Irish Hake FIP Workplan

This Fishery Improvement Project is focused on Irish fisheries for hake which is an important species for the Irish fishing industry.

Landings of Hake are valued at around €9 million to the Irish fishing fleet. According to the latest scientific advice the Hake stock in Irish waters is at historically high levels and is being fished within sustainable limits.

The Irish Hake Fisheries Improvement Project aims to ensure that the healthy status of Irish Hake is maintained and that the environmental impact of fishing for Hake is minimised. 

 

Hake FIP work plan April 2020 – March 2022

Fishery: Demersal trawl and seine fishery in ICES Areas VI & VII 

Fleet: Irish registered vessels fishing for Hake with demersal trawls and seines.

A pre-assessment report under the Marine Stewardship Council Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing was conducted in August 2018 which covered the trawl fisheries for hake, monkfish and megrim together.   

The pre-assessment concluded that the status of the Hake stock is very healthy. The pre-assessment report found that there are issues with the TAC being set at a higher level than scientific advice, that knowledge of stock status for some primary and secondary species was lacking and that specific fishery objectives should be developed.

 

Principle 1: Stock Management

The Hake stock in ICES Area VI and VII is part of the Northern Hake stock as assessed by ICES. The most recent ICES advice on this stock describes the stock as being at close to historically high levels and significantly above MSY levels while fishing pressure has been below FMSY since 2012.Despite the healthy stock status the assessment for the stock is quite uncertain according to ICES. 

 

Objective: 

  • To work with Marine Institute scientists to reduce uncertainty in the stock assessment and to improve the data available for management and decision making.

Tasks: 

  • Identify, in collaboration with Marine Institute scientists, the main shortcomings with the assessment. 
  • Develop an industry data provision program to fill knowledge gaps. 

    Principle 2: Environment:

    Objective: 

    • To improve the knowledge of non-target species bycatch in the fishery.
    • To reduce the overall environmental footprint of the fishery.

    Tasks:  

      • Identify which whitefish species are caught in Hake gears and the likely impact of TCMs on catches of these species.
      • FIP members will be encouraged to sign up for the BIM Fishing For Litter/Clean Oceans initiative.

    Principle 3: Management System

    Objective: 

    To implement a traceability system in the Hake fishery.

    Tasks: 

    • Develop with vessels, processors and retailers, who are FIP members, a traceability program which will allow the differentiation of FIP product in the marketplace.
    • During 2020 the initial development of the traceability program will take place which will set out what data will be collected at each stage in the supply chain and pilot data collection initiatives will be established.
    • In 2021 this traceability program will provide enhanced data to allow improved outcomes under Principle 1.