The shift from advising on landings to catches emphasises the reality of fishing in fisheries management advice.
"Managing fisheries based on what is caught―rather than what is landed―makes a biological difference. In most cases, fish don't survive after being caught, whether they are brought to land or discarded at sea, and there is no difference biologically between those caught for commerce and those caught for recreation," explains Poul Degnbol, Head of ICES Advisory Programme. "Advice based on catches will also be more relevant for the current and future political process, as decision-makers have shifted focus regarding fish stocks from commercial landings to actual catches."
ICES will provide catch advice on all fish stocks, where sufficient data are available, but this will not be possible in cases where the discard amounts are not known or cannot be reliably estimated.
ICES advice is based on the compilation of relevant data and analysis by experts from ICES member countries. The data originate from sampling of fisheries and from research surveys. The advice is used by international commissions and governments, such as the European Commission (EC), to establish sustainable fishing quotas.
Eastern Baltic Sea cod stock improving
ICES has released its advice on Baltic Sea fish stocks today. One of the highlights is that fishing pressure on the Eastern Baltic Sea cod stock has substantially decreased, resulting in an increase in adult cod stock abundance and the highest production of offspring in the last 20 years.
Today's advice also includes multispecies considerations for Baltic Sea fish stocks, which incorporate knowledge on the impacts that stocks have on one another. This information should enhance development of a multispecies approach to fisheries management in the Baltic.
ICES advice is published on the ICES website, where further information about the ICES advisory process is also available.
Copyright: MUMM, Belgium.