A multi-stock harvest control rule based on "pretty good yield" ranges to support mixed-fisheries management

Dorleta Garcia, Paul J. Dolder, Ane Iriondo, Claire Moore, Raúl Prellezo, Agurtzane Urtizberea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Advice for commercially exploited fish stocks is usually given on a stock-by-stock basis. In light of the ecosystem-based fisheries management, the need to move towards a holistic approach has been largely acknowledged. In addition, the discard bans in some countries requires consistent catch advice among stocks to mitigate choke species limiting fisheries activity. In this context, in 2015, the European Commission proposed the use of fishing mortality ranges around fishing mortality targets to give flexibility to the catch advice system and improve the use of fishing opportunities in mixed-fisheries. We present a multi-stock harvest control rule (HCR) that uses single stock assessment results and fishing mortality ranges to generate a consistent catch advice among stocks. We tested the performance of the HCR in two different case studies. An artificial case study with three stocks exploited simultaneously by a single fleet and the demersal mixed-fishery operating in Bay of Biscay and Celtic Sea. The HCR produced consistent catch advice among stocks when there was only a single fleet exploiting them. Even more, the HCR removed the impact of the discard ban. However, in a multi-fleet framework the performance of the HCR varied depending on the characteristics of the fleets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number1
Early online date11 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019


  • EBFM
  • harvest control rule
  • landing obligation
  • mixed-fisheries
  • pretty good yield

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