ICES evidence to prove it.....from their latest in depth review of statistical modelling, the exact same model that they use now that has got us bag limits!
"As many sea bass in the UK are taken by small inshore vessels, many of which use nets and lines and bring in small catches, the potential for underestimation of landings is substantial. An independent logbook scheme run by Cefas, in conjunction with a port survey to quantify numbers of such vessels catching sea bass, suggested that true landings of sea bass could be three times higher than reported. This survey has a number of potential biases, and the figure of 3 is very approximate. A sensitivity run of the Final model Run 22 was carried out expanding the annual landings of UK nets and lines by a factor of three and adjusting the total trawls/nets/lines landings and age compositions accordingly……."
I have missed out some of the statistical blurb to make it easier to read and understand. Obviously increasing the UK small boat catch (88% of the total commercial catch for 2014!) by 3 times brings the UK catch somewhere near the French commercial catch....this is obviously going to have a significant negative impact on bass stocks decreasing the overall SSB (Spawning Stock Biomass) and, if stocks are as low as claimed, it will accelerate the rate of decline won't it?.....
...er, well, not quite, surprisingly it will actually increase the SSB and apparently won't show any increase in decline......Even more remarkably it can show a decrease in fish mortality (F5-11) and astonishingly, increases in recruitment!
So, instead of looking to cut landings by 80% perhaps we should increase them, then we'll have more bass.....it's official!
Either that or the statistical models that they are using are, well, a touch inaccurate?
from ibpBass_ report_2014-5.pdf, page 84 and tables on p86. (too big to upload so I made a PDF of the charts)
Edited by Worms, 02 April 2015 - 08:07 AM.