B2. Sustainable fisheries

a.    Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably

b.    Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity

Type: Pressure (a) and state (b)

 

Indicator Description

Sustainable fisheries help to ensure our marine ecosystems remain diverse and resilient, providing a long-term and viable fishing industry.  

The indicator comprises two measures assessed separately: a) the proportion of stocks fished at or below the level capable of producing Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY); and b) the proportion of stocks with biomass above the level capable of producing MSY.

 

Summary

 

Changes have been made to the indicator since the previous publication; using quota-fish assessments for UK good environmental status (GES) developed to meet the needs of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).  Data have been updated to 2015 for fishing pressure and to 2016 for spawning stock biomass.

The percentage of fish stocks (including Nephrops) fished at or below levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield (FMSY) has increased from 12% in 1990 to 53% in 2015.  To maintain the reproductive capacity of stocks, each stock’s spawning biomass (SSB) should be at or above the level capable of producing maximum sustainable yield (i.e. MSY Btrigger).  The proportion of stocks subject to quota management and achieving this goal increased from 28% in 1990 to 56% in 2016.  In the final year (2016) there was a slight (3%) decrease in the proportion of stocks with SSB > MSY Btrigger due to data availability and consequently more stocks classified as “unknown”.  Overall a positive trend towards a greater proportion of stocks fished sustainably is evident in both long and short term.  There is also a positive trend for fish within safe biological limits in the long term, and no change in the short term.

Figure B2a. Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably, 1990 to 2015.

 

Figure B2a. Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably, 1990 to 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure B2b. Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity, 1990 to 2016.

 

Figure B2b. Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity, 1990 to 2016.

 

Notes: Based on 57 stocks for which data are available, derived from stock assessment reports.  For spawning stock biomass (SSB) the final year will typically show an increase in ‘unknown’ status due to the cycle by which updates are made to stock assessments.

Source: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

 

Overall assessment of change in stocks harvested sustainably and at full reproductive capacity

 

Long term

Short term

Latest year

Proportion of fish stocks harvested sustainably

indicator improving
1990–2015

indicator improving
2010–2015

No change (2015)

Biomass of stocks at full reproductive capacity indicator improving1990-2016 2010 indicator stable2011-2016

Decreased (2016)

 

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Last updated: July 2018

Latest data available:

Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably – 2015;

Proportion of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity – 2016.