ICES has provided quota advice for next year for some stocks in the North Sea and adjacent areas, with recommendations based on an MSY approach.
The advice is for a saithe quota not exceeding 73,815 tonnes, which is a 25% increase in the 2023 quota, a figure arrived at because of an upward adjustment of the size of the spawning stock, due to higher recruitment estimates for 2018-2022 than had been assessed in the previous stock assessment. In addition, the spawning population is judged to be above the MSY Btrigger, which allows for higher fishing pressure in 2024 than for 2023.
The recommendation are for the haddock allocation to not exceed 149,024 tonnes, which represents a 118% increrase on the quota agreed for 2023. This is attributed to strong recruitment and low fishing pressure, with the spawning stock estimated to be at a historically high level and fishing pressure is low.
ICES advises a maximum quota for plaice of 155,015 tonnes, a 3% increase, and a 128,290 tonne quota for whiting, which is 17% up on the 2023 figure. Both stocks are considered strong while fishing pressure is low.
The reduction is for hake, and ICES recommends a 72,829 tonne quota, 12% down on the 2023 figure, although the stock is judged as being in a good condition and sustainably harvested.
Quotas for both haddock and whiting in recent years have been set substantially lower than the quota recommendations in order to minimise fishing pressure on cod – while ICES has delayed outlining its proposals for next year’s cod quotas until 19th September.