The final advice on capelin catch is 127 300 tonnes

Distribution of capelin according to the survey on 26-30 January 2021. Distribution of capelin according to the survey on 26-30 January 2021.

Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) advices that the total allowable catch of capelin in the fishing season 2020/21 should not be more than 127 300 tonnes. This advice replaces the advice provided by MFRI on 24 January 2021. This advice is based on a sum of two surveys conducted in the latter half of January that gave total estimate of spawning stock biomass of 650 thousand tonnes.

The former survey took place during 17-20 January east of Iceland with participation of three vessels. The abundance estimations from that survey used in the final SSB estimate were limited to the area south of 65°N. The latter survey took place during 26-30 January with eight vessels participating. They covered the areas northwest, north and east of Iceland. The results from that survey used in the final SSB consisted of all measurements north of 65°N (figure).

Due to bad weather, the former survey covered only the southern most component of the capelin stock. A week later weather conditions improved such that the latter survey could continue the total coverage. Capelin distribution along with assumptions regarding migration directions and survey timings were the justifications for combining the two survey estimates in this manner. The total coverage of these two surveys is regarded as encompassing the distribution area of mature capelin. That was not the case for surveys undertaken in December 2020 and advice given in January, therefore the results of those surveys were not used as inputs to the final advice.

The advice (HCR) aims at leaving with 95% probability at least 150 000 tonnes (Blim) of mature capelin at the time of spawning in March when accounting for predation. This survey estimation and model projections show that with maximum catch of 127 300 tonnes the HCR expectations will be achieved. This advice replaces advice from earlier in January.

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