DIARY from MONTAÑES, 2nd of July 2009 The status of Cantabric Anchovies


Important: “bocarte” is the name for the anchovies among the fishermen at Vasque Country

The Scientific and Technical Committee for Fisheries of the EU took yesterday the findings of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) of last week on the status of bocarte in the Bay of Biscay, and recommended the continuation of the closure one years further, to put out a new assessment of the fishery in June 2010. 

The Committee, according to information provided by mid-afternoon by the Spokesman of the Commission, estimated at 21,270 tonnes of biomass bocarte in the area below the 24,000 tons that must be respected for not putting the species in risk of extinction. That figure, 21,270 tons, the average of a defined range based on a model estimate of the condition in which the fishery. The bottom of that range this year is 15,370 tonnes of SSB (rich anchovy biomass) and high in 32,170.

ICES and oceanographic institutes that follow the evolution of the fishery have to base their estimates on estimates of the condition of anchovy because it is not yet possible to make predictions about a year away abundance of juveniles on the basis of environmental variables, from that levels of dependency on reproduction.

With the Committee's opinion in hand, the Commission decided today to extend the closure of bocarte. Will do it for regulatory reasons until the end of the year, when formulating its proposals for TACs and quotas for 2010 with Member States. In them, except for changes in the status of the stock, the Council proposed a TAC equal to zero for this fishery until the spring assessment, as it has done since the ban was issued in 2005.

ICES plans to issue an assessment on the stock bocarte next September, something that has not been done the past six years.

The inshore Cantabric rarely undertaken coastal anchovy in autumn, but this is not an unusual practice.

The European Commission has decided not to separate one iota of scientific advice to the survival of this and other fish species (this attitude is being firmly established in the North Sea cod or herring), and politicians have embraced the approach.