The final advice on capelin catch is 869 600 tonnes

The final advice on capelin catch is 869 600 tonnes

Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) advices that the total allowable catch of capelin in the fishing season 2021/22 should be more no than 869 600 tonnes, or a reduction of 34 600 tonnes from the advice provided by MFRI on 1 October 2021. This advice is based on the estimates of spawning stock biomass (SSB) from an autumn survey (1834 thous. tonnes) and two surveys conducted from 19 January to 14 February (938 thous. tonnes). Estimated capelin catch between autumn and winter surveys is 275 thous. tonnes.

Most of the winter surveys were conducted during 19-31 January on r/v Bjarni Sæmundsson and r/v Árni Friðriksson. Comprehensive coverage of the SSB was achieved on 25 – 31 January from Hornbanki north of the Westfjords to the SA of Iceland in the latter of two attempts. Ice conditions prevented surveying further west. When conditions permitted a week later, a second winter survey was conducted which covered the area from Denmark Strait towards Kolbeinsey Ridge north of Iceland.

In the assessment of the capelin stock the February results for the area west of 22°V are added to the estimate from January (Figure). It was not deemed precautionary to assume that capelin observed in the area between Hornbanki and Kolbeinsey in February should be considered an addition to that measured in January. That is based on the mixed composition of the capelin in the area. Furthermore, there were considerable numbers of capelin only just starting to mature creating uncertainty about when they will spawn. The 2019 year class which is the bulk of the fishable stock in the current capelin season is without a doubt large, but there is considerable uncertainty about how big a proportion will spawn this spring. These factors may explain the the considerable difference in the measured size of the stock last autumn and this winter.

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. These survey estimates and model projections show that with maximum catch of 869 600 tonnes the HCR expectations will be achieved.

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image of distributing of capelin in January and February 2022

Distribution of capelin according to the surveys on 25 January – 14 February 2022.

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