before the powers that be pull their heads out of the sand and act . . .
Latest bass advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
Fishing Mortality is increasing
Total biomass was 32% lower than in the previous three years.
If the reduction in recruitment observed up to 2009 continues and fishing mortality remains high, a continued decline in biomass is expected.
For this stock the total biomass is estimated to have decreased by more than 20% between the periods 2008 – 2010.
ICES advises that commercial landings should decrease by a further 20% as a precautionary buffer.
A combination of high fishing mortality and continued below-average recruitment will lead to a continuing decline in the spawning stock biomass and progressive loss of older fish and cause increasing dependance of egg production on younger and less fecund fish.
A reduction in mortality on sea bass is needed to prevent spawning stock biomass declining to such an extent that the stock’s ability to produce strong recruitment in more favourable environmental conditions is impaired.
Improvements to fishery selectivity are needed to allow more fish to spawn at least once before capture.