Sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Divisions VIIIa,b (Bay of Biscay North and Central)

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1 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast Ecoregion Published 30 June 2015 Version 2, 25 August Sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Divisions VIIIa,b (Bay of Biscay North and Central) ICES stock advice ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, commercial catches should be no more than 2634 tonnes in each of the years 2016 and All commercial catches are assumed to be landed. Recreational catches cannot be quantified; therefore, total catches cannot be calculated. Stock development over time The biomass index shows an increasing trend since the mid-2000s. Commercial landings have been relatively stable over the time series. Figure Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. Left panel: Commercial landings (tonnes) (commercial discards are thought to be negligible and recreational catches are unknown). Right panel: Biomass Index (kg/day) derived from French log book analysis (all gear all statistical rectangle). The horizontal lines represent the average index values for the respective time period. Stock and exploitation status Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. State of the stock and fishery relative to reference points. Fishing pressure Stock size Maximum Sustainable Yield F MSY Undefined MSY B trigger Undefined Precautionary approach F pa, F lim Undefined B pa, B lim Undefined Management Plan F MGT Not applicable SSB MGT Not applicable Qualitative evaluation - Unknown - Increasing Catch options The ICES framework for category 3 stocks was applied (ICES, 2012a). The French lpue was applied as the index of stock biomass. The advice is based on a comparison of the two latest index values (index A) with the three preceding values (index B), multiplied by the recent average landings. The index is estimated to have increased by more than 20% and thus the uncertainty cap was applied. The stock status relative to candidate reference points is unknown. Therefore, the precautionary buffer was applied to the advice. Commercial discarding is considered to be negligible. Recreational catch is unknown. ICES Advice 2015, Book 7 1

2 Published 30 June 2015 Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. For stocks in ICES data categories 3-6, one catch option is possible. Index A ( ) 1.57 kg/day Index B ( ) 1.23 kg/day Index ratio (A/B) 1.27 Uncertainty cap Applied 1.2 Average commercial landings ( ) 2743 tonnes Discard rate Negligible Precautionary buffer Applied 0.8 Commercial catch advice* 2634 tonnes * (recent average commercial landings x cap x buffer) Basis of the advice Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. The basis of the advice. Advice basis Precautionary approach Management plan There is no management plan known for sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in this area. Quality of the assessment Recreational fisheries are likely to contribute substantially to fishery removals in some areas. Time-series of catches, releases, and size/age composition are needed from this component of the fishery to improve the assessment and advice. Stock structure remains poorly known and further studies (including tagging, genetics, or other types of markers) are needed. Accurate estimates of growth parameters and a stock index are needed to facilitate the development of an analytical assessment. Issues relevant for the advice Commercial landings are available for the assessment, which have been relatively stable over the last decade. Recreational fisheries are thought to be significant but these are not quantified and, therefore, the advice only applies to the commercial fishery. Reference points No reference points are defined for this stock. Basis of the assessment Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. The basis of the assessment. ICES stock data category (ICES, 2015a) Assessment type Survey trends-based assessment (ICES, 2015b) Input data Commercial landings, one abundance index (standardized French LPUE) Discards and bycatch Commercial discards are unknown, but considered to be negligible. Indicators None Other information Benchmarked in IBPNEW 2012 (ICES, 2012b). Working group report Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Waters Ecoregion (WGBIE) 2 ICES Advice 2015, Book 7

3 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Published 30 June 2015 Information from stakeholders There is no available information. History of advice, catch and management Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. History of ICES advice, the agreed TAC, and ICES estimates of landings. All weights are in tonnes. Predicted catch Year ICES Advice corresponding to advice Agreed TAC Official landings ** ICES landings 2000* - - none * - - none * No increase in effort or F - none * No increase in effort or F - none * No increase in effort or F - none * - - none * - - none * - - none * - - none * - - none * - - none * - - none * No increase in catch - none * 20% reduction in catches (last 3-year average) < 6000^^ none % reduction in catches (last 3-year average) ^ < Same advice as last year^ < Precautionary approach < Precautionary approach < 2634 * The advice for 2014 is the first time that ICES has provided specific advice for sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. Prior to the 2014 advice, ICES advice was provided for European sea bass in the Northeast Atlantic. ** Official landings were extracted from the ICES Official Statistics webpage for BSS and Divisions VIIIa and VIIIb. The difference between Official and ICES landings values are mainly due to the French landing data that come from a separate analysis of logbooks, auctions, and VMS data from 2000 onwards. From 2011 onwards, data from this method are reported as official landings. ^ Advice for sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. ^^ Version 2: Value corrected. History of catch and landings Table Total catch (2014) 2991 t Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. Catch distribution by fleet in 2014 as estimated by ICES. 38% Nets 27% Lines 19% Bottom trawl Commercial landings 7% Pelagic trawl 2991 t 5% Danish seine 4% Others 1% Purse seine Commercial discards Unknown, considered to be negligible Recreational catch Unknown ICES Advice 2015, Book 7 3

4 Published 30 June 2015 Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. History of commercial catch and landings, both official and ICES estimated values are presented by area for each country participating in the fishery. Official landings* ICES estimates Year France Spain Total ICES estimated Belgium France Spain Netherlands United Kingdom Total ** landings # * Official landings were extracted from the ICES Official Statistics webpage for sea bass (BSS) for the ICES Divisions VIIIa and VIIIb. ** French ICES landing data come from a separate analysis of logbook, auction, and VMS data from 2000 onwards. From 2011 onwards, data from this method are reported as official landings. # The total ICES estimated landings is equivalent to the official data from Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom with the ICES estimated landings from France. See ** footnote for further information on the French data. Summary of the assessment Table Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. Sea bass in Divisions VIIIa,b. Assessment summary. The biomass Index (all annual indices are expressed as a ratio, using the geometric mean over years 2006 and 2007 as the denominator). Year Biomass Index (kg/day) ICES estimated landings (tonnes) ICES Advice 2015, Book 7

5 ICES Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort Published 30 June 2015 Sources and references ICES. 2012a. ICES Implementation of Advice for Data-limited Stocks in 2012 in its 2012 Advice. ICES CM 2012/ACOM: pp. ICES. 2012b. Report of the Inter-Benchmark Protocol on New Species (Turbot and Sea bass; IBPNEW 2012), 1 5 October 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2012/ACOM: pp. ICES. 2015a. Report of the Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Waters Ecoregion (WGBIE), 6 12 May 2015, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2015/ACOM:11. ICES. 2015b. Advice basis. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, ICES Advice 2015, Book 1. In preparation. ICES Advice 2015, Book 7 5

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