPALY method used in 2010 was the same as used in 2009, i.e Adapt type model calibrated with both the March and October surveys. As before, this was not done without reference to results from the other models, therefore the assessment was based on three variations (TSA, XSA and Adapt) of age disaggregated models using more or less the same data and assuming M=0.2. Model and data F B (kt) XSA March survey TSA Autumn survey TSA March survey Adapt March survey Adapt both surveys (Spaly) Table 6.2 Range of fishable Icelandic haddock biomass (B3+) and fishing mortality rates (F) estimated by five combinations of model and reference survey data (NWWG, 2010). The final assessment was based on the Adapt type model using both the March and the October surveys for calibration (Table 6.2) but all the models used indicated that the stock is still relatively large. However, there will be an inevitable further stock decrease over the immediate future because younger year classes are much smaller than those that are now in 126 WKPRECISE, Report of the Workshop on methods to evaluate and estimate the precision of fisheries data used for assessment (WKPRECISE). ICES CM 2009/ACOM:40 REF. PGCCDBS WGMG, Report of the Working Group on Methods of Fish Stock Assessments (WGMG). ICES CM 2010/SSGSUE: Kristjansson, J Fisheries management in Iceland, ITQ's, results and effects. Polish Fisheries Roundtable, Gdynia. Report N Revision Page 67 of 200

68 Biomass (kt) DET NORSKE VERITAS the fishery. The development of the stock and fishery over the past 30 years is shown in Fig. 6.2a. Fishing mortality rate, F Stock biomass Fishable Biomass (age 3+) Average fishing Mortality F4 7 Fpa pre2007 Fpa post2007 Bpa Figure 6.2a Estimates of fishable biomass (B 3+ ), spawning stock biomass (B3+ x maturity ogive) and average fishing mortality F Values for F pa pre2007, F pa ost 2007 and B pa are based on values from NWWG (2010) 6.3 Stock management plan and harvest control rule At present there is no formally agreed harvest control rule, but MRI is at an advanced stage with developing a plan comparable to that for cod (ACOM cod, 2010) and saithe (ACOM saithe, 2010) and a preliminary version was reviewed but not adopted by the ICES working group (NWWG, 2010). The fishery is managed with respect to precautionary, MSY-based criteria. 6.4 Management reference points In the year 2000 the ICES working group that asses Icelandic haddock proposed provisional F pa set to the F med value of 0.47; this value has been used as F target since then. At that time F 4-7 = 0.47, the stock was being exploited with respect to target reference points and this did not appear to be an excessive fishing mortality. The estimates of F 4 7 has only been below F pa three times since 1984 (Fig. 6.2a) and seven times since In recent years the mean weight at age has been reducing considerably, especially for the huge 2003 year class and at the moment mean weight at age is more than one year behind the long-term average. This has affected the selection pattern of the fisheries but also changed the reference F as F 4 7 should now be compared with F 3 6 in earlier years. The ICES has taken these factors into account since 2007 and the advice based on F 4 7 = 0.35 is the current analogue of F 4 7 =0.47 that was the reference level before the 2003 year class entered the spawning stock in Following advice from the ICES study group on the precautionary approach to fisheries management (ACFM PAFM, 2003), 130 B pa is set at t, a level to which the stock has only graph/5-haddock-(g)-biomass-and-fishing-mortality-(hafro).png Report N Revision Page 68 of 200

69 fallen once in the past thirty years. However, in its analysis of uncertainties affecting future stock, the working group did note that in the absence of improved recruitment, there is a 10% probability of stock falling below B pa in This risk could be reduced to 5% if the fishery was managed with respect to F = 0.3 rather than F = 0.35 pending the introduction of a more robust harvest control rule. 6.5 Management advice and forecast Following its assessment of the biological reference points and the potential implications of fishing at F pa = 0.35, it would seem that the preferred option of the assessment working group (and MRI, pers. comm.) was to set the TAC for 2011 on the basis of F = 0.3, i.e t. The ICES advisory committee, however, opted to stay with the formal interpretation of the precautionary approach and adopted F pa = 0.35 as the basis for advising a TAC of in 2011 (ACOM hadd, 2010). In the event, the Icelandic authorities recognised that the continued decline in SSB is unavoidable and set a slightly lower TAC of t for the fishing year 131. In the absence of a strong year class, the stock is forecast to drop to c t in 2012 (ACOM hadd, 2010). 130 ACFM PAFM, 2003c. Report of the study group on the precautionary approach to fisheries management. ICES C.M ACFM: cntpage.php?pid=8 Report N Revision Page 69 of 200

70 7 FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE UNIT OF CERTIFICATION The information on the Icelandic fisheries management are from official Icelandic websites, from the Directorate of fisheries, ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, the Icelandic Coast Guard and many other sources. Information also comes from ICES and FAO s websites as from other sources mentioned in footnotes. 7.1 Cooperation on shared and migratory fish stocks Some of Iceland s commercially important fish stocks are shared between countries and therefore an international cooperation has been developing over the last decades. However, in recent year the Icelandic management regime has attracted adverse comment for its participation in the NEA Atlantic mackerel fishery without agreeing to international management measures, including the TAC set by internationally agreed HCR. This problem however is limited to one specific fishery stemming from a particular set of circumstances. With respect to its own national fisheries, the Icelandic management regime has established and demonstrated rigorous adherence to scientific advice and agreed HCR, where such rules have been defined. The major shared fish stocks in Iceland are golden redfish (Sebastes marinus), deep sea redfish (Sebastes mentella), Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), capelin (Mallotus villosus), blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) and Norwegian spring spawning herring (Claupea harengus L.). In 2003 an agreement was concluded on the management of the capelin stock between Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The agreement implies that Iceland gets 81%, Greenland 11% and Norway 8% of the TAC, which is determined by the Icelandic government. In 2005 the coastal states EU, the Faeroe Islands, Iceland and Norway reached consensus on the management and allocation of the vital blue whiting stocks, limiting the catches of blue whiting for the coastal states to no more than 2 million tons for A related NEAFC regulation for 2006 was also adopted. In 2008, the coastal states agreed to implement a longterm management plan from 2011 onwards, with a 35 % reduction in fishing mortality for both 2009 and The TAC agreed for 2010 was tons. In 2007 an agreement on quota sharing between the coastal states was signed for Norwegian spring spawning herring. Of the total quota, Norway can catch 61%, Russia 12.82%, Iceland 14.51%, EU 6.51% and the Faroe Islands gets 5.61%. This agreement gives these countries the right to fish their quota in the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone Management objectives and measures By law the objectives of the Icelandic government in fisheries management is to promote conservation and efficient utilization of harvested stocks helping to maintain stable employment and settlement throughout Iceland. Various methods are used to regulate the 132 Norwegian Spring Spawning herring (Claupea harengus L.). Report N Revision Page 70 of 200

71 fishery including allocation of fishing permits and quotas, fishing gear rules and fishing ground closures. Quotas (quota share and catch quota) must by law always be restricted to fishing vessels. To certain conditions and with certain restrictions they may be transferred between vessels. Transfers do not take effect until the Directorate has confirmed it. By law the quota share of an individual or a related party in general and specific species may not exceed certain limits. Some flexibility is built into the catch quota system. Their main purpose is to facilitate ship owners and fishermen to comply with official rules and to promote responsible exploitation of the fish stocks. In this context, up to 15% of the catch quotas for most species from one fishing season to the next and it is also permitted to fish up to 5% more than allocated annual catch quota and that catch is then deducted from the allocation for next year. A species-transfer is a certain rule that allows a catch of one species to be subtracted from other species quota share of a ship but only to a certain extent. This does not cover fishing for cod. Undersized catch of cod, haddock and redfish is not fully deducted from the quota of fishing vessels, provided that the fish is kept separate from other catch on board and weighed and recorded separately. Up to 5% of catch quotas of a fishing vessel may, in certain conditions, be landed as so-called MRI-catch, that catch is not deducted from the quota of the ship concerned. 80% of the value of the catch goes to The Fisheries Project Fund but what is left goes to the operator and crew of the ship. Recreational fishing is allowed for personal consumption (20 kg per day). It is only allowed to fish with handline without automatic equipment. It is illegal to sell the fish caught in recreational fishing or value it in any way. There are two catch quota systems (the big and the small), ie overall catch quotas that can be used with fishing with any allowable gear and,,hook catch quota system which may only use hook gear (handline and line). Boats fishing in this system are so called,,krókabátar. They are less than 15 tons and are only permitted to fish with line and / or handline. It is prohibited to transfer quotas from the smaller system to the bigger one. Around 700 boats have license to fish in the small system. 7.3 Management responsibilities and interactions The role of the ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture is specified in regulation Nr 177, since The ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture is responsible for matters of the fishing industry including: 1. Research, conservation and utilization of fisheries and other living marine resources and the seabed, as well as managing the areas where they are exploited. 2. Monitoring the conservation and utilization of fisheries and other living marine resources and the seabed, as well as managing the areas where they are exploited. 3. Research and monitoring the production and import of marine products. 4. Farming of Commercial Marine Stocks. 5. Support for research, development and innovation in the fisheries sector. 133 Regulation of the Icelandic Cabinet. Report N Revision Page 71 of 200

72 6. House of Exchange rates 134 and the Fish price Council Development fund of Fisheries International level Iceland participates in the Northwest Atlantic Fishing Organization NAFO and the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission NEAFC. NAFO operation is under an agreement from 1978 and Iceland validated the same year. The purpose of the agreement is to achieve a sensible management and conservation of fisheries resources in the Northwest Atlantic. Iceland has fished for shrimp and redfish in the NAFO area. NEAFC operates under a contract since 1980 and took effect in The area under the contract is Northeast Atlantic, Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea. Nations concerned are: Iceland, Denmark (for Faroe Islands and Greenland), EU, Norway and Russia. NEAFC also has adopted a common scheme of control and enforcement National level The minister of Fisheries and Agriculture is responsible for setting TAC for each utilized fish stock, including haddock, after getting MRI s suggestions, based on best scientific knowledge. The ministry issues number of regulations each year that contains information on the TAC. The role of the MRI is to acquire knowledge of the marine environment and its living resources around Iceland and to provide advice to the government on catch levels and conservation measures. MRI undertakes research into marine climate and environmental monitoring, marine geology and bottom topography, plankton distribution and production, reproduction and recruitment, assessment of fish stocks, multi-species interactions, marine mammals, fishing gear, fishing impact on the ecosystem and potentially exploitable species 137. MRI also contributes to ICES scientific advisory process. Several other institutions play important roles in the Icelandic fisheries management. The Directorate of Fisheries plays the administrative role of the system, is responsible for implementing the legislation and regulations on the management. The Directorate also collects all relevant information from the fishery, issues fishing permits to vessels, allocates catch quotas and imposes penalties for illegal catching. All commercial fisheries are subject to authorization from the Directorate of Fisheries. On average, there are about 1300 vessels with license issued by the Directorate of Fisheries to fish commercially. In addition to general permits the Directorate issues special licenses, such as catching lumpsucker (lumpfish) and fishing with Danish Seine. The Directorate of Fisheries allocates catch quotas (in tonnes) to catch quota-bound species on a annual term based on the quota share of every ship and the determination of the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture of the TAC for each species (1 September Aug). A quota share refers to the percentage ratio of the TAC for a quota bound species that each fishing 134 A special institute, monitoring fish prices and promoting proper and lawful returns to vessels crew, its website: Act Nr 43 since 1985, tells how fishprices shall be decided NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement. Available in english language on website: Report N Revision Page 72 of 200

73 vessel is allowed to catch. Catch quotas for most species is based on a fishing year, which is the period from 1 September till 31 August each year. Most exploited stocks in Icelandic waters are subject to quotas (98% of the total catch). 7.4 Legislation The Icelandic legislation has been evolving through the years, regulations of fishing gear and closure of fishing grounds have been used as management tool for a long time. The legislation of fisheries management has also been closely connected to Iceland s claim for jurisdiction over their fishing grounds from the beginning of the 20 th century until 1976 when 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone was fully recognized in International level Iceland has signed and ratified international agreements such as the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), and the 1995 Straddling Stocks Agreement. Iceland ratified UN Law of the Sea Convention in 1985 and approved the Straddling Stocks Agreement in Iceland has made agreements on demarcation of the maritime area between Iceland and Faroe Islands in 2002, between Iceland and Greenland in 1997 and in 1980/1981 between Iceland and Norway, regarding the shelf between Iceland and Jan Mayen National level The Icelandic haddock fishery is based on, what MRI considers to be one stock that is harvested within the Icelandic Fishing- and Economic zone. The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture issues regulations for commercial fishing, including haddock fishing, for each fishing year. The legislation is based on the 2006 Fisheries management Act (Act of 10 August 2006 No 116) 139, re-issued and streamlined from original law since As written in its 1 st article, the objective of the act is to promote conservation and effective utilization of fish stocks in Icelandic waters and to maintain stable employment and settlement throughout the country. It is also stated in the first article that the retained stocks in Icelandic waters are owned by the nation and the allocation of fishing rights does not form ownership or irrevocable control over the fishing rights. The legislation has evolved over time as a response to domestic and international development, including industries needs and increasing environmental awareness. Other important pillars in the legislation are the Law on territorial waters, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf (Act of 1979 No 41), Handling of utilized Marine Stocks Act (Act of 1996 No 57) and the Fishing in Icelandic Fishing Zone Act (Act of 1997 No 79). Numbers of regulations are issued by the ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, they can be viewed online in Icelandic on the website of the ministry 140. Regulations regarding allowed catch within a fishing year are issued annually containing necessary information for the industry and for ship-owners. 138 Summary of the history of foreign affairs service All Icelandic law are available on the Paliaments website, Report N Revision Page 73 of 200

74 7.4.3 Haddock level MRI recommends TAC for each quota year to the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, based on the institute s estimation of key factors including biomass of age 3 and older haddock, mean fishing mortality, measured growth and future prediction on the state of the stock 141. There is no special management plan for the haddock fishery, but according to MRI a management plan for the species is in development and it will be ready for further evaluation later this year 142. The minister issues a regulation including TAC for haddock prior to each quota year (1. September 31. August). Since 2000 the National TAC for haddock has been 7,5% above MRI s recommendations (table 7.4) 143. Year Rec. TAC National TAC Relative deviation (%) 2000/ ,0 2001/ ,7 2002/ ,0 2003/ ,0 2004/ ,0 2005/ ,0 2006/ ,5 2007/ ,3 2008/ ,0 2009/ ,5 Average 71,5 75,7 7,5 Table 7.4. Haddock. TAC recommended by the MRI (thous. Tonnes), national TAC and relative deviation (%) 2000/ /2010. A quick closure system has been in force since 1976, aimed at protecting juvenile haddock and other species. Today, fishing is prohibited for a minimum time of two weeks, in areas were the proportion of haddock smaller than 45 cm in the catches is observed by inspectors from ICG or Directorate of fisheries to exceed 30% Consultative process Since the ITQ was introduced in 1984, the system has been the focus of debates, both in the political arena and in the public one. Several committees, either appointed by Parliament or directly by a minister, have concluded and suggested reforms on the management system, trying to meet the demands of different opinions both from the industry and from the public. An official committee (1991) appointed by the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture concluded that the quota system should be maintained and made permanent and tusk, ling, halibut, catfish and blue ling should also be utilized in a quota system. The committee 141 Each year MRI gives an english summary of the state of Marine Stocks and future prospects: Björn Ævarr Steinarsson, personal communication, MRI site visit. 143 Based on table 2.2.1in the newest MRI s analysis on haddock catch predictions. ysa.pdf 144 The newest quick closure benchmark for haddock: Report N Revision Page 74 of 200

75 suggested several changes on the fisheries Act and gave its opinion to the minister and the public in a report 145. The natural resource committee (1998) appointed by Parliament, had the task to discuss resources which may be a public property. The committee s opinion was that it should be aspired to payment for the right to use all resources that are owned by the state or by the public. The committee gave two reasons for its opinion, that the payment should cover the expenses of the state for control and supervision and to give the nation a share in excess returns that might be created 146. The next committee appointed was the Auditing committee (1999) appointed by the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture and had the task of giving direct recommendations to the minister about changes on the existing law on Fisheries Management. The committee should take into account the interests of the industry, rural communities and the public. The committee concluded e.g. that a system of fishing-charges should be established, that it should be encouraged to bring all catch to landing to prevent discards and that rural communities, depending on fishing industry, should get its share of fishing charges to build its economic activity 147. Many of the committee s suggestions are reflected in the new Fisheries management Act that was adopted in August The newest consultative group, now a workgroup, appointed in 2009 by the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture has published its first written material (September 2010), where the workgroup publishes its issues, analysis, reports and features to changes in the fisheries management International level Iceland is a member of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As such, the institute gives Icelandic authorities regular country notes with conclusions and recommendations. In 2001 OECD gave a detailed review on the Environmental Performance of Iceland, including the fisheries management system 149. OECD gives less detailed country notes on more frequent timescale, such as its inventory on financial support in Icelandic fisheries in OECD conclusions and recommendations have been in line with the official Icelandic committee s ones, mentioned in chapter 7.5. In the research field both the Icelandic government and MRI consult ICES with further development of the management system Local level The minister of Fisheries and Agriculture must convince all relevant parties that the fishing management system, controlled by the government, fulfills the needs of the fishing industry. The minister puts his decisions and his plans under the judgment of various important organizations such as the Federation of Icelandic Fish Processing Plants 151, the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners 152, SA-Confederation of Icelandic Employers 153, National 145 Report to minister of Fisheries and Agriculture. Reykjavík. Apríl National resource report, Report from an official committee. 11pp The Auditing committee s report, Review on the fisheries management system, Report from an official workgroup The report can be purchased online, but table of contents is available free of charge: Iceland: Inventory on financial support in fisheries Federation of Icelandic Fish Prosessing Plants website: Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners, website: SA-Confederation of Icelandic Employers, website: Report N Revision Page 75 of 200

76 Association of Small Boat Owners 154, different labor Unions and the public. The minister meets with the parties on different occasions, where different opinions can be discussed; annual meetings of the most important associations are favorable for such consultation. Such meetings can play an important role in the policy making and is a good opportunity for the minister to review his plans for the industry. The Parliament, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture and the newly founded Ministry of Internal Affairs (former Ministry of Justice) all play an important role in local consultation processes. The Fisheries ministry has recently established a consultation forum about the official harvest policy. The first task of this new forum is to evaluate the newly adopted harvest rule for cod and assess whether it is reasonable to propose an amendment in case of changing circumstances and stronger fish stock. Another task for the forum is to consider whether it can be recommended to implement utilization policy for saithe and other fish species 155. MRI has a board, where the fishing industry, MRI staff and labor unions have their representatives. MRI also has advisory committee that gives proposals for project selection and the institute s practices 156. MRI holds regular seminars and conferences, where their scientists talk about research findings, the state of different fish stocks and discussing methods for assessing the condition of stocks. These events have shown to be a good platform for the public to confront their speculations or critic. On MRI s website, guests have interactive chance to ask questions and suggestions concerning the activities of the MRI Enforcement and control The Directorate enforces laws and regulations regarding fisheries management, monitoring of fishing activities and imposition of penalties for illegal catches. The Directorate s department of fisheries management controls the fisheries and its fishing inspectors have specific authority and obligations described in 10 th article of 1997 law Nr The fishing inspectors have different tasks in cooperation with officers of other enforcement institutes, ICG, Police and harbor personnel. The department investigates infringements and takes appropriate decisions regarding application of administrative sanctions and/ or complaints to the police. The department communicates and cooperates with the ICG and MRI as well as with foreign governments and international fishery organizations in the fields, such as NEAFC and NAFO National Association of Small Boat Owners, website: Ministers speech in written text, at the annual meeting of the Federation of Icelandic Fish Prosessing Plants, available on the web: Legislation on research in the interests of the businesses since 1965 No Fishing in the exclusive fishing zone Gunnar Hallgrímur Sigurðsson, Fiskveiðistjórnunarkerfi ESB og Íslands, eftirlit með fiskveiðum. 61 pp. Report N Revision Page 76 of 200

77 Figure 7.6 Ægir, one of ICG s patrol vessels (February 2011 Benóný Jónsson) Logbook All captains of Icelandic commercial fishing boats are obligated to hold catch logbooks, in paper with numbered pages and also an electronic one, so-called e-logbook. Logged information are open to MRI for scientific purposes, surveillance purposes for the Directorate and Coast Guard and for other unspecified purposes related to harvest control (regulation 557/2007). Following information must be logged and certified by the captain: 1. Name of vessel, register number and call sign. 2. Fishing gear, type and size. 3. Position of vessel and time when fishing gear are put to sea. 4. Catch quantities and species. 5. Day of the catch. 6. Landing harbor. An e-logbook shall always be onboard during a fishing trip, until landing and weighing of the catch is finished. There are numbers of details regarding the logbooks, that captains are Report N Revision Page 77 of 200

78 instructed to follow, no special e-logbook program is requested (figure 8.6 2), but the one that is used must be recognized by the Directorate. Figure Various types of e-logbooks must be recognized by the Directorate of Fisheries. This screenshot illustrates the possibilities of one of those programs, TrackWell 160, as the fishing company Þorbjörn hf 161 in Grindavík uses. Information from e-logbooks must be sent to the Directorate at least six hours prior to landing and the captain is obligated to document on a daily routine during a fishing trip 162. Any violations to instructions lead to strict penalties Quota The Directorate of Fisheries operates a special computerized catch registration system to collect information on catch of all fishing vessels. All landing ports are connected to the Directorate s database. As soon as the catch has been weighed by authorized Weighmaster, the results are entered into the catch registration system and added to the database. This ensures that the Directorate and the authorities always have real time information and enables the Directorate to deduct from the quota of the relevant fishing vessel. The Directorate operates a dynamic and interactive website, where all stakeholders can monitor the precise quota status of each species, and see the performance of individual vessels, their catch in each fishing trip and the vessels quota status. The information on the website is updated every six hours. 160 TrackWell has been developing VMS and later ERS solutions in close cooperation with Fisheries Authorities and ICG The company has developed useful and informative website Main issues of the Icelandic fisheries management system, Report from the ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available on the web: Report N Revision Page 78 of 200

79 7.6.3 Level of compliance Violations of fisheries regulation are fined by the Directorate if they are intentional or negligent. Serious and deliberate violations can lead to imprisonment of up to 6 years. The Directorate has legal right to impose administrative sanctions, such as revocation of fishing licenses and weighing licenses for certain violations. If a vessel catches in excess of its quota, the Directorate gives the operator concerned an opportunity to correct the quota position of the vessel within a specified time. If not the fishing right of the vessel is suspended until the quota status has been corrected. If the vessels quota status has not been resolved by the end of the fishing year, the Directorate evaluates the illegal catch and fines the vessel owner with the same amount. In 2009 a total of 310 cases were recorded by the Directorate for violations of law and regulations. This was an increase in number of cases from 2008 when 107 cases where recorded. Cases are recorded for different categories (figure 7.6 3). In 2009 most of the cases where concerning violations of weighing and registration regulation and in the new category regarding coastal fishery 163. Figure Number of violations of regulations by category, recorded by tje Directorate in Reporting at sea: VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) Two tracking systems are used in Iceland. One is mandatory for all vessels and is for safety purposes. The other one is for fisheries control purposes. The Icelandic VMS is operated by the ICG, as one of the tasks in an operation centre, the Maritime Traffic Service, which is manned 24 hrs every day of the year (Figure 7.6 4). A total of vessels are monitored by the VMS, 950 anglers ( 10 m), 573 multipurpose (10-80 m) and 85 stern trawlers ( m) 164. Iceland is a member of most international oceanic instruments, such as MARPOL, SOLAS, SAR etc. The operation of the Maritime Traffic Service is detailed in regulation 672/2006, which also implemented directive 2002/59/EC of the EU. All relevant information from the VMS is available online for the Directorate. 163 Directorate s annual report FAO Icelandic VMS programme. Report N Revision Page 79 of 200

80 Figure7.6 2 Chart of the VMS in Iceland 165 (ICG) Inspection at Sea The ICG monitors the waters from sea and from air. The Directorate also operates a special control, sending inspectors on vessels, in fishing trips, to monitor practices and methods. The monitoring is also intended to prevent discards, check facilities and hygiene regarding food production and see if the vessel has licenses in order and to check fishing gear and entries of logbook. The primary challenge of the monitoring is to prevent harmful and illegal fishery, collect information for the MRI and to contribute to improved treatment of the commercial Marine Stocks. In the year 2007 inspectors spent a total of 2050 days onboard processing vessels and other fishing boats 166. The Directorate also operates one boat for close-to-shore inspection and in 2007 inspectors visited a total of 83 boats. The ICG was formally established in 1926, but the need for establishing such an organization in Iceland had been growing since English trawlers began fishing in From , with several extensions of the territorial waters, the Iceland s fishing jurisdiction grew tremendously. With this growing jurisdiction the need for well organized law enforcement became alarming. Today the ICG operates two similar 927 BT patrol vessels, one survey vessel, two helicopters and a long range surveillance aircraft. The official aim has been to keep two patrol vessels at sea at the same time, but since 2008 the ICG has complained that funds only allowed one vessel at sea at a time, which has been the fact. The days of patrolling vessels at sea has reduced from 678 in 2004 to 360 in 2009 (Figure 7.6.5) Information available on the Directorate s website: ICG s brocure available on the web: Report N Revision Page 80 of 200

81 Figure Number of days at sea by ICG patrol vessels in (ICG data, ICG 2010) 168. In 2009 patrol vessels spent a total of 420 hrs in fishing surveillance, 200 hrs with helicopters and 300 hrs with a surveillance aircraft. With fewer days at sea the ICG has deployed the patrol vessels with more accurate measures, such as increased number of vessel inspections, increased number of hours in fishery surveillance and this all has led to annual doubling of observations made on different issues (table 7.6) Law enforcement, hrs Fishery surveillance, hrs Surveillance, nr of vessels/inspections Observations, nr of vessels Equipment, nr of vessels Catch 6 53 Fishing logbook 5 11 Fishing licences 8 8 Fishing gear/seaworthiness 3 9 Crew registration/lack of licences Lack of licenctiate Nr of charged captains 30 9 Rescue activity, hrs Search and Rescue, hrs 23 4 Wave buoys, hrs 4 16 Count of training exercises Table 7.6 Number of ICG patrol vessels tasks in 2008 and 2009 (ICG data, ICG 2010). 168 ICG annual report Report N Revision Page 81 of 200

82 7.6.6 Landing control It is a fundamental principle in the Icelandic fisheries management system that all catch shall be weighed in the landing harbor. Authorized Weighmasters handle all the weighing according to detailed rules of weighing and recording of fish catches. Fish processing plants and Fish markets can, in certain conditions, obtain permission to re-weigh iced fish. Port authorities file each weighing results, immediately after landing, in the GAFL database (figure 7.6.6) controlled by the Directorate of Fisheries and connected to all landing ports. Thus, the Fisheries always have new information on landings and the quota status of every individual fishing vessel and the fleet as a whole. This information is available immediately on the website of the Directorate of Fisheries. It is a principle that the total catch, which comes in the fish gear, is brought to harbor and weighed in the landing. All discard is prohibited and all fishing must be conducted in the manner that fish comes unspoiled from the fishing gear. When filing the catch of processing vessels, catch quotas are calculated according to individual utilizationfactors. Utilization-factors are based on measurements taken aboard the processing ships under certain rules and procedures and at regular intervals. The Directorate audits the utilization factors of individual vessels regularly. Figure GAFL database is connected to all landing harbors in Iceland Distribution and connections of GAFL database. =61 Report N Revision Page 82 of 200

83 8 BACKGROUND TO THE REPORT 8.1 Authors/Reviewers The evaluation has been performed by the following: DNV team: Sandhya Chaudhury (Lead Auditor DNV, Business Assurance): B.Sc., MBA. Sandhya has worked in various MSC Pre-assessment and Full assessments since She has participated in MSC workshops introducing certification methodology for MSC Fisheries and Chain of custody to workshop participants. Sandhya has auditor experience with other quality management standards for seafood and in general since 2002 and seafood industry experience since Independent specialists: Dr Stephen Lockwood. Dr. Stephen Lockwood is an independent marine fishery and environmental consultant. Stephen is Vice chairman of North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee (inshore fishery management body); chairman of Welsh Assembly Government Agri-Food Partnership Fish & Aquaculture Group; and chairman of Welsh Minister s fishing industry consultation group (2004 6). Stephen was also an independent, non-executive director (Wales) of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish; ) and continues to chair the Seafish Skate and Ray consultation group and the Seafish inter-agency Common Language (i.e. liaison) Group for Seafish. From 1986 to 1999 he was Head of the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food laboratory at Conway, which undertook research and development work in the fields of fish and shellfish cultivation, and the environmental effects of fishing. He was responsible for providing advice to MAFF policy divisions, and through them to ministers, across the broad field of coastal zone management and fishery-related nature conservation. Previously he was based at the Fisheries Laboratory (CEFAS) Lowestoft where he led research and provided scientific advice on the conservation of fish stocks and the management of fisheries, including the Western mackerel stock, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay Demersal fisheries, pilchard (Sardina pilchardus) stocks and Western English Channel herring and sprats. He has published on stock assessment, fishery management and coastal development issues. Stephen has participated in numerous MSC assessments both as part of the expert team and as a peer reviewer. Benóný Jónsson is a biology graduate from the University of Iceland and has written numerous publications and reports. Benóný has worked as a fisherman during summers through college years and later on several fishing boats from the south coast of Iceland. Benóný is a biologist and works as a specialist at the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries. Benóný has participated in many research programs involving rivers and lakes in Iceland, e.g. Þjórsá-river, Ölfusá/Hvítá-rivers and lakes like Heiðarvatn, Veiðivötn (The Great Fishing lakes) and lake Thingvallavatn. He is also a specialist in telemetry studies, tagging, aerial-search and invasive species. Benóný has good knowledge of both international and Icelandic fisheries management. In recent years he has been working with experts from Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority in the administration and supervision of marine fisheries and their products. In the course of his work Benóný also has contact with the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture and the Marine Research Institute. Report N Revision Page 83 of 200

84 8.2 Previous certification evaluations The pre-assessment for this fishery was conducted by Global Trust Certification Ltd. In August Harmonisation with overlapping fisheries In order to ensure a workable degree of harmonisation, assessment of IGP Icelandic haddock fishery will be harmonised with results of assessments of overlapping fisheries, if the need for harmonisation should arise at any stage of the assessment process. The list of overlapping fisheries with the current status regarding their certification is presented below. The harmonisation results are documented in enclosure 6 Fishery name Certificate status FAO region Atlantic cod, haddock and wolffish longline, Certified Area 27 Atlantic, handline and Danish seine. Northeast 8.4 Stakeholder consultations Several stakeholders have been identified and contacted in connection with the assessment of the Icelandic haddock Fishery. A full list of all stakeholders is given in enclosure 1. Information was also made publicly available at the following stages of the assessment: Date Information Media Notification of Full assessment Direct /letter Notification on MSC website Notification of Assessment Team Direct Notification on MSC website Confirmation of Assessment Team Direct Notification on MSC website Advertisement of certification + Advertisement on Invitation to contribute to assessment process Advertisement of certification + Advertisement in Fiskifréttir Invitation to contribute to assessment process Announcement of default assessment tree Direct Notification on MSC website Notification of assessment visit and call for meeting requests Direct Notification on MSC website Notification of Proposed Peer Reviewers Direct Notification on MSC website Confirmation of Proposed Peer Reviewers Direct Notification on MSC website Notification of Public Comment Direct Draft Report Notification of Final Report Notification on MSC website Direct Notification on MSC website Report N Revision Page 84 of 200

85 8.5 Field Inspections The following field visits were carried out: Name Affiliation Date Key Issues - Nigel Edwards, Technical Director, Seachill. - Charles Boardman, Seachill - Ingvar Eyfjord, Deputy CEO, Icelandic Group Plc - Hans Àgùst Einarsson, MD, Icelandic Services - Nigel Edwards, Technical Director, Seachill. - Charles Boardman, Seachill - Tinna Molphy, Corporate Communications Director, Icelandic Group Plc -Eirìkur Dagbjartsson, Fishing Fleet Manager -Gunnar Tòmasson, Manager Production and Marketing, Sigurdur Òlafsson -Jòhann Gudmundsson -Brynhildur Benediktsdòttir, Dept of International Affairs -Eypòr Björnsson, Director of Fisheries -Hrefna Gisladòttir, Head of Fisheries Management -Gisli Rùnar Gìslason Head of legal affairs -Helga Sigurròs Valgeirsdòttir, Head of Information -Gylfi Geirsson, Commander SG., Coast Guard -Jòhann Sigurjònsson Director General. -Björn Steinarsson, Advisory Sec. MRI 8.6 Assessment Criteria Initial meeting Icelandic Group PLC Site visit Icelandic Group PLC and fishermen Client (Skippers) Grindavik Skipper Adalbjørg II RE 236 Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries & Coast Guard Marine Research Institute, Planning of full assessment Fishing operations; Status of the stock; By-catch, habitats and ecosystem; Fisheries management; Management system; System of tracing and tracking of fish. Fishing operations; Status of the stock; Bycatch, habitats and ecosystem; Fisheries management; Management system; System of tracing and tracking of fish. Management system review Management system transparency Decision making process Management system review Management system transparency Decision making process Performance of the harvest strategy By-catch, discards and slipping Control, Enforcement and Surveillance Respect for laws; Dispute mechanisms. Status of the stock; Harvest strategy; Target and limit reference points; Information and Monitoring; Assessment methods; Impact of fisheries on ecosystem. The basis for the MSC-certification is the standard denoted as the MSC Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fisheries, organised in three main principles. Principle 1 concentrates on the need to maintain the target stock at a sustainable level; Principle 2 draws attention to maintaining the ecosystem in which the target stock exists, and Principle 3 Report N Revision Page 85 of 200

86 addresses the requirement for an effective fishery management system in order to fulfil Principles 1 and 2. In addition Principle 3 takes into account national and international regulations. The Principles 1-3, with pertaining criteria, are presented below: PRINCIPLE NUMBER 1 A fishery must be conducted in a manner that does not lead to over-fishing or depletion of the exploited populations and, for those populations that are depleted, the fishery must be conducted in a manner that demonstrably leads to their recovery 170 : Intent: The intent of this principle is to ensure that the productive capacities of resources are maintained at high levels and are not sacrificed in favour of short term interests. Thus, exploited populations would be maintained at high levels of abundance designed to retain their productivity, provide margins of safety for error and uncertainty, and restore and retain their capacities for yields over the long term. Criteria: 1. The fishery shall be conducted at catch levels that continually maintain the high productivity of the target population(s) and associated ecological community relative to its potential productivity. 2. Where the exploited populations are depleted, the fishery will be executed such that recovery and rebuilding is allowed to occur to a specified level consistent with the precautionary approach and the ability of the populations to produce long-term potential yields within a specified time frame. 3. Fishing is conducted in a manner that does not alter the age or genetic structure or sex composition to a degree that impairs reproductive capacity. PRINCIPLE NUMBER 2 Fishing operations should allow for the maintenance of the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem (including habitat and associated dependent and ecologically related species) on which the fishery depends. Intent: The intent of this principle is to encourage the management of fisheries from an ecosystem perspective under a system designed to assess and restrain the impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem. Criteria: The fishery is conducted in a way that maintains natural functional relationships among species and should not lead to tropic cascades or ecosystem state changes. The fishery is conducted in a manner that does not threaten biological diversity at the genetic, species or population levels and avoids or minimises mortality of, or injuries to endangered, threatened or protected species. 170 The sequence in which the Principles and Criteria appear does not represent a ranking of their significance, but is rather intended to provide a logical guide to certifiers when assessing a fishery. The criteria by which the MSC Principles will be implemented will be reviewed and revised as appropriate in light of relevant new information, technologies and additional consultations. Report N Revision Page 86 of 200

87 Where exploited populations are depleted, the fishery will be executed such that recovery and rebuilding is allowed to occur to a specified level within specified time frames, consistent with the precautionary approach and considering the ability of the population to produce long-term potential yields. PRINCIPLE NUMBER 3: The fishery is subject to an effective management system that respects local, national and international laws and standards and incorporates institutional and operational frameworks that require use of the resource to be responsible and sustainable. Intent: The intent of this principle is to ensure that there is an institutional and operational framework for implementing Principles 1 and 2, appropriate to the size and scale of the fishery. Part A: Management System Criteria The fishery shall not be conducted under a controversial unilateral exemption to an international agreement. The management system shall: 2. Demonstrate clear long-term objectives consistent with MSC Principles and Criteria and contain a consultative process that is transparent and involves all interested and affected parties so as to consider all relevant information, including local knowledge. The impact of fishery management decisions on all those who depend on the fishery for their livelihoods, including, but not confined to subsistence, artisanal, and fishingdependent communities shall be addressed as part of this process. 3. Be appropriate to the cultural context, scale and intensity of the fishery reflecting specific objectives, incorporating operational criteria, containing procedures for implementation and a process for monitoring and evaluating performance and acting on findings. 4. Observe the legal and customary rights and long term interests of people dependent on fishing for food and livelihood, in a manner consistent with ecological sustainability. 5. Incorporates an appropriate mechanism for the resolution of disputes arising within the system Provide economic and social incentives that contribute to sustainable fishing and shall not operate with subsidies that contribute to unsustainable fishing. 7. Act in a timely and adaptive fashion on the basis of the best available information using a precautionary approach particularly when dealing with scientific uncertainty. 8. Incorporate a research plan appropriate to the scale and intensity of the fishery that addresses the information needs of management and provides for the dissemination of research results to all interested parties in a timely fashion. 9. Require that assessments of the biological status of the resource and impacts of the fishery have been and are periodically conducted. 171 Outstanding disputes of substantial magnitude involving a significant number of interests will normally disqualify a fishery from certification. Report N Revision Page 87 of 200

88 10. Specify measures and strategies that demonstrably control the degree of exploitation of the resource, including, but not limited to: Setting catch levels that will maintain the target population and ecological community s high productivity relative to its potential productivity, and account for the non-target species (or size, age, sex) captured and landed in association with, or as a consequence of, fishing for target species. Identifying appropriate fishing methods that minimise adverse impacts on habitat, especially in critical or sensitive zones such as spawning and nursery areas. Providing for the recovery and rebuilding of depleted fish populations to specified levels within specified time frames. Mechanisms in place to limit or close fisheries when designated catch limits are reached. Establishing no-take zones where appropriate. 11. Contains appropriate procedures for effective compliance, monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement which ensure that established limits to exploitation are not exceeded and specifies corrective actions to be taken in the event that they are. Part B: Operational Criteria Fishing operation shall: 12. Make use of fishing gear and practices designed to avoid the capture of non-target species (and non-target size, age, and/or sex of the target species); minimise mortality of this catch where it cannot be avoided, and reduce discards of what cannot be released alive. 13. Implement appropriate fishing methods designed to minimise adverse impacts on habitat, especially in critical or sensitive zones such as spawning and nursery areas. 14. Not use destructive fishing practices such as fishing with poisons or explosives. 15. Minimise operational waste such as lost fishing gear, oil spills, on-board spoilage of catch, etc. 16. Be conducted in compliance with the fishery management system and all legal and administrative requirements. 17. Assist and co-operate with management authorities in the collection of catch, discard, and other information of importance to effective management of the resources and the fishery. The MSC Principles and Criteria presented above set the requirements for the fishery that undergoes certification. MSC s certification methodology is based on a structured hierarchy of Sub-criteria and Performance indicators. The overall performance is decided on the basis of the scoring criteria that the fishery gets during assessment. These sub-criteria and performance indicators have been developed by the MSC in the form of a default assessment tree. When a fishery is evaluated the performance indicators (normally specific statements or questions) are checked out, and each performance indicator has three different scoring guideposts that can be defined. MSC characterises these scoring points as follows: Report N Revision Page 88 of 200

89 Perfect practice, representing the level of performance that would be expected in a theoretically perfect fishery (100 points). Exemplary or best practice (80 points). Minimum sustainable practice (60 points). An overview of the assessment methodology is given in Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Assessment Methodology and Guidance to Certification Bodies. This guidance illustrates how the MSC Principles and Criteria give a basis for sub-criteria and performance indicators defined by DNV, resulting in various scores for the fishery. Figure 8.6 Assessment tree levels relevant to scoring for MSC 8.7 Evaluation Techniques Site visits to the fishery are performed by the certification body (here DNV) and the assessment team and consultations are done with interested stakeholders. The performance indicators and the pertaining scoring systems are evaluated, and it is judged if the fishery meets the requirements for MSC certification. In order to fulfil the requirements for certification the following minimum scores are required: The fishery must obtain a score of 80 or more for each of the three MSC Principles, based on the weighted aggregate scores for all Performance Indicators under each Criterion in each Principle. The fishery must obtain a score of 60 or more for each Performance Indicator under each Criterion in each Principle. Even though a fishery fulfils the criteria for certification, there may still be some important potential risks to future sustainability that are revealed during assessment. These are performance indicators that score less than 80, but more than 60. In order to be granted a MSC fishery certificate the client must agree to do some further improvements regarding these points. The certification body (here DNV) sets a timescale for the fishery to improve the relevant areas, so that the certification process can continue. Default performance indicators and the scorings allocated in the evaluation are enclosed. Report N Revision Page 89 of 200

90 8.8 Limit of Identification of Landings from the Fishery The Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries certification standard requires the evaluation of various aspects relating to traceability. Traceability within the fishery; at-sea processing; at the point of landing; and thereafter the eligibility of product to enter the chain of custody are vital elements in the traceability of the product from the sea to the consumer. The extent of the fishery certification is as identified in Section 2.1 above. The limit of identification of landings is the landing of North Atlantic haddock, Melangrammus aeglefinus, caught within the 200 mile Icelandic exclusive economic zone by Icelandic vessels at recognized ports as mentioned below, where appropriate recording and monitoring of landings take place Traceability Traceability up to the point of first landing has been evaluated as part of this assessment and the results reflect that the systems in place is deemed adequate to ensure fish is caught in a legal manner and is accurately recorded. Traceability of fishing activity within this fishery is provided by the statutory requirements to record all fishing in logbooks and through monitoring of vessel activity by fisheries enforcement bodies and satellite monitoring equipment (VMS). Traceability at sea can be verified by: no transshipment; geographically restricted fishery enabling concentrated inspection effort; accurate reporting log books and sales notes (regularly inspected and cross checked), verified landings data are used for official monitoring of quota up take and national statistics; a high level and sophisticated system of at sea monitoring, control and surveillance; close cooperation between regulatory and enforcement authorities All landings are recorded and reported. Every fishing boat must report their catch, species and area where caught. All of the catch is weighed on shore by licensed weighting bodies and landing data is recorded. The receivers/processors are responsible for properly filling out landing slips. Dockside sampling is also conducted thereby further monitoring product origin throughout Processing at sea The majority of Icelandic vessels (approx. 60%) land their catches gutted and chilled on ice. The larger factory trawlers operating offshore, fillet and freeze haddock at sea, where heads and carcasses are often frozen and directed for export. Thus, haddock is mainly landed in the following product categories: - Fresh HOG (Head on gutted); - Fresh H&G ( Headed and gutted); - Frozen HOG; - Frozen H&G - Frozen Fillet. Report N Revision Page 90 of 200

91 Listed above product categories are covered by this assessment and can enter further Chain of Custody. Other forms of products, which are not easy to identify like fishmeal, roe, by-catch species, heads and carcasses are not covered by this assessment and are not eligible to carry the MSC logo. Figure Onboard of one of Iceland s processing vessels First point of landing The first points of landing within the scope of this certification are fish auctions and processing facilities in Iceland and England. The processing facilities maybe: - Icelandic Group plc subsidiary or certificate sharing partner - land processor/ subcontractor; chill/cold store or sales to 3rd country market First Point of Sale The first point of sale for this fishery is identified as factories/processing houses or auctions at the above mentioned points of landing. Fish sold at auction may arrive at first point of sale directly from the vessel or container vesse Eligibility to enter Chain of Custody Fish is sold through auction or directly to the processor. Chain of Custody should commence following sale at first point of landing. Regardless of which sales route is used, all products are recorded as described above. Chain of custody will therefore commence following the sale at point of landing (auction or processing plant) Eligibility to carry MSC logo Under this certification, Icelandic haddock, caught by Icelandic registered and licensed vessels within Icelandic EEZ (ICES area Va), landed in Iceland or England, irrespective of Report N Revision Page 91 of 200

92 product form (e.g. frozen, chilled, fillet) and sold only through Icelandic Group or authenticated certificate sharers is eligible to carry MSC logo and be marketed to the end consumer as MSC certified. MSC logo shall not be applied on products which were not sold through Icelandic Group or authenticated certificate sharers, as the scope of this certification covers IGP haddock only. However, in order to allow Icelandic haddock, sold through other channels, be eligible to carry MSC logo, Icelandic Group is willing to share its haddock certificate with all interested, eligible parties. Certificate sharers may be, but are not limited to: - Organization that may sell fish from defined vessels and produced in a defined factory - Organization that may sell fish from IG plc fishery certificate into defined markets - Organization that may sell fish from IG plc fishery certificate processed in a defined factory to one (or more) particular customer Please refer to Enclosure 7: Certificate sharing for more details. Information on companies entered into certificate sharing agreement with Icelandic Group and on products eligible to carry MSC logo will be made publicly available on As per today, Icelandic IGP haddock, irrespective of product form, sold only through Icelandic Group is eligible to carry MSC logo. Figure 8.8.6: CoC flow chart for IGP haddock from the first point of landing till the final consumer. Report N Revision Page 92 of 200

93 8.8.7 The target eligibility date The target eligibility date for products from the fishery (as and when certified) to bear the MSC label is confirmed as 15th March Evaluation results Tables showing the relevant indicators and scoring guideposts for the assessment are found in enclosure 4. Observations, weighting applied and scores are presented together with references to the sources of information. The performance of the Icelandic haddock Fishery in relation to the MSC Principles 1, 2 and 3 is summarized as follows: MSC Principle: Principle 1: Sustainability and Exploited stock Principle 2: Maintenance and Ecosystem Principle 3: Effective Management System Performance: Score: 85.6 PASS Score: 90.7 PASS Score: 97 PASS The fishery achieved a score of 80 or more for each of the three MSC Principles, and did not score under 60 for any of the set MSC Criteria. The assessment team has therefore reached the following determination: It is recommended that the Icelandic haddock fisheries for the client group Icelandic Group PLC is certified according to the Marine Stewardship Council Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fisheries. 8.9 Scope of certification This assessment relates only to the fishery defined in Section 2.1 up to the point of landing as defined in Section Monitoring and control of fishing locations and methods is considered sufficient to ensure fish and fish products invoiced as such by the fishery originate from within the evaluated fishery. Accordingly, the assessment team recommends a fishery certificate Conditions associated with this certification Conditions: The fishery attained a score of 80 or more against each of the three MSC Principles, but a score of below 80 against two Scoring Indicators. The assessment team has therefore set a condition for continuing certification that the client is required to address. The condition is applicable to improve performance to at least the 80 level within a period set by DNV but no longer than the term of the certification. Condition 1 PI CATEGORY : PI: The stock is at a level which maintains high productivity and has a low probability of recruitment overfishing. SG: 80 Report N Revision Page 93 of 200

94 ASSESSMENT TEAM FINDINGS: Because of its erratic recruitment characteristics it is questionable whether a stock reference point is realistic. The stock has exceeded its long term average for the past decade. In recent years the fishery has fluctuated around its target (fishing mortality rate: pre2007 Fpa) reference point but has been higher than the current reference point of F = PI CATEGORY : PI: There is a robust and precautionary harvest strategy in place SG: 80 ASSESSMENT TEAM FINDINGS: The Icelandic haddock fishery is similar in scale to the cod fishery and larger than the saithe fishery, both of which already have clearly formulated and flexible harvest control rules. As the biological sampling and data gathering regimes do not differ significantly among the three species, it is not immediately apparent why a comparable HCR should not be developed and applied to the haddock fishery. ACTION: The client is required to provide documentary evidence that they support MRI in developing a long-term HCR and that such support includes support for and compliance with associated management measures. TIMESCALE: 6 months from the date of certification RECOMMENDATION: Recommendation : The client should investigate potential opportunities for collaboration with MRI that might contribute to the early definition of biological reference points for ling, Molva molva and Atlantic Catfish Anarhichas lupus. Recommendation 2.3.1: As Iceland is a signatory to various international conservation conventions it is recommended that all vessels be required to return live common skate, Dipturus batis to the sea as soon as practically possible after capture. Recommendation 2.2 & 2.3: Skippers of all vessels in the client fleet should be required to record all bycatch and ETP species (ie. turtles, birds, marine mammals,etc.) caught, irrespective of whether they are landed or not. Recommendation 2.4: Skippers should also be required to avoid fishing within the vicinity of any biogenic reef (eg. Cold water coral, Lophelia), irrespective of whether such reefs already fall within a closed or protected area. Recommendation 2.4.3: The client should produce evidence that they are supporting the MRI habitat mapping programme, not least by skippers providing MRI with seabed habitat distribution data. Report N Revision Page 94 of 200

95 9 PEER REVIEW The reports from the peer reviewers are given in enclosure 3. Report N Revision Page 95 of 200

96 10 STAKEHOLDER COMMENTS Report N Revision Page 96 of 200

97 11 OBJECTION PROCESS Report N Revision Page 97 of 200

98 12 FORMAL CONCLUSION AGREEMENT Report N Revision Page 98 of 200

99 INFORMATION SOURCES Information used in the main assessment has been obtained from interviews and correspondence with stakeholders in the fisheries, notably: 1. Icelandic Group PLC 2. Client (Skippers) - Grindavik 3. Skipper Adalbjørg II RE Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture 5. Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries 6. Coast Guard, Iceland 7. Marine Research Institute REFERENCES 1. A special institute, monitoring fish prices and promoting proper and lawful returns to vessels crew, its website: 2. ACE, 2002 Identification of areas where cold-water corals may be affected by fishing. ICES Advisocry Committee for Environment Advice to EC-DG Fish ACOM cod, ICES Advice Book 2: Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland Cod in Division Va (Icelandic cod) 4. ACOM, 2010cod. ICES Advice Book 2: Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland Icelandic request on evaluation of Icelandic cod management plan. anagement%20plan.pdf 5. ACOM Balt, Advice Book 8: Ecoregion Baltic Cod in Subdivision ACOMhad, Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland: Haddock in Division Va. ICES Advice Book 2, ACOM NS, ICES Advice Book 6: Ecoregion North Sea Cod in Subarea IV (North Sea), Division VIId (Eastern Channel), and IIIa West (Skagerrak) ACOMNSSH, Advice Ecoregion: Widely distributed and migratory stocks. Herring in the North-East Atlantic (Norwegian spring-spawning herring). ICES ACOM Advice Book ACOMsaithe, Ecoregion Iceland and East Greenland: Saithe in Division Va. ICES Advice Book 2, Act Nr 43 since 1985, tells how fishprices shall be decided All Icelandic law are available on the Paliaments website, Björnsson, H, Sólmundsson, J., Kristinsson, K., Steinarsson, B. Æ., Hjörleifsson, E., Jónsson, E., Pálsson, J., K. Pálsson, Ó. K., Bogason, V. & Sigurðsson, Þ., Stofnmæling botnfiska á Íslandsmiðum (SMB) og Stofnmæling botnfiska að haustlagi (SMH) Undirbúningur, framkvæmd og helstu niðurstöður. Hafrannsóknastofnunin. Fjölrit 131. (English abstract) Camhi, M., Fowler, S.L., Musick, J.A., Bräutigam, A. and Fordham, S.V. (1998) Sharks and their Relatives Ecology and 14. Cheung, W.W.L., Pitcher, T.J. & Pauly, D A fuzzy logic expert system to estimate intrinsic extinction vulnerabilities of marine fishes to fishing. Biol. Conserv. 124: Conservation. IUCN/SSC Shark Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. 16. Directorate s annual report Elena Guijarro Garcia, E.G.,Ragnarsson, S.A., Steingrímsson,S.A., Nævestad, D., Haraldsson, H.P., Fosså, J.H., Tendal, O.S.& Eiríksson, H Bottom Trawling and Scallop Dredging in the Arctic Report N Revision Page 99 of 200

100 Impacts of fishing on non-target species, vulnerable habitats and cultural heritage. TemaNord: Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen 18. FAO Icelandic VMS programme FAOstats, Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics FAO Yearbook FAOTP, State of exploitation and annual nominal catches of selected species. In: Review of the World Marine Fishery Resources. FAO Technical Paper 457. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5852e/y5852e23.pdf 21. Federation of Icelandic Fish Prosessing Plants website: Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners, website: Fishing in the exclusive fishing zone Fosså, J.H., Mortensen, P.B. and Furevik, D.M., The deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa in Norwegian waters: distribution and fishery impacts. Hydrobiologia 471, FRAG, Marine fisheries stock assessment and evaluation for Japanese waters (Digest for fiscal year 2004). Fisheries Agency and Fisheries Research Agency of Japan Galbraith, R.D. & Rice, A; after Strange, E. S, (2004). An Introduction to Commercial Fishing Gear and Methods Used in Scotland. Scottish Fisheries Information Pamphlet 25. Aberdeen, Fisheries Research Services Gunnar Hallgrímur Sigurðsson, Fiskveiðistjórnunarkerfi ESB og Íslands, eftirlit með fiskveiðum. 61 pp. með_fiskveiðum_.pdf 28. Hall, S.J The effects of fishing on marine ecosystems and communities. Oxford: Blackwell Science. 29. Hall-Spencer, J. M. & Stehfest, K. M Background Document for Lophelia pertusa reefs. OSPAR; London Hall-Spencer, J.M. & Stehfest, Kilian., 2009 Assessment of Lophelia pertusa reefs in the OSPAR area. JNCC, Peterborough, UK. %20UK_Lophelia.pdf. 31. Hill, J., Pearce, B., Georgiou, L., Pinnion, J. & Gallyot, J Meeting the MPA Network Principle of Viability: Feature specific recommendations for species and habitats of conservation importance. Natural England Commissioned Reports 43. Peterborough; Natural England Iceland: Inventory on financial support in fisheries ICG annual report ICG s brocure available on the web: Information available on the Directorate s website: Kristjansson, J Fisheries management in Iceland, ITQ's, results and effects. Polish Fisheries Roundtable, Gdynia Kurlansky, M Cod: a biography of the fish that changed the world. New York; Walker & Co. 41. Legislation on research in the interests of the businesses since 1965 No Main issues of the Icelandic fisheries management system, Report from the ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available on the web: MAST, Parasite detected in Icelandic herring. Matvælastofun the Icelandic Food & Veterinary Authority. Press release 8/ df 44. Ministers speech in written text, at the annual meeting of the Federation of Icelandic Fish Prosessing Plants, available on the web: Mortensen, P. B., Hovland, M.T., Fosså, J. H. & Metvik, D. M Distribution, abundance and size of Lophelia pertusa coral reefs in mid-norway in relation to seabed characteristics. J Marine Biological Association UK 81,: Report N Revision Page 100 of 200

101 46. MRIenv, Þættir úr vistfræði sjávar Hafrannsóknir 145. Environmental conditions in Icelandic waters Marine Research in Iceland 145. (In Icelandic with English abstracts, table and figure legends.) National Association of Small Boat Owners, website: National resource report, Report from an official committee. 11pp NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement. Available in english language on website: Norwegian Spring Spawning herring (Claupea harengus L.) NWWG, Report of the North-Western Working Group. ICES CM 2010/ACOM: NWWG, Report of the North-Western Working Group. ICES CM 2011/ACOM: Ólafsdóttir, LÍFRÍKI Á KALDSJÁVARKÓRALSVÆÐUM VIÐ ÍSLAND Hafrannsóknir nr. 145: Species diversity and associated fauna composition of cold-water corals in Icelandic waters. Marine Research in Iceland 145: (In Icelandic with English abstract, figure and table legends.) OSPAR, Background document for harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena. Biodiversity Series 420/2009. OSPAR Commission Pacific saury stock summary in Japanese with hints in English Pálsson, Ó. K., Valdimarsson, H., Ólafsdóttir, S.R., Guðfinnsson, H.G., Gíslason, Á., Pétursdóttir, H. & Sveinbjörnsson, S RANNSÓKNIR Á VISTKERFI ÍSLANDSHAFS OG VISTFRÆÐI LOÐNU AÐ SUMARLAGI. Hafrannsóknir 145: Ecosystem properties of the Icelandic Sea and capelin ecology during summer. Marine Research in Iceland 145: (In Icelandic with English abstract, figure and table legends Pálsson, O.K., Ari Arason, A., Björnsson, E., Jóhannesson, G., Björnsson, H. & Ottesen, Þ Discards in demersal Icelandic fisheries Marine Research Institute, report series no Pálsson, O. K. (1983). The feeding habits of demersal fish species in Icelandic waters. Rit fiskideildar 7 (1), Pálsson, O.K., Björnsson, H., Arason, A., Björnsson, E., Jóhannesson, G. & Ottesen, Þ Discards in demersal Icelandic fisheries Marine Research in Iceland 147. (in Icelandic with English abstract). 60. Ragnarsson, S. A., & Þórarinsdóttir, G. G Abundance of ocean quahog, Arctica islandica, assessed by underwater photography and a hydraulic dredge. Journal of Shellfish Research 21, Reg. 456, REGLUGERÐ um fuglaveiðar og nýtingu hlunninda af villtum fuglum, nr. 456/1994. Regulation on bird hunting and utilization of wild birds, nr. 456/ Reg., Act no. 55/1998 on the treatment, processing and distribution of seafood and Regulation no. 233/1999 on health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of fishery products. 63. Reglugerd Nr 115 um þorskfisknet. 13 February Regulation of the Icelandic Cabinet Report to minister of Fisheries and Agriculture. Reykjavík. Apríl Review on the fisheries management system, Report from an official workgroup Ridgway, I. & Richardson, c Arctica islandica: the longest lived non-colonial animal known to science. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. doi: /s Rodhouse, P.G., World squid resources. In: Review of the World Marine Fishery Resources. FAO Technical Paper 457. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/y5852e/y5852e19.pdf 69. SA-Confederation of Icelandic Employers, website: SGBYC, Report of the Study Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (SGBYC). ICES CM 2010/ACOM: Stefánsson, G., Sigurjónsson, J., & Víkingsson, G. A. (1997). On dynamic interactions between some fish resources and cetaceans off Iceland based on a simulation model. Journal Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Science 22, Sigurjónsson, J., & Víkingsson, G. A. (1997). Seasonal abundance of and estimated food consumption by cetaceans in Icelandic and adjacent waters. J. Northwest Atl. Fish. Sci. 22, Report N Revision Page 101 of 200

102 73. Steingrimsson, S.A. and S.T. Einarsson Kóralsvæði á Íslandsmiðum: Mat á ástandi og tillaga um aðgerðir til verndar þeim (Coral grounds off Iceland: assessment of their staturs and proposal for mitigation measurements). Hafrannsoknastofnunin Fjolrit 110, 39 p. (In Icelandic, English summary). 74. Summary of the history of foreign affairs service Taylor, L. & Stefansson, G Gadget models of cod-capelin-shrimp interactions in Icelandic waters Theme Session on Modelling Marine Ecosystems and the Exploitation. ICES CM 2004/FF: The Auditing committee s report, The company has developed useful and informative website The report can be purchased online, but table of contents is available free of charge: Þórarinsdóttir, G.G., Einarsson,H. A., Ólafsdóttir, S.H. & Ragnarsson, S. Á The impact of a flydragging fishery on the bottom community in Skagafjörður. Marine Research in Iceland 151. (In Icelandic, with English abstract, figure and table legends). 80. Tian Y, Akamine T, Suda M., Variations in the abundance of Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) from the northwestern Pacific in relation to oceanic-climate changes. Fisheries Research 60, TrackWell has been developing VMS and later ERS solutions in close cooperation with Fisheries Authorities and ICG WGDEEP, Report of the Working Group on the Biology and Assessment of Deep-sea Fisheries Resources (WGDEEP): 7 Task (Brosme brosme). Available at: WGECO, Study Group on Mapping Occurrence of Cold Water Corals. ICES CM 2002/ACE:05. Ref: E, WGECO WGMG, Report of the Working Group on Methods of Fish Stock Assessments (WGMG). ICES CM 2010/SSGSUE: WGSE, Report of the Working Group on Seabird Ecology (WGSE). SCICOM Steering Group on Ecosystem Functions. ICES CM 2010/SSGEF:10; REF. SSGEF, SCICOM WKPRECISE, Report of the Workshop on methods to evaluate and estimate the precision of fisheries data used for assessment (WKPRECISE). ICES CM 2009/ACOM:40 REF. PGCCDBS Report N Revision Page 102 of 200

103 ENCLOSURE 1: Overview of identified stakeholders and their main interests in the IGP Icelandic haddock fishery Stakeholders Date of establishment Geographical Coverage Activities Homepage Client: Icelandic Group PLC Borgartun Reykjavik Iceland America, Europe, Asia Icelandic Group is an international company with a rich history that spans seventy years in Icelandic Fisheries. It is a network of independent manufacturers and marketing companies, each operating in own markets in America, Europe and Asia. The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture Skulagata 4, 150 Reykjavík Iceland Tlf: Fax: slr.stjr.is 2007 Iceland The Ministry is responsible for Fisheries, Research, conservation and utilization of fish stocks, other living marine resources of the ocean and the seabed and management of areas where these resources can be harvested. The management of the Ministry of Fisheries is in the hands of the Permanent secretary is/ Report N Revision Page 103 of 200

104 The Icelandic Coast Guard Skogarhlid 14, IS-105 Reykjavik. Kennitala Tel.: FAX.: Directorate of Fisheries Dalshrauni Hafnarfjordur Phone: Fax: Iceland The Icelandic Coast Guard carries out general law enforcement duties on the ocean, including fisheries control, national security operations, border control in connection with the Schengen agreement, and marine pollution monitoring and control within the jurisdiction. General law enforcement on the ocean includes, above anything else, the patrolling and inspection of vessels at sea. The Directorate of Fisheries is an Icelandic Government institution under the ultimate responsibility of the Minister of Fisheries. The Directorate is responsible for implementing government policy on fisheries management and handling of seafood products. The Directorate enforces laws and regulations regarding fisheries management, monitoring of fishing activities and imposition of penalties for illegal catches. Collection, processing and publication of fisheries data is also the responsibility of the Directorate of Fisheries in collaboration with Statistics Iceland. hp Report N Revision Page 104 of 200

105 Ministry for the Environment Umhverfisráðuneytið Skuggasund 1 IS-150 Reykjavik Iceland Tel Fax The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) Aðalskrifstofa Austurvegur Selfoss Tlf: Fax: The Icelandic Ministry for the Environment formulates and enforces the Icelandic government policy for environmental affairs. The ministry supervises the affairs pertaining to nature in Iceland, conservation and outdoor recreation, the protection of animals, wildlife management, pollution prevention, hygiene, planning and building matters, fire prevention, weather forecasting and avalanche-protection, surveying and cartography, forestry and soil conservation, environmental monitoring and surveillance. The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority s role is to promote plant health, the health and welfare of animals and the safety and quality of food by enforcing legislation and providing education and services to consumers, to business and to the fisheries and agricultural sectors. World Wide Fund for Nature 1961 Global Fishery - To promote sustainability of fisheries Report N Revision Page 105 of 200

106 European Commission Fisheries ICES NSRAC v.uk Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs (Norway) The Pelagic Regional Advisory Council Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) 1902 North Atlantic Fishery 2004 North Sea (EU) Fishery Norwegian fishery The European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries manages the two policy areas of integrated maritime policy & common fisheries policy (CFP). -Sustainable use of living marine resources and protection of marine environment. -To work towards integrated and sustainable management of fisheries in the wide context of the marine environment. Responsible for the fisheries and aquaculture industries, seafood safety and fish health and welfare, harbours and sea transport 2005 EU Fishery -To insure integrated and sustainable management of pelagic fisheries based on the ecosystem approach and precautionary principle. Conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the North East Atlantic p/fkd.html Report N Revision Page 106 of 200

107 ENCLOSURE 2: CLIENT ACTION PLAN Report N Revision Page 107 of 200

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