Ecosystem overviews

Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast key signals

Ecosystem and environmental trends
This ecoregion is characterized by marked seasonal mixing and stratification of water mases typical of temperate areas. This general pattern is modified over the shelf by wind-driven upwelling, river outflow and tidal related processes increasing the productivity of the system with large variation across the region.

  •  ‚Äč‚ÄčLarge-scale meteorological pressure differences over the North Atlantic can cause speed and direction anomalies of the wind during winter upwelling events, which can influence the recruitment of commercially important species such as anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, sardine Sardina pilchardus, southern hake Merluccius merluccius, Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus, and horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus.
  • The spawning-stock biomass (SSB) in this ecoregion is above reference points (Btrigger) particularly for the demersal stocks.
  • Fishing effort has been reduced in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian coast since the 2002 CFP reforms. Benthic and nephrops stocks are now fished at or below maximum sustainable yield (MSY) fishing mortality targets (FMSY).

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Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast key signals

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