Healthy mackerel stock
ICES recommends a 20% increase in the mackerel TAC compared to its advice issued in May this year

Healthy mackerel stock

The publication on the 1st October of the ICES scientific advice for the 2020 North East Atlantic mackerel confirms that the stock is in good shape – making mackerel an excellent sustainable choice for consumers, according to the Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance (MINSA).

‘This advice confirms that the mackerel stock is in good shape and it is particularly pleasing to see healthy recruitment levels. This means that consumers can continue to purchase mackerel safe in the knowledge that the stock is healthy and being sustainably fished,’ said MINSA co-ordinator Ian Gatt.

The assessment by ICES puts the spawning stock biomass at a very high level of 4.40 million tonnes. This is more than 2.40 million tonnes above the limit reference point.

The advice also shows that the 2016-2018 recruitment is also at its highest level since records began.
ICES recommends a total allowable catch of 922,064 tonnes in 2020, which is a 20% increase on the last catch advice issued in May 2019.

‘Hopefully, this scientific assessment will result in a re-scoring of the fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council standard which could ultimately result in the current certificate suspension being lifted. To aid this process, we call on all coastal states involved in the fishery to work towards a comprehensive mackerel agreement,’ Ian Gatt said.

‘All members of MINSA are committed to a sustainable future for the fishery and are involved in a range of scientific measures relating to data collection to help improve our knowledge of the mackerel stock.’