Surveillance Visit Report for the Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery

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1 SURVEILLANCE NO. 2 Surveillance Visit Report for the Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery Norges Fiskarlag Report No.: , Rev. 0 Certificate No.: F-DNV Date:

2 Surveillance audit No.: Surveillance No. 2 Report title: Surveillance Visit Report for the Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery Customer: Norges Fiskarlag Pirsenteret, 7462 Trondheim, Norway Contact person: Tor Bjørklund Larsen Date of issue: Project No.: PRJC MSC-NOR Organisation unit: ZNONO418 Report No.: , Rev. 0 Certificate No: F-DNV DNV GL - Business Assurance DNV GL Business Assurance Norway AS Veritasveien HØVIK, Norway Tel: Task and objective: The objective of this report is the second surveillance audit of the Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery. Prepared by: John Nichols MSC Fishery Team Leader and Principle expert Guro Meldre Pedersen DNV GL Project manager and Chain of Custody responsible Unrestricted distribution (internal and external) Keywords: Unrestricted distribution within DNV GL MSC Fisheries, Norway, surveillance, saithe, Limited distribution within DNV GL after 3 years Pollachius virens No distribution (confidential) Secret Reference to part of this report which may lead to misinterpretation is not permissible. Rev. No. Date Reason for Issue Prepared by First issue John Nichols and Guro Meldre Pedersen

3 Table of contents ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS... 1 STOCK ASSESSMENT REFERENCE POINTS GENERAL INFORMATION The Unit of Certification General background about the fishery Name and contact information for the certified fishery 4 2 THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS Summary of the original assessment Surveillance level First annual surveillance, Second annual surveillance, GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND ANNUAL REVIEW Stock Status Impact on the ecosystem Changes to the management system 12 4 CHAIN OF CUSTODY CONSIDERATIONS RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Status of previously raised conditions Status of previously raised recommendations New conditions and recommendations Status of the Certification 18 6 CATCH DATA REFERENCES APPENDIX 1 CLIENT SUBMISSION APPENDIX 2 LIST OF MEMBER VESSELS DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page i

4 ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS ACOM (ICES) Advisory Committee AFWG ASCOBANS CPUE CRISP DoF ETP FAM HCR ICES IMR MFCA MITF MP MSC MSY NAMMCO NE NEA NFVOA NINA PI RL SAM SSB TAC UoC VMS VPA WGBYA WGMME WGSE XSA (ICES) Arctic Fisheries Working Group Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the North Sea Catch per unit of effort Centre for Research-based Innovation in Sustainable fish capture and Pre-processing technology (IMR, Bergen) Directorate of Fisheries Endangered, threatened and protected species Fisheries Assessment Methodology Harvest Control Rule International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Institute for Marine Research (Havforskninsinstituttet), Norway Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries Management plan Marine Stewardship Council Maximum sustainable yield North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission North East North East Arctic Norwegian Fishing Vessels Owners Association Norsk institutt for naturforskning / The Norwegian nature conservation agency Performance Indicator Red list State space assessment model Spawning Stock Biomass Total allowable catch Unit of certification Vessel monitoring system Virtual population analysis (ICES) Working Group on Bycatch of Protected Species (ICES) Working Group on Marine Mammal Ecology (ICES) Working Group on Seabird Ecology Extended survivorship analysis DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 1

5 STOCK ASSESSMENT REFERENCE POINTS B lim B msy B pa F F lim F max F msy F pa MSY MSY B trigger Minimum biomass below which recruitment is expected to be impaired or the stock dynamics are unknown. Biomass corresponding to the maximum sustainable yield (biological reference point); the peak 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 Blim. Instantaneous rate of fishing mortality Exploitation rate that is expected to be associated with stock collapse if maintained over a longer time (precautionary reference point). F where total yield or yield per recruit is highest (biological reference point) F giving maximum sustainable yield (biological reference point). Precautionary buffer to avoid a situation where the actual fishing mortality is at Flim when the perceived fishing mortality is at Fpa. Maximum Sustainable Yield Precautionary biomass level at which the management plan initiates specific harvest control rules to minimise the risk of further decline in biomass and associated risk to future recruitment. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 2

6 1 GENERAL INFORMATION This report contains the findings of the second annual MSC Fisheries surveillance audit conducted for Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery on 18 and 19 May The purpose of this annual Surveillance Report is: 1. To establish and report on any material changes to the circumstances and practices affecting the original complying assessment of the fishery; 2. To monitor the progress made to comply with any Conditions raised and described in the Public Certification Report of 14 June 2013 and in the corresponding Action Plan drawn up by the client; 3. To monitor any actions taken in response to any Recommendations made in the Public Report; 4. To re-score any Performance Indicators (PI) where practice or circumstances have materially changed during the intervening year, focusing on those PIs that form the basis of Conditions raised. The primary focus of this surveillance report is to review the changes occurred since the previous year. For a complete picture of the fishery, this report should be read in conjunction with the Public Certification Report available for download at 1.1 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, and the vessel(s) pursuing the fish of that stock) and management framework. The fishery covered by this certification is defined as described in Table 1. Table 1 Units of Certification Fishery Name Norway North East Arctic saithe fishery Species Saithe (Pollachius virens) Geographical area Norwegian EEZ ICES Sub-Areas I and II / FAO statistical area 27 Method of capture Stock Management Client group Danish seines, Demersal trawl, Hooks and lines (not specified), Seine nets (purse), Gill Nets (not specified) North East Arctic (NEA) saithe The NEA saithe stock is managed by Norwegian Authorities The client is Norges Fiskarlag on behalf of the entire Norwegian fleet Other eligible fishers: No other eligible fishers have been identified for the fishery. 1.2 General background about the fishery Norges Fiskarlag was established in 1926 as an interest group for the hitherto unorganized Norwegian fishermen. The main focus was better control of the fish brought to shore and improved working conditions in the high-risk profession. As a direct result of the organization s efforts, the Raw Fish Act was introduced in 1938, ensuring the fishermen a minimum price for fish delivered. The NFA s most important objective is to organize all professional Norwegian fishermen, and the activities embrace the political, economic, social and cultural fields of interest to its members, as well as other matters more or less directly connected to their fishing activities. The organisation is a politically independent, national organisation based on voluntary membership of fishermen via their county associations and group organizations. The highest governing body of the NFA is its Congress, which consists of 69 delegates, elected by the seven county associations and two group organizations which DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 3

7 together constitute NFA. The Congress meets biannually. Intermediate authority is exercised by the National Committee that comprises of 14 members chosen from the member organisations and elected by the Congress. The main office in Trondheim is staffed by approximately 20 people, including the General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and sections for areas of specific interest including resource management. The NFA organizes both owners of fishing vessels and fishermen working on a share or percentage basis. The organization today represents about 25% of the registered Norwegian fishermen. NFA coordinates MSC Fisheries certification processes for the following fisheries on behalf of the entire Norwegian fleet: 1.3 Norway North East Arctic Cod Norway North East Arctic Haddock Norway North East Atlantic mackerel (through MINSA) Norway North Sea and Skagerrak Herring Norway spring spawning Herring Norway North East Arctic Saithe Norway North Sea Saithe Norway North East Arctic Cold Water Prawn Name and contact information for the certified fishery Table 2 Client contact information Client name Norges Fiskarlag (The Norwegian Fishermen s Association) Contact Person Tor Bjørklund Larsen Contact Address Pirsenteret, 7462 Trondheim, Norway / Telephone DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 4

8 2 THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS 2.1 Summary of the original assessment The intent of the Norway NEA saithe fishery to enter the initial MSC assessment process was announced , and the fishery received its certification on Surveillance activities were conducted as required; for details please see The intent of the Norway NEA saithe fishery to enter the MSC re-assessment process was announced on , and the recertification of the fishery was confirmed through publication of Public Certification Report New certificate validity end date is 16 June Scope of certification is up to the point of landing and chain of custody commences from point of sale/landing. Details on the reassessment and commencing surveillance activities are available at The re-assessment team consisted of the principle experts Mr. John Nichols, Dr. Stephen Lockwood, Dr. Dankert Skagen, DNV team leader Mrs. Sandhya Chaudhury and DNV team member Guro Meldre Pedersen. During the site visit September 2012, the assessment team met with and gathered information from stakeholders such as IMR, DoF, NFVOA and MFCA. The default assessment tree, set out in the MSC Certification Requirements, version 1.2, was used for the reassessment. The fishery attained a score of 80 or more against each of the MSC Principles and did not score less than 60 against any of the individual MSC Criteria. In the initial certification the scores of the three Principles were: Table 3 Principle scores Original assessment: Demersal Principle Danish seine trawl Principle 1 Target Species Principle 2 Ecosystem Principle 3 Management System Seine nets (purse) Hooks and lines Gill-Nets The fishery achieved a score of below 80 against one scoring indicator. The assessment team therefore set one condition and three recommendations for continuing certification that the client is required to address. One additional recommendation was issued at the first surveillance audit. Conditions and recommendations are presented in full in section 5 of this report. 2.2 Surveillance level The surveillance level is determined based on Table C3 and C4 in the CR requirements v1.3. Determination of surveillance score is included in Table 4, and resulting surveillance level outlined in Table 5. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 5

9 Table 4 Determination of surveillance score (Ref. CR v1.3 table C3) Criteria Alternatives Surveillance score Surveillane score Danish seine Surveillane score Trawl Surveillane score Purse seine Surveillane score Jigging & longline Surveillane score Others (gillnet) Rationale Default assessment tree used? Number of open conditions Principle Level Scores Conditions on outcome PIs? Yes 0 No 2 Zero conditions 0 Between 1-5 conditions 1 More than <85 2 Yes 2 No Score per gear Total score 1 Default assessment tree used 1 condition on jiggers and longline All principle level scores >85 No conditions on outcome PIs Table 5 Surveillance level (Ref. CR v1.2 table C4) Year after certification or recertification Surveillance score ( Surveillance level Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 2 or more Normal surveillance 1 Remote surveillance Option 1 Option 2 0 Reduced surveillance On-site surveillance audit Off-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit Review of new information On-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit Off-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit Off-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit Review of new information On-site surveillance audit On-site surveillance audit & recertification site visit On-site surveillance audit & recertification site visit According to MSC Certification Requirements Version 1.3, the overall surveillance score for this fishery is 1. The surveillance level for this fishery qualifies for the Remote surveillance level, where Option 2 has been chosen. 2.3 First annual surveillance, 2014 The first surveillance audit was performed as an on-site audit and conducted according to MSC Certification Requirements, version 1.3, 14 January The default assessment tree, set out in the MSC Certification Requirements v1.3, was used for this surveillance. The surveillance was announced on the MSC website 20. May 2014 followed by a supporting notice to stakeholders issued by the MSC on the same date. Direct notification was also sent to the stakeholders that had previously been identified for this fishery, inviting interested parties to contact the audit team. No comments or requests for consultations were received. The audit was combined with the DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 6

10 surveillance audits of the following Norwegian fisheries and the recertification audit of the Norway NEA cod and haddock fisheries: Norway North East Arctic cod Norway North East Arctic haddock Norway North Sea saithe Norway North East Arctic cold water prawn The surveillance visit was conducted on June This surveillance audit was carried out by Principle expert Dr. Stephen Lockwood, Principle expert and MSC Fishery Team Leader Mr. John Nichols and DNV GL project manager/chain of custody responsible Mrs. Guro Meldre Pedersen, all members of the initial assessment team. Changes to roles in the assessment team were announced on the MSC website and listed stakeholders informed by direct mail notification. The assessment team gathered input from the various stakeholders, incl. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Directorate of Fisheries, the Institute of Marine Research and the client, through site visit meetings and telephone consultations. There were no changes to scoring of performance indicators at the first surveillance audit, but one new recommendation was issued. A Variation Request to the MSC CR to allow the surveillance report to be submitted four weeks after the normal submission deadline of 30 days after the site-visit was submitted to and granted by the MSC. 2.4 Second annual surveillance, 2015 The second surveillance audit was performed as an off-site audit and conducted according to MSC Certification Requirements, version 1.3. The default assessment tree, set out in the MSC Certification Requirements, version 1.3, was used for this surveillance. The surveillance was announced on the MSC website 26 March 2015 followed with a supporting notice to stakeholders issued by the MSC on the same date. Direct notification was also sent to the stakeholders that had previously been identified for this fishery, inviting interested parties to contact the audit team. The surveillance visit for this fishery was conducted on May This surveillance audit was carried out by Principle expert and MSC Fishery Team Leader Mr. John Nichols and DNV GL project manager/chain of custody responsible Mrs. Guro Meldre Pedersen, both members of the initial assessment team. Changes to roles in the assessment team were announced on the MSC website and listed stakeholders informed by direct mail notification. The assessment team gathered input from various stakeholders through remote mechanisms, incl. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Directorate of Fisheries and the client. The Institute of Marine Research was approached but not involved. Details on information submitted by stakeholders in the assessment process is included as basis for this report and in Annex 1. The fishery remains in conformance with the scope criteria relating to unilateral exemption and destructive fishing practices (Certification Requirements v1.3 section ). The fishery cannot be considered as an enhanced fishery as it does not meet the enhanced fisheries criteria required under the MSC CR DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 7

11 3 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND ANNUAL REVIEW 3.1 Stock Status Figure 1 shows the annual landings over the period 1960 to The landings in 2013 were 131,827t which was 29,000t below the landings in the previous year. It was also below the ICES advised level of <164,000t and below the eventual agreed TAC of 140,000t. The annual landings in this fishery over the past ten years have been consistently in line with or below the ICES advised and agreed TAC levels. In keeping with the JNRFC agreement 85% of the landings in 2013 were by Norway and 11% by Russia. The landings in 2013 continue the steady decline since 2006 which was the highest figure (212,822t) since In 2013 the ICES assessment working groups analytical assessment of the stock, using the extended survivors analysis model (XSA), was not accepted by the ICES advisory committee. All issues were then dealt with in a benchmark process. The Inter-Benchmark Protocol (IBP) on Northeast Arctic Saithe (ICES CM 2014/ACOM:53) decided to change assessment model from XSA to the state space assessment model SAM (Nielsen and Berg in press) and to leave out the cpue time-series. This state space model is now becoming widely used throughout the ICES area as a replacement both for XSA and for the integrated catch assessment model used for some pelagic species. For the Northeast Arctic saithe the shift from XSA to SAM resulted in only minor changes in estimated fishing mortality, spawning-stock biomass, and recruitment. In the whole time-series the XSA estimates are within the confidence limits of the SAM estimates both for F (ages 4 7) and SSB. The SAM results are much more robust and depend to a lesser degree on subjective choice of model settings In addition, SAM as a stochastic model is not treating catches as known without error but recognises that they are estimates with a probability. The retrospective pattern has been a major concern in the assessment in the past, but now the tendency to overestimate F and underestimate SSB is considerably less and the assessment has become more stable. Figure 2 shows the annual fishing mortality over the period 1960 to Fishing mortality in 2013 was F 0.38 which was marginally above both the management plan and precautionary approach levels. The fishing mortality in 2013 was below the high level (F0.41) in 2011 and These levels were the highest recorded since Fishing mortality has now been above the management plan level since since 2008 and above the precautionary level since It has remained well below the limit level of F 0.58 since Figure 3 shows the annual estimate of the spawning stock biomass (SSB) over the period 1960 to The SSB, at spawning time in 2014 was 250,325t which was a reduction of 22,600t compared with The SSB has now been steadily declining since reaching a peak of 574,353t, which was the highest value in the time series dating back to The SSB in 2014 is above the management plan trigger level and the precautionary approach level of 220,000t and is considered, by ICES to be in full reproductive capacity. The SSB has been consistently above the biomass limit level of 136,000t since Figure 4 shows the estimates of annual recruitment of 3 years old fish. The annual estimates of recruitment are considered, by ICES to be unreliable and are not used for future predictions. In the past average recruitment, from the assessment has been used in the predictions but the ICES advisory committee, ACOM, have now recommended and use the geometric mean recruitment over the time series back to The geometric mean for the 2010 year class was 155 million at 3 years old. Reliable recruitment estimates for saithe stocks are generally recognised as being difficult to obtain. This is because of the coastal distribution in their early years and the difficulties which that generates in producing reliable survey estimates. The estimate of the strength of the 2009 year class in 2012 from the assessment was 126 million 3 years old fish. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 8

12 Audit notes. The audit team conclude that there are no changes in the current status of the stock which would generate significant changes to the scoring of Principle 1 and none that would generate either a new Condition or Recommendation The client informed the audit team that the inclusion of electronic app now provides real time catch registration which also includes the small scale coastal fleet. Figure 1 Annual landings of Northeast Arctic saithe (ICES Sub-areas I and II) over the period 1960 to 2013 (Data source: ICES 2104) Figure 2 Annual Fishing mortality (F ages 4-7yrs) on Northeast Arctic saithe (ICES Sub-areas I and II) over the period 1960 to 2013 (Data source: ICES 2104). DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 9

13 Figure 3 The annual estimate of spawning stock biomass (SSB) of the Northeast Arctic saithe (ICES Sub-areas I and II) over the period 1960 to 2014 (Data source: ICES 2104). Figure 4 The annual estimate of recruitment, at 3 years old, of the Northeast Arctic saithe (ICES Sub-areas I and II) over the period 1960 to The 95% confidence intervals on those estimates are also shown. The value for 2013 and 2014 (2010 and 2011 year classes respectively) is the geometric mean of the time series back to (Data source: ICES 2014). 3.2 Impact on the ecosystem The major ecosystem impact in the Barents Sea is fishing and the removal of biomass which affects the functioning of the whole ecosystem. Commercial exploitation of fish stocks in the Barents Sea involves a multi-national fleet which target several different species using different types of gear. The most heavily exploited stocks are cod haddock and saithe which are often the subject of mixed demersal fisheries. Whilst these are all currently harvested within the constraints of precautionary management plans, and are considered to be in full reproductive capacity, some other stocks, impacted by these fisheries, are currently overfished. These include the coastal cod and golden redfish. Full overview of species caught in the mixed demersal fisheries is included in Table 6. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 10

14 Table 6 Mixed demersal catches 2014 (Figures provided by the Directorate of Fisheries) Gillnet Jigger Longline Purse seine Danish seine Trawl Species t % t % t % t % t % t % Saithe (=Pollock) , , , , , ,3 Atlantic cod , , , , , ,6 Haddock ,7 96 0, ,1 33 0, , ,3 Wolffishes (= Catfishes) 40 0,0 4 0, ,5-0,0 50 0, ,6 Greenland halibut ,6 6 0, ,8-0, , ,1 Ling ,8 41 0, ,5-0,0 60 0, ,2 Tusk (=Cusk) 898 0,6 57 0, ,9-0,0 12 0,0 81 0,0 Redfish ,0 93 0, ,6-0,0 26 0, ,5 Angler (=Monk) ,0 8 0,0 22 0,0-0,0 11 0,0 7 0,0 Atlantic halibut 991 0,6 55 0, ,9-0,0 27 0,0 84 0,0 Pollack 829 0,5 32 0,1 32 0,0-0,0 6 0, ,1 European hake 694 0,4 2 0,0 5 0,0-0,0 71 0, ,1 European plaice 46 0,0 1 0,0 10 0,0-0, ,2 0 0,0 Blue ling 60 0,0 0 0,0 1 0,0-0,0 0 0,0 1 0,0 Whiting 2 0,0 1 0,0 18 0,0-0,0 0 0,0 17 0,0 Flatfishes 2 0,0 0 0,0 2 0,0-0,0 2 0,0 6 0,0 Brill 0 0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0 0 0,0-0,0 Witch flounder 0 0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0 0 0,0-0,0 Lemon sole 1 0,0 0 0,0 0 0,0-0,0 27 0,0-0,0 Turbot 4 0,0 0 0,0 0 0,0-0,0 1 0,0-0,0 Common dab 0 0,0-0,0 2 0,0-0,0 0,0 4 0,0 Lumpfish (=Lumpsucker) 92 0,1-0,0-0,0-0,0 0,0-0,0 Porbeagle 4 0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0 0,0-0,0 Picked (=Spiny) dogfish 85 0,1 2 0,0 35 0,0-0,0 0 0,0-0,0 Unsorted spp. 27 0,0 0 0, ,1 0 0,0 0 0,0 14 0,0 Unindentified 0 0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0 8 0,0 Sharks - 0,0-0,0-0,0-0,0 0,0 1 0,0 Skates and rays, nei 34 0,0 1 0, ,2-0,0 2 0,0 2 0,0 Total , , , , , ,0 DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 11

15 There are other less direct influences of these fisheries on the Barents Sea ecosystem through strong inter-species interactions related to food supply, predation and recruitment. The commercial fisheries, in particular bottom trawling also have an inevitable impact on the benthic habitat and the organisms living on and within that habitat. Unavoidable by-catch of marine mammals and sea birds is also a well-documented effect of fisheries in the Barents Sea. These factors all represent major challenges to determine the right balance between commercial expectations, environmental impact and the sustainable management of the Barents Sea ecosystem. All these factors were carefully considered during the assessment and have resulted in one Condition and three Recommendations imposed on the client in relation to the accreditation granted. Progress on the Condition and three Recommendations is reported in Section 5.1 and 5.2 respectively. The audit team do not consider that there have been any significant changes in relation to the ecosystem impact of this fishery. In particular we have carefully examined the catches of the non-target species in all the gears in the 2014 fishery. There are no significant differences in the species mix or the percentages caught compared with the comprehensive details published in the original assessment report. None of the performance indicators have been rescored and therefore there are no new Conditions or Recommendations. Audit notes The client informed the audit team that the inclusion of electronic app, which provides real time catch registration in the small scale coastal fleet, has increased the level of reporting of non-target species 3.3 Changes to the management system The assessment team did not identify any changes to the management system during this surveillance audit. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 12

16 4 CHAIN OF CUSTODY CONSIDERATIONS A new regulation was introduced on 1 February 2015 for smaller vessels. Catches must now be recorded using an app on smartphones, which will also provide fishing location in a similar way to VMS on the larger vessels. There are some technical problems currently with the implementation of this catch recording system, so it is too soon to assess compliance with this new regulation. In addition the smaller vessels must also provide notification of landing location and company two hours prior to landing. Smaller vessels must also provide sales notes following landing. The systems of tracking and tracing in the fishery are considered sufficient to make sure all fish and fish products identified and sold as certified by the fishery originate from the certified fishery. Norway NEA saithe and saithe products landed by Norwegian vessels, recorded by the Directorate of Fisheries and the sales organizations, and sold through or by approval from the sales organizations are eligible to enter further Chain of Custody. The scope of the MSC Fishery certification is up to the point of landing and Chain of Custody commences from the point of landing and sale. Sales organizations: - Norges Råfisklag, - Surofi, - Vest-Norges Fiskesalslag - Rogaland Fiskesalgslag - Skagerakfisk DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 13

17 5 RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 Status of previously raised conditions Condition 1: Hooks and lines (Jiggers and longliners) Performance indicator SG80 Score: 75 Rationale: Condition: Milestones: Client Action Plan: Consultation on condition: Progress against milestones at SA1: Observations at SA1: Progress against milestones at SA2: Information on the nature and extent of retained species is adequate to determine the risk posed by the fishery and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage retained species SG80 b) Information is sufficient to estimate outcome status with respect to biologically based limits. Ling & tusk: Although basic biological information is collected by reference-fleet observers there are insufficient data available to estimate reference points that are essential for a sustainable management strategy. If ling and tusk are of this level of importance (i.e. >5% total hook-and-line catch) to this sector of the saithe fishing industry, a higher intensity of research effort should be directed towards the species. This research effort should be aimed at developing a comprehensive suite of biological reference points from which a management plan can be developed. The client should develop a sampling programme to deliver sufficient information on the nature and extent of retained species which is adequate to determine the risk posed by the fishery and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage ling (Molva molva). 1. To draft and implement a sampling programme within 2 years from the date of certification 2. To complete data collection within 4 years from the date of certification 3. To prepare provisional biological reference points and draft management plan by the end of the certification period The client will, in consultation with Havforskningsinstitutt (IMR) and the Fisheries Directorate, co-operate in order to develop a sampling programme to deliver sufficient information (from which biological reference point might be estimated) for ling (Molva molva). Once sufficient fundamental data have been collected, the client will commission a competent organisation to estimate the reference points and draft a management plan. IMR (Havforskningsinstituttet) and the Directorate of Fisheries Formal discussions have yet to be started on enhancing the sampling programme and other steps necessary to develop biological reference points and stock management plan. Clear evidence of progress on this point within the coming year is essential if the client is not to default on this condition. Default could result in this catching sector being removed from the Unit of Certification. With support from NFA, IMR has made significant progress in data collection and the sampling programme for tusk and ling (and blue ling) catches. As is well-known, scientific surveys do not cover the main habitats for these species, and monitoring the stock situations needs to be done through CPUE series. The challenge with using these series is always to determine whether the data is actually tracking the abundance of the stock. The Norwegian longline fleet was subject to large structuring and effort change from 2000 to 2006, and the data series failed to account for this. This led to an incorrect conclusion on the status of the ling stock and a classification of near threatened on the Norwegian red list in This has since been corrected and the listing was removed in Since the last surveillance audit, IMR has made a major revision to the CPUE database for the longline fleet. All available logbooks for the years are now in the database and have been subject to extensive quality control procedures. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 14

18 Among other things, the data shows a clear reduction in effort, which is partly due to the high cod quota. Both CPUE and catch per vessel is increasing, and the stock trend for ling and tusk appears to be positive. Progress on this new standardized CPUE, using a generalized linear model (GLM), for ling and tusk was presented to the ICES WGDEEP in Copenhagen in 2014 and an article on the work was recently published in Fisheries Reseach and is attached to this submission (Helle et. al. 2015). Electronic logbooks is another significant data improvement in monitoring the ling and tusk stocks since 2010, providing much more detailed and accurate data. Another large improvement is the ICES InterCatch database, where all nations enter their fishery and survey data. In the case of tusk and ling, IMR now has a much larger data basis to work with, and this is expected to lead to a significant improvement in the stock assessments. Norwegian data now also take into account the number of participating boats, where the fishing takes place, hook types, hook sizes, type of baiting machine, boat types, use of moonpool, etc. From consultations with IMR, NFA notes that there are both significant practical (as well as economical) obstacles to performing traditional fishery survey missions for ling and tusk. One of the major hurdles is that the main distribution areas for the species are impossible to trawl. The many aspects of increased surveillance and improved data collection of the tusk and ling stocks, as well as the positive stock trends, represent significant confirmation that there is an effective strategy in place to manage ling and tusk. IMR has also advised that they are currently drafting a new project to further improve gaps in the ling/tusk research, and biological reference points will also be a part of this project. NFA has expressed support of this, and will continue to cooperate with IMR in bringing in important data from the fishing fleet. Client comments regarding - Clarification on bycatch of tusk and link in jig fishery - Progress on condition are included in Appendix 1. Observations at SA2: Significant progress has now been made on this condition in terms of collecting and collating the relevant information and establishing a strategy to manage the ling and tusk by-catch. The assessment team is now satisfied that progress against the milestones is on target. The investigations have highlighted the issue of the Jigger fishery which is clearly separate from and different to the longline fishery. This has been noted but at this stage we do not consider it necessary to materially change the wording of the Condition. 5.2 Status of previously raised recommendations Recommendation 1 Performance Relevant information is collected to support the harvest strategy indicator Recommendation Observations at SA1: Observations at SA2: Based on comments and recommendations of the ICES working groups, the client is recommended to explore ways in which they could help directly to improve the level of sampling for both Norway NEA and NS saithe fisheries. ICES continues to voice concerns about the reduced level of sampling at points of landing. The client was reminded of these concerns, as was the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and urged to increase the sampling level where possible. No further information to report at current stage. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 15

19 Recommendation 2 Performance indicator Recommendation There is a strategy in place for managing retained species that is designed to ensure the fishery does not pose a risk of serious or irreversible harm to retained species There is a formally defined and ICES assessed management plan for the coastal cod stock and its fishery. However, this strategy is currently being confounded by the Autumn fishery fresh-cod scheme. Consequently, it is recommended that the client should provide evidence in 2013 that it has engaged with the national fishery management authorities to develop additional effective means for further reductions in the total annual catch (i.e. including recreational catches) of coastal cod. Observations at SA1: There has been no progress with respect to this recommendation, not least because the fresh-cod scheme is based on socio-political considerations in support of areas highly dependent on fish and fishing. As a consequence, this is politically sensitive but it was drawn to the client s attention and that of Ministry officials during discussions. IMRs autumn survey in October/November 2014 gives an encouraging indication that the recovery plan for coastal cod may now be showing positive effects. The results of the survey were: Increase in the index of coastal cod for all year classes, except 1 and 4 year olds. Number of fish increased in all areas except 00 and 06 Signs of improved recruitment (1+) in all years after 2009 Observations at SA2: Estimated total biomass increased by almost 50 % from 2013 to Estimated spawning stock biomass was 65 % higher than in It is important to stress the high level of uncertainty in these findings, but IMR holds it beyond reasonable doubt that the trend is clearly pointing upwards. Although coastal cod is probably an issue that needs to be monitored closely in many years to come, there is now good reason to claim that the sum of management measures is leading to the recovery of coastal cod, regardless of the fresh cod scheme, and that the fishery does not pose a risk of serious of irreversible harm to this retained species. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 16

20 Recommendation 3 Performance indicator Recommendation There is a strategy in place for managing bycatch that is designed to ensure the fishery does not pose a risk of serious or irreversible harm to bycatch population The strategy for managing and minimising by-catch has not been tested explicitly for the saithe fisheries and it is some years since there has been an explicit exercise to assess just what the discard rates are across Norwegian fisheries. The client is recommended to enable the assessment of discard rates in the Norwegian saithe fisheries. Observations at SA1: Observations at SA2: The client was reminded of the concerns implicit on the recommendation and these concerns were drawn to the attention of the Directorate and Ministry. The Directorate of Fisheries has mentioned orally at meetings with NFA, that there is an ambition to perform a new discard assessment in the near future, but we have no further information as to when/how this project would take place. NFA has expressed support of such a project. Recommendation 4: Gillnet fisheries Performance indicator The fishery meets national and international requirements for the protection of ETP species. The fishery does not pose a risk of serious or irreversible harm to ETP species and does not hinder recovery of ETP species. 1. The client must ensure that all vessels keep an accurate record and report all (fatal and non-fatal) interactions between fishing gear and marine mammals. Recommendation Observations at SA1: 2. In consultation and collaboration with scientists of IMR (marine mammal team), the client participates in the trial of deterrent pingers and any other mitigation programmes that IMR develop to reduce marine mammal bycatch. New recommendation. 1) The introduction of electronic app logbooks for the coastal fishery increases the level of recording of extraordinary events, such as the catch of ETP species, throughout the fleet. 2) NFA has been in close dialogue with cetacean experts at the IMR, and conducted a status and planning meeting on this issue in April Main outcomes of this meeting were the following: Observations at SA2: - The extent of cetacean bycatch in Norwegian coastal fisheries is still unclear, but may be significant in gillnet fisheries for cod, but probably mainly in monkfish fisheries. There is a large degree of uncertainty in the data, and IMR is working on new projects to increase the knowledge basis. - NFA and IMR will cooperate on a project and jointly apply for a grant to perform a total harbour porpoise stock estimate in the Norwegian Sea and Barents sea, applying DNA Allelle sharing sampling methodology (Skaug 2001). If financed, the project will have an aim to collect 2000 DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 17

21 porpoise DNA and tooth samples from Norwegian fishermen over a 2-3 year period. This will give a statistical basis to make total porpoise population estimates. - NFA and IMR will also cooperate and jointly apply for a grant to perform a full scale research project testing out pingers in practical fishing. - NFA and IMR also had a general discussion about alternative management measures to minimize cetacean bycatch, such as closed seasons, areas, minimum depths for gillnets and more. 5.3 New conditions and recommendations No new conditions or recommendations have been raised as a result of this audit. 5.4 Status of the Certification SSB is currently falling but is above the precautionary approach and Management plan levels. Fishing mortality has been increasing and is currently above the Management plan target level and at increased risk in relation to Fpa and Flim. However the management of the fishery and compliance with TACs is good with landings consistently below the advised and agreed TAC for many years. Satisfactory progress has been made on the single condition and note has been taken of the clients comments regarding a misunderstanding of the gear types in relation to this condition. Satisfactory progress has also been made on the four recommendations. The assessment team therefore concludes that the MSC Certificate for this fishery shall remain active subject to annual surveillance review. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 18

22 6 CATCH DATA Table 7 Catch data per gear Fishing Year TAC (tonnes) UoC share of the total TAC (tonnes) Client share of the total TAC (tonnes) Total green weight catch taken by the client group (tonnes) Danish seine Gill-nets (not specified) Hooks and lines (not specified)* Seine nets (purse) Demersal trawl *Jiggers, longlines DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 19

23 7 REFERENCES Helle et al. Selecting a subset of the commercial catch data for estimating catch per unit effort series for ling (Molva molva L.). Fisheries Research 165 (2015) ICES 2014b. Report of the Arctic Fisheries Working Group (AFWG), April 2014, Lisbon, Portugal. ICES CM 2014/ACOM:05. ICES 2014c. Report of the Inter-Benchmark Protocol on Northeast Arctic Saithe in Subareas I and II (IBP NEAsaithe), March/April 2014, by correspondence. ICES CM 2014/ACOM: pp. ICES. 2014a. Report of the ICES advisory Committee: Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea; Saithe in Subareas I and II (Northeast Arctic). ICES Advice, Book 3. Section June (11pp) ICES. 2014a. Advice basis. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, ICES Advice 2014, Book 1, Section 1.2. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 20

24 APPENDIX 1 CLIENT SUBMISSION Table 8 Client comments regarding clarification on bycatch of tusk and ling in jig fishery and progress on condition 1 Performance Information on the nature and extent of retained species is indicator adequate to determine the risk posed by the fishery and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage retained species The client should develop a sampling programme to deliver sufficient information on the nature and extent of retained species Condition: which is adequate to determine the risk posed by the fishery and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage ling (Molva molva). Clarification on bycatch of tusk and ling in jig fishery First of all, there is one factual error in the wording of this condition that needs to be addressed. NFA sincerely apologizes that this hasn t been discussed more thoroughly earlier in the certification process. For a number of practical reasons, jiggers ( juksa ) and longliners have been grouped together as one unit of certification in this fishery. This may be partly since the longline fishery is almost negligible in terms of volume, and since similar groupings are made in national statistics. This simplification made sense at the time of certification, and largely still does, although longlining and jigging in practice are very separate fisheries indeed. Probably due to an oversight, this has also included the jigging fishery in the wording of condition 1, when the issue in reality only applies to the longline fishery. Attached is a spreadsheet from the Directorate of Fisheries showing volumes of tusk and ling caught by jig and longline in the NEA area and North Sea. The two tables confirm that bycatch of tusk and ling are rare occurrences when fishing with jigs. The bycatch of tusk and ling accounts for between 0,81 % and 4,91 % of the saithe catches. Progress on condition: NFA therefore asks that the wording of the condition is changed to reflect the fact that tusk and ling bycatch is an issue in the longline fishery only and not the jigging component. We also note that it may be necessary to discuss changing the UoC at a later stage. Progress on condition With support from NFA, IMR has made significant progress in data collection and the sampling programme for tusk and ling (and blue ling) catches. As is well-known, scientific surveys do not cover the main habitats for these species, and monitoring the stock situations needs to be done through CPUE series. The challenge with using these series is always to determine whether the data is actually tracking the abundance of the stock. The Norwegian longline fleet was subject to large structuring and effort change from 2000 to 2006, and the data series failed to account for this. This led to an incorrect conclusion on the status of the ling stock and a classification of near threatened on the Norwegian red list in This has since been corrected and the listing was removed in Since the last surveillance audit, IMR has made a major revision to the CPUE database for the longline fleet. All available logbooks for the years are now in the database and have been subject to extensive quality control procedures. Among other things, the data shows a clear reduction in effort, which is partly due to the high cod quota. Both CPUE and catch per vessel is DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 21

25 increasing, and the stock trend for ling and tusk appears to be positive. Assessment team response Progress on this new standardized CPUE, using a generalized linear model (GLM), for ling and tusk was presented to the ICES WGDEEP in Copenhagen in 2014 and an article on the work was recently published in Fisheries Reseach and is attached to this submission (Helle et. al. 2015). Electronic logbooks is another significant data improvement in monitoring the ling and tusk stocks since 2010, providing much more detailed and accurate data. Another large improvement is the ICES InterCatch database, where all nations enter their fishery and survey data. In the case of tusk and ling, IMR now has a much larger data basis to work with, and this is expected to lead to a significant improvement in the stock assessments. Norwegian data now also take into account the number of participating boats, where the fishing takes place, hook types, hook sizes, type of baiting machine, boat types, use of moonpool, etc. From consultations with IMR, NFA notes that there are both significant practical (as well as economical) obstacles to performing traditional fishery survey missions for ling and tusk. One of the major hurdles is that the main distribution areas for the species are impossible to trawl. The many aspects of increased surveillance and improved data collection of the tusk and ling stocks, as well as the positive stock trends, represent significant confirmation that there is an effective strategy in place to manage ling and tusk. IMR has also advised that they are currently drafting a new project to further improve gaps in the ling/tusk research, and biological reference points will also be a part of this project. NFA has expressed support of this, and will continue to cooperate with IMR in bringing in important data from the fishing fleet. Assessment team response in included in section 5.1. No changes to scoring, rationales or conditions have been made as a result of the information submitted, as justified in section 5.1. DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 22

26 APPENDIX 2 LIST OF MEMBER VESSELS The fishery is certified by the client Norges Fiskarlag on behalf of all registered vessels in the Norwegian fleet fishing within the Unit of Certification. This means all vessels active in the fishery according to current lists from any of the sales organisations listed in section 4. Current list of vessels: Register Registration mark Vessel name Merkeregister A 0001AS VITO Merkeregister A 0001O GERD Merkeregister A 0001V JONAS Merkeregister A 0002F SKIPPY Merkeregister A 0003O RINGSKJÆR Merkeregister A 0004O SMÅTTEN Merkeregister A 0004V SOONING Merkeregister A 0005AS TRYGG Merkeregister A 0005F TÆRNA Merkeregister A 0005N ZETA Merkeregister A 0006V SONINGEN Merkeregister A 0007F BRENNING Merkeregister A 0009F ASTERIX Merkeregister A 0010F CONSTANCE Merkeregister A 0011F FJELLVIK Merkeregister A 0013F SILJE Merkeregister A 0052AS NYSKJÆR Merkeregister AA0001A ÅLEN Merkeregister AA0001G SMART Merkeregister AA0001L MONICA M Merkeregister AA0001R STRANDGUTT Merkeregister AA0001T KROKEN Merkeregister AA0002A RINGBAS Merkeregister AA0002G PILAR Merkeregister AA0002L HØVÅGTRÅL Merkeregister AA0002R BIG TWIN Merkeregister AA0002T BORØY Merkeregister AA0003A SIDSEL LOUISE Merkeregister AA0003G BLUEPEARL Merkeregister AA0003L ELLEN PROPELLEN Merkeregister AA0003R WHITE PEARL Merkeregister AA0003T SANDØYJENTA Merkeregister AA0004A ROUGHBOY Merkeregister AA0004G STRANDFJORD Merkeregister AA0004L MALLA Merkeregister AA0004T LEPPA Merkeregister AA0005A TEIS Merkeregister AA0005G VÅGAN DNV GL Report No , Rev. 0 Page 23

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