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B2. Sustainable fisheries

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

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

Type: Pressure (a) and state (b) indicator

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 percentage of stocks fished at or below the level capable of producing Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY); and b) the percentage of stocks with biomass above the level capable of producing MSY.

Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Downloads

Summary

Following on from the previous publication, the indicator uses 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 2017 for both fishing pressure and 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 7% in 1990 to 49% in 2017. 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 percentage of stocks subject to quota management and achieving this goal increased from 32% in 1990 to 60% in 2017. In the final year (2017) there was a 6.7% decrease in the percentage of stocks with fishing pressure < FMSY due to data availability and consequently more stocks classified as “unknown”. Overall a positive trend towards a greater proportion of stocks fished sustainably and within safe biological limits is evident in both the long and short term.

Figure B2a. Percentage of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably, 1990 to 2017

A stacked bar graph showing marine fish stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably between 1990 and 2017, broken down into the proportion at or below levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield, the proportion above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield and the proportion that is unknown (Source: Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science; International Council for the Exploration of the Sea). The percentage of fish stocks harvested sustainably increased slowly from 1990 to the late 2000s and from then have increased at a greater rate.

Figure B2b. Percentage of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity, 1990 to 2017

A stacked bar graph showing marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity between 1990 to 2017, broken down into the proportion at or below levels capable of producing full reproductive capacity (MSY Btrigger), the proportion above levels of producing full reproductive capacity (MSY Btrigger) and the proportion that is unknown (Source: Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science; International Council for the Exploration of Sea). The trend for the percentage of biomass of stocks at full reproductive capacity is increasing significantly between 1990 and 2017.

Notes:

  1. Based on 57 stocks for which data are available, derived from stock assessment reports.
  2. The data series has been updated to 2017 and are different to the previous publication. When new stock assessment data are incorporated into the model to compile this time series, all data are subject to minor revisions.

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

Percentage of fish stocks harvested sustainably


1990–2017


2012–2017

Decreased 

(2017)

Biomass of stocks at full reproductive capacity


1990–2017


2012–2017

Increased

(2017)

Note: Long- and short-term assessments are based on a 3% rule of thumb. Where possible, the base years for these assessments use a 3-year average. See Assessing Indicators.

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Downloads

Download the Fiche, Datasheet and Technical background document from the JNCC Resource Hub

Last updated: September 2019

Latest data available:

Percentage of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest harvested sustainably – 2017;

Percentage of marine fish (quota) stocks of UK interest with biomass at levels that maintain full reproductive capacity – 2017.

 

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Categories:

UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019

Published: .

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