Institute of

Sea Fisheries

North Sea Working Group meets in Hamburg


One of the most important expert groups of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) will meet at the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries.

(© International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES))

The Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK) assesses the status of 29 demersal stocks in the greater North Sea area. Next to flatfish (plaice, sole, turbot, brill, lemon sole, witch, dab, flounder) and roundfish (cod, whiting, haddock, saithe) stocks, the group also works on 10 Nephrops stocks.

Scientists from all countries surrounding the North Sea meet for 10 days to discuss latest data, conduct update assessments, interpret the latest stock developments and predict the impact of different management options. Inside the International Council of the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) WGNSSK provides the scientific basis for the advice to the European Commission on catch quotas for the next year. WGNSSK works in close cooperation with other ICES working groups to integrate multi species and ecosystem considerations in the assessments and WGNSSK forecasts are the basis for mixed fisheries advice under the landing obligation provided by the ICES mixed fisheries working group.

Many stocks assessed by WGNSSK have recovered in recent years and the overall fishing pressure shows a decreasing trend. Whether this positive development has continued in the last year will be one of the main questions to answer by the scientists.

The group will meet at the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries in Hamburg-Altona from 26 April to 05 May and is chaired by our colleague Dr. Alexander Kempf together with Dr. Jose de Oliveira from CEFAS, UK.

If you have questions regarding this meeting, feel free to contact Dr. Alexander Kempf.