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North Sea Cod

Advice 2011: 32 240 tonnes landings
Advice 2010: 40 300 tonnes landings
TAC 2010: 40 300 tonnes landings

Summary of ICES advice, June 2010 for cod in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Eastern Channel

Stock satus

The stock has reduced reproduction potential and is in risk of being harvested unsustainably. The estimated spawning stock shows some increase since 2006.


The EU Norway agreement management plan as updated in December 2008. ICES evaluated the plan in 2009 and concludes it is in accordance with the precautionary approach if implemented and enforced adequately.

Management advice

Following the transition scheme towards the ICES MSY framework results in landing including unallocated removals of 18 100 t in 2011. Estimated total landings corresponding to the management plan is 32 240 t in 2011 and discards of about 18 000 t. These landings correspond to the maximum reduction (15%) that the plan allows between 2010 to 2011. This reduction in landings is too small to obtain the reduction of F specified in the management plan. Pure precautionary approach considerations implies zero catch.

Data from surveys indicate rather large unaccounted removals. The assessment is considered rather uncertain.

Key numbers

Critical spawning stock(Blim) = 70 000 tonnes
Precautionaryl spawning stock(Bpa) = 150 000 tonnes
Critical fishing mortality (Flim) = 0,86
Precautionaryl fishing mortality (Fpa) = 0,65
Target fishing mortality in management plan: F = 0,4
Expected fishing mortality in 2010: F = 0,85
Expected spawning stock in 2011: 49 200 tonnes

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