Based on the research survey in autumn 2013 the amount of 1-year-olds was estimated to be 60 billion individuals. This is low in comparison to years 1991–2001, but at the same time second highest observed since 2002. Catch of 160 000 tonnes is estimated to leave a spwaning stock of 400 000 tonnes for spring 2014, fulfilling the requirements of the current harvest rule.
ICES considers the natural mortality used in the projection models to be an underestimate. The projection models that have presently been used for the estimation of the stock in relation to the escapement threshold are therefore not considered reliable as basis for a robust estimate of an SSB. An ICES benchmark process updating the stock assessment methodology for this stock is expected to take place in spring 2015.
Comments from the Institute of Marine Research
The Institute of Marine Research endorses the ICES advice.
Critical spawning stock biomass (Blim): not established
Target spawning stock level (Btarget): 400 000 tonnes
Precautionary spawning stock level (Bpa): not relevant
Critical fishing mortality (Flim): not relevant
Precautionary fishing mortality (Fpa): not relevant