Herring Assessment Working Group for the Area South of 62° N (HAWG)

Bartolino, Valerio; Ball, Jonathan; Berg, Florian; Berges, Benoit; Campbell, Neil; Damme, Cindy J. G. van; van Deurs, Mikael; Egan, Afra; Gras, Michael; Gröhsler, Tomas GND; Henriksen, Ole; Hakansson, Kirsten Birch; Hintzen, Niels; Johnsen, Espen; Kloppmann, Matthias H. F GND; Kvamme, Cecilie; Loots, Christophe; Lundy, Mathieu; Maersk Lusseau, Susan; Rohlf, Norbert GND; et al.

The ICES herring assessment working group (HAWG) met on an interactive virtual platform for eight days in March 2020 to assess the state of five herring stocks and three sprat stocks. HAWG also provided advice for four sandeel stocks but reported on those prior to this meeting in February. The working group conducted update assessments for the five herring stocks. An analytical assessment was performed for the combined North Sea and Division 3.a sprat, and a data limited assessment (ICES category 3) was conducted for English Channel sprat (spr.27.7de). The North Sea autumn spawning herring (her.27.3a47d) SSB in 2019 was estimated at 1.7 mill tonnes while F2–6 in 2019 was estimated at 0.18, which is below FMSY. Recruitment in 2019 is comparable to the 2018 value and remains within the low recruitment regime observed since 2015. Year classes since 2002 are estimated to be consistently weak with year classes 2014 and 2016 some of the weakest on record. ICES considers that the stock is still in a low productivity phase. The Western Baltic spring-spawning herring (her.27.20-24) assessment was updated. The SSB and recruitment in 2019 are record low. SSB is estimated to be around 56 600 tonnes which is below both Bpa and Blim. Recruitment has been low since 2006 and it has been further deteriorating with time. Fishing mortality has decrease in 2019 to 0.382 but is still well above FMSY (0.31). The stock has decreased consistently during the second half of the 2000s and given the continued low recruitments the stock is not able to recover above Blim unless a drastic reduction in fishing effort is applied. The Celtic Sea autumn and winter spawning stock (her.27.irls) is estimated to be at a very low level. SSB is currently estimated to be at the lowest level in the time-series and has been below Blim (34 000 t) since 2016. Mean F(2-5 rings) was estimated at 0.49 in 2019, having decreased from the peak of 1.15 in 2017. Recruitment has been consistently below average from 2013-2018. Recruitment in 2019 is estimated to be above average...


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Bartolino, Valerio / Ball, Jonathan / Berg, Florian / et al: Herring Assessment Working Group for the Area South of 62° N (HAWG). Copenhagen 2020. ICES.


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