A TAC of 2,000 t had been advocated for 1995 given the weakness of the 1990 and 1991 year classes which, at ages 4 and 5 were two of the main age groups directed for by the fleet. The 1995 catch level corresponded to 40% of the 1994 catch. Effort also decreased by 40% from 1994 to 1995 while catch-rates dropped 33%. The presence of small meats (10 g) in the catch was curtailed during 1995 once a monitoring programme was in place.
The 1995 stock biomass is 67% of recent high values reached in 1992, the directed biomass (ages 4-7), 58%. Low biomass is mainly caused by the poor representation of the 1990 and 1991 year classes at ages 4 and 5. The latest recruitment estimate (age 3) appears to be improving although it is still below the long-term average.
The Georges Bank scallop stock needs rebuilding after the passage of two weak year classes. The stock had previously encountered low biomass of 10,000 t or less in the early 1980s. The 1995 drop in biomass, 10,500 t, does not appear as prolonged. However, it would be prudent to give stock rebuilding due consideration. Given the stock composition the 1996 fishery depends on, and the recent stock history, a conservative exploitation strategy should be adopted for 1996.
View complete PDF document
(42 pages; 2,371K)
This document is available in PDF format. If the following document is not accessible to you, please contact the Secretariat to obtain another appropriate format, such as regular print, large print, Braille or audio version.
This report uses scientific and technical terms and is published in the official language of the working group or scientific expert that produced the document. If this document is not accessible to you in the official language of your choice, please contact the Secretariat.