Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group



WGBFASWGBFASTrueKristiina HommikFRSGkristiina.hommik@ut.ee42Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group

The ICES Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group (WGBFAS) provides scientific assessments on the stocks in the Baltic Sea and adjacent areas ranging from Kattegat to the Gulf of Bothnia.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Meeting dates: 16-23 April 2024, ICES HQ, Copenhagen

WGBFAS meets annually in April to assess the state of Baltic stocks. For stocks with sufficient data this leads to a forecast of catch options in the next year, while with data limited stocks, other approaches will be used, such as an analysis of trends in abundance estimates or catches.

The 17 fish stocks presently covered by the working group are:

  • 3 cod stocks (Kattegat, western, and eastern Baltic)
  • 3 herring stocks (SD25-32, SD30, and SD31)
  • 2 plaice stocks (SD21-23 and SD24-32)
  • Sprat stock (SD22-32)
  • Sole stock in 20-24
  • 4 flounders stocks (SD22-23, SD 24-25, SD26 and 28, and SD 27nad 29-32)
  • brill stock (SD22-32)
  • dab stock (SD22-32)
  • turbot stock (SD22-32)

As with all assessment working groups, there is a set of 'Generic Terms of References' (ToRs) for the assessments', which form the basis of WGBFAS. Special science related ToRs are written for a more general scientific audience, including ICES colleagues that may be able to use the conclusions of special ToRs. Requested ToRs are analysed and written for the group that requested them. This type of communication with stakeholders is both efficient and constantly increasing.

WGBFAS is, despite being one of the oldest ICES expert groups with many traditions, an innovative and dynamic group with participants from all around the Baltic area.

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