Mixed fisheries forecasts – lessons learned from their initial application to North Sea fisheries

Steven J. Holmes, Clara Ulrich, Stuart A. Reeves

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Mixed fisheries and technical interactions in European fisheries have been a subject of research for many years. The establishment in 2010 of an ICES Working Group tasked with producing annual mixed fisheries forecasts and advice for North Sea demersal fisheries represents a commitment to use these approaches in routine scientific advice for the first time. The demersal fisheries of the North Sea provide a particularly interesting context for this work due to their high complexity in terms of the numbers of fleets, gears, metiérs and species involved, and also because mixed-fishery effects have contributed to the lack of recovery of the North Sea cod stock. The implementation of mixed-fishery forecasts which account for the fishery complexity and thus allow mixed-fishery effects to be modelled has posed a number of challenges relating to issues such as data requirements and the need to integrate the work with the existing single stock assessments. The explicit representation of the complexity of the fisheries also raises questions about the extent to which mixed fisheries science can be used to give „advice‟ in the traditional sense. This paper addresses the challenges and issues that have arisen through the practical implementation of mixed-fishery forecasts, then discusses the further developments that will be required to progress towards more integrated multi-stock management using mixed-fishery management plans
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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