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Baltic Fisheries Assesment Working Group (WGBFAS)


Record created 15/09/2021 | Last updated 15/09/2021
ICES Scientific Reports volume 3, issue 53


The main ToR of WGBFAS is to assess the status and produce a draft advice on fishing opportunities for 2022 for the following stocks:  Sole in Division 3.a, SDs 20–24 (Skagerrak and Kattegat, western Baltic Sea; catch advice)  Cod in Kattegat SD 21 (catch advice)  Cod in SDs 22–24 (western Baltic; catch advice)  Cod in SDs 24–32 (eastern Baltic; catch advice)  Herring in SDs 25–27, 28.2, 29 and 32 (central Baltic Sea; catch advice)  Herring in SD 28.1 (Gulf of Riga; catch advice)  Herring in SDs 30‐31 (Gulf of Bothnia; catch advice)  Sprat in SDs 22–32 (Baltic Sea; catch advice)  Plaice in SDs 21–23 (Kattegat, Belt Seas, and the Sound; catch advice)  Plaice in SDs 24–32 (Baltic Sea, excluding the Sound and Belt Seas; catch advice)  Flounder in SDs 24–25 (west of Bornholm and southwestern central Baltic; stock status advice)  Flounder in SDs 26+28 (east of Gotland and Gulf of Gdansk; stock status advice)  Flounder in SDs 27+29–32 (northern central and northern Baltic Sea; stock status advice)  Brill in SDs 22–32 (Baltic Sea; stock status advice)  Turbot SDs 22–32 (Baltic Sea; stock status advice) The working group managed to assess the status and produce a draft advice for all of the stocks with one exception. The assessment for the Cod in SDs 22–24 (western Baltic) was not accepted by the group, due to very high retrospective patterns in the assessment (Mohns Rho at 0.53 for SSB and ‐0.45 for F). It was therefore decided to ask for an interbenchmark to try to solve the issue. Consequently, only the input data will be presented in the report and the full assessment will be available in September 2021. The WG was not requested to produce an advice for Flounder in SDs 22–23, Dab and Brill in SDs 22–32 (Baltic Sea). For these stocks, however, data were compile and updated, and update assessments were conducted. In the introductory chapter of this report the Working Group (WG), in agreement with the other ToRs, considers and comments on the ecosystem and fisheries overviews, reviews the progress on benchmark processes, identifies the data needed for next year’s data call with some suggestions for improvements in the data call, and summarizes general and stock‐specific research needs. The introduction further summarizes the work of other WGs relevant to WGBFAS, and the assessment methods used. Finally, the introduction presents a brief overview of each stock and reviews the recently published work on ecosystem effects on fish populations in the Baltic Sea. WGBFAS also completed the ToR concerning the productivity audit, which aims to list the ways in which ecosystem trends and variability are accounted for in each stock assessment, forecast, and reference point or management plan evaluation. The group thus completed all the ToRs addressed to us. The analytical models used for the stock assessments were XSA, SAM and SS3. For most flatfish (data limited stocks), CPUE trends from bottom‐ trawl surveys were used in the assessment (except plaice in SDs 24–25 for which relative SSB from SAM was used).