Study

Comparison of two periods of North Sea herring stock management: success, failure, and monetary value

  • Published source details Simmonds E.J. (2007) Comparison of two periods of North Sea herring stock management: success, failure, and monetary value. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64, 686-692.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Introduce an overall catch limit (quota cap or total allowable catch) by fishery or fleet

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Introduce an overall catch limit (quota cap or total allowable catch) by fishery or fleet

    A before-and-after study in 1962–2003 of pelagic areas across the North Sea, northern Europe (Simmonds 2007) reported that management actions, including the introduction of overall catch limits (total allowable catches), resulted in an increased herring Clupea harengus spawning stock biomass following a major decline, compared to a similar period of decline caused by overfishing and little or no management. Data were not tested statistically. Herring spawning stock biomass (for which the target for sustainable catches was 800,000 t) increased between 1997–2003 after the implementation of total allowable catches, compared to the previous period 1987–1996 of declining biomass (after: 600,000–1,750,000 t; before: 500,000–1,250,000 t). Compared to the years 1970–1978, following a similar decline in biomass, total allowable catch (TAC) management resulted in higher levels of stock biomass than with no management (TAC: 600,000–1,750,000 t; no TAC: 50,000–450,000 t). Fisheries data and scientific advice for North Sea herring were compared for two, 17-year periods with similar trends (1962–1978 and 1987–2003) encompassing two years (1970 and 1995) with critically low levels of depleted spawning stock biomass and high fishing mortality. During the second period in 1997, an EU/Norway agreement on management actions (implementation of total allowable catches) was introduced. During the first period of excess fishing, no management action (limited scientific advice and failure to implement total allowable catches) and a rapidly declining stock biomass resulted in 1978 in total collapse and closure of the entire fishery.

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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