It is all about the mix! The Herring Assessment Working Group (HAWG) lists herring in ICES Division 7e–f as a stock with limited data (not to be confused with a data limited stock) with catch records reported since 1974, however the stock structure is uncertain in these two Divisions. At present, there is insufficient understanding, information, and data on the herring population structure in the western English Channel and Bristol Channel to be able to provide robust advice or on any potential changes in productivity in the short to medium term. Herring are a key forage fish in adjacent ecosystems, forming an important trophic level in the food chain for key predatory species.
WKRRBWCH will identify methods and data available for the identification of herring stock structure in the western English Channel (Division 7e), Bristol Channel (Division 7f), and adjacent waters. The workshop will as well work to identify potential and existing data sets (including environmental parameters) for the assessment and management advice for herring occurring in Divisions 7 e and f.
Ultimately, the workshop will produce a roadmap for the delivery of future research needs for the scientific advice that underpins management of fisheries that target herring in the western English Channel and Bristol Channel, either together or independently.
Photo: Marine Scotland