Monitoring bycatches in Norwegian fisheries

— Species registered by the Norwegian Reference Fleet 2015-2018

Authors: Tom Clegg and Tom Williams (IMR)

Summary


The Norwegian Reference Fleet is a group of active fishing vessels, selected as an approximate stratified random sample of vessels from the Norwegian fishing fleet, and tasked with providing information about catches and general fishing activity to the Institute of Marine Research. Fisheries data is collected by the crew members themselves, an approach commonly known as self-sampling of catches. This report aims to give an overview of how the Norwegian Reference Fleet record their catches and presents the reported catch composition with regards to number of species. A total of 271 species have been recorded by the Norwegian Reference Fleet between 2015 and 2018. There are an additional 39 records of unidentified species, which can occur because of excessive damage limiting an identification or a known misidentification that cannot be rectified.

1 - Background and objectives

Monitoring bycatches in fisheries has become an integral part of fisheries management with regards to sustaining healthy ecosystems and the fisheries they support (Bellido et al. 2011). The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in collaboration with the Norwegian fishing fleets, has developed the Norwegian Reference Fleet, a self-sampling programme used as a platform for supporting stock assessments with additional biological data including fishing effort, catch composition and bycatches. Since it was established in 2000, the data have been routinely used in stock assessments, but so far there have been relatively few publications on bycatch issues based on these data (e.g. Fangel et al. 2015; Bjørge & Moan 2017; Bærum et al., 2019). The aim of this report is to document the scope of sampling by the Norwegian Reference Fleet and provide an overview of the available data with regards to species reported in catches. A summary of species registered by the Norwegian Reference Fleet are provided in this report, along with the full dataset available for download ( http://metadata.nmdc.no/metadata-api/landingpage/19d05ab8e0afe1ceac1b2be3ddf68612 ). Also included is an overview of the fisheries and fishing vessel categories that are prioritised in the Norwegian Reference Fleet, and the procedures used for reporting and sampling catches.

2 - The Norwegian Reference Fleet

2.1 - Aims of the project

The Norwegian Reference Fleet is a group of active fishing vessels tasked with providing information about catches and general fishing activity to the Institute of Marine Research. The fleet consists of both high-seas and coastal vessels that cover most of Norwegian waters. The High-seas Reference Fleet began in 2000 and was expanded to include coastal vessels in 2005. The four main goals of the Norwegian Reference Fleet are to:

  1. Support stock assessments with biological data including:
    • Length composition of catches (length and weight measurements for all species captured)
    • Age composition of catches (otolith and scale collected)
    • Quality control and facilitation of data for stock-assessment
  2. Document the fishing effort and catch composition of total catches, including bycatch, discards and catches of non-commercial species, seabirds and sea mammals to provide data for the monitoring of biodiversity, fishing effort and catch per unit effort (CPUE) over time
  3. Provide a platform for the collection of additional samples from fisheries.
  4. Increase collaboration and strengthen dialogue between researchers and the fishing industry.

2.2 - Vessel selection

The selection of vessels in the Norwegian Reference Fleet is required by law to follow an open tender process. The tender lists a series of criteria which are based on prioritised fisheries, vessel specifications and fishing gears (full description in Appendix Tables A1 and A2). These criteria prioritise data needed for stock assessments for commercially important stocks and reflect both spatial and temporal variation of fishing fleets. If multiple vessels are eligible under a certain category, then the contract is awarded randomly. The goal of the tender specifications and selection process is to approximate stratified random sampling, such that the Norwegian Reference Fleet is representative of the general fleet activity. A contract lasts for a period of four years, although renewal is possible if the vessel is still eligible.

For the larger vessels (>28m vessel length) in the Norwegian fishing fleet, the fisheries prioritised in the High-seas Reference Fleet are:

  • demersal fisheries for cod, haddock and saithe north of latitude 62°N.

  • demersal fisheries for cod, haddock and saithe south of latitude 62°N.

  • beaked redfish trawl fishery.

  • Greenland halibut fishery.

  • ling and tusk fisheries with gillnet and longline.

  • wolfish fishery with longline in the Barents Sea.

  • pelagic fisheries with purse seine for herring, mackerel and saithe.

  • industrial trawl fisheries south of latitude 62°N and in the North Sea targeting sandeel, Norwegian pout and blue whiting for fish-meal production.

  • pelagic trawl fisheries for herring, mackerel, blue whiting and silver smelt.

For the smaller vessels (<28m vessel length) in the Norwegian fishing fleet, the fisheries prioritised in the Coastal Reference Fleet are:

  • demersal fisheries for cod, haddock and saithe north and south of latitude 62°N (with particular focus on the Norwegian coastal cod component).

  • Greenland halibut fishery.

  • wrasse fishery with pots supplying cleaner fish to fish-farms.

  • anglerfish fishery with gillnet.

  • shrimp trawl fishery in the Skagerrak and North Sea.

In general, the demersal fisheries have been prioritised in both the High-seas and Coastal Reference Fleet, although for different reasons . Larger vessels in the demersal fisheries process their catches on board, meaning that at-sea sampling is necessary for obtaining length and age data of catches before they are processed. The fisheries prioritised in the Coastal Reference Fleet represent the most important fisheries in this sector of the Norwegian fishing fleet, which primarily target demersal species.

Vessels in the Norwegian Reference Fleet have the possibility to shift fisheries and target species, as long as it is in the constraints of the contract. This flexibility prevents excessive replacement of vessels due to vessels making small changes to their harvesting strategies, and because of the unpredictable nature of some fisheries. This means that there is a likelihood that not all prioritised fisheries will be covered by the Norwegian Reference Fleet each year. In addition, coastal fishing vessels are very adaptable to changes in the fisheries and can switch fishing gears and harvest strategies on very short timescales. Therefore, the Coastal Reference Fleet often provide additional data outside of the scope of the requirements and prioritised fisheries for each vessel category.

In 2019, the High-seas and Coastal Reference Fleet consisted of 16 and 22 vessels respectively (Appendix Tables A3 and A4). The number of vessels in the Norwegian Reference Fleet has been relatively stable throughout the period 2015–2019, with some vessels leaving the fleet after the contract period or for other reasons such as the fishing company selling the vessel. In each case, tenders were made to replace these vessels, although not always immediately after the contract was terminated.

2.3 - Sampling protocol and data handling

New vessels entering the Norwegian Reference Fleet are equipped with the necessary equipment and crew members are trained by IMR staff to ensure standardised sample processing and measurements. Alongside constant reporting of fishing activity and retained catches, bycatches and discards are also reported at regular intervals. The routine for documenting bycatches and discards in catches, and the sampling effort varies between fisheries and vessels (Appendix B). Bycatch of seabirds, sea mammals and rare fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark) are also recorded for every fishing operation. From 2019, registering bycatch of corals and sponges is also included in the procedures.

Fishers are motivated to follow the protocol both through payment and an understanding of the importance of the collected data for stock assessment and management of the fisheries. Payment is effort based, with a price both for number of fish measured and number of species recorded in each catch, in order to give an incentive for fishers to use more time to follow the procedures correctly. The fishing vessels commitment to carry out this task is also outlined in the contract. There is an agreement between fishers, IMR and the relevant authorities that these data shall not be requested for enforcement purposes. This ensures that vessels can honestly report their catches without risk of prosecution, ensuring the data reflects the true catches. It is important to note that to date, this agreement has not been compromised.

Data are recorded electronically and regularly delivered to a database at IMR, where assigned IMR staff run quality control checks before approval. IMR staff are in regular contact with crew and skippers, and visit the vessels to provide support for self-sampling. C rew are also given training on species identification and new equipment both at sea and on land, and are issued the necessary literature to assist in species identification. If crew are uncertain about a species, they are encouraged to send photographs or samples to IMR for verification by taxonomists.

3 - Species registered by the Norwegian Reference Fleet

Data from Norwegian Reference Fleet vessels targeting Norwegian fish stocks between 2015 and 2018 is shown in Figure 1. Data from 2019 were incomplete at the time of publication and are therefore not included in this report. Species lists were generated for fishing gears used by the High-seas and Coastal Reference Fleet, divided between two areas north and south of 62°N latitude. Not all fishes were identified to species level, and are therefore grouped separately, whilst animals in other species groups were identified to different taxonomic levels.

A comprehensive list of registered species has been archived by the Norwegian Marine Data Centre at IMR ( http://metadata.nmdc.no/metadata-api/landingpage/19d05ab8e0afe1ceac1b2be3ddf68612 ), and is summarised by
species group in Figure 2. Tables 1-4 list the 30 most common species registered by vessel category. For each fishing gear, Table 2 lists the fisheries represented by target species. A total of 271 species have been recorded in 33,381 fishing operations by the Norwegian Reference Fleet between 2015 and 2018. There are an additional 39 records of unidentified species, which occur from issues flagged during quality control that cannot be rectified.

The list includes both landed and discarded species, but it is important to note that the Norwegian Reference Fleet do not record whether an animal was dead or alive when discarded. Reported quantities of catches are not provided as they are based on the relevant sampling protocols for a fishing gear. Therefore, reliable estimates of total catches for any given species in a fishery require dedicated methods for extrapolation, which is out of the scope of this report.

 

Figure 1 Locations of samples taken by the High-Seas and Coastal Reference Fleet between 2015 and 2018. Black horizontal line is at 62 °N latitude showing the division of north and south areas.

Figure 2. Summary of species registered by the Norwegian Reference Fleet. North/south is relative to 62°N latitude.

Table 1. List of the most common species registered tin total catches by the High-seas Reference Fleet, north of 62°N latitude. Species are listed in descending order with the most regular occurring species in the top row. 

Gillnet bottom-set

Hook longline

Seine demersal

Seine purse

Trawl bottom

Trawl industrial

Trawl pelagic

Trawl shrimp

Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod

Saithe

Atlantic cod

Blue whiting

Saithe

Deep sea shrimp

Saithe

Haddock

Saithe

Atlantic herring

Haddock

Greater argentine

Atlantic herring

Long rough dab

Haddock

Starry skate

Haddock

Atlantic cod

Golden redfish

Saithe

Redfishes

Deepwater redfish

Ling

Spotted catfish

Ling

Haddock

Saithe

Atlantic herring

Blue whiting

Capelin

Golden redfish

Northern wolffish

Tusk

Mackerel

Deepwater redfish

Redfishes

Greater argentine

Polar cod

Tusk

Long rough dab

Atlantic halibut

Capelin

Starry skate

Haddock

Spurdog

Sclerocrangon

Pollack

Tusk

Golden redfish

Bluefin tuna

Greenland halibut

Argentines

Atlantic cod

Spotted snake blenny

Long rough dab

Atlantic catfish

Atlantic catfish

Gulls

Spotted catfish

Mackerel

Haddock

Atlantic hookear sculpin

Atlantic halibut

Golden redfish

Anglerfish (monk)

Tusk

Long rough dab

Golden redfish

 

Snakeblenny

Greenland halibut

Greenland halibut

Lumpsucker

Anglerfish (monk)

Atlantic catfish

Lanternfishes

 

Atlantic cod

Rabbitfish

Round skate

European plaice

Atlantic halibut

Lumpsucker

Porbeagle shark

 

Atlantic poacher

Blackmouthed dogfish

Atlantic halibut

Long rough dab

Blue whiting

Northern wolffish

Velvet belly

 

Lycodes

Starry skate

Ling

Redfishes

Ling

Atlantic halibut

European hake

 

Sea tadpole

European hake

Saithe

Greater argentine

Lumpsucker

Tusk

Ling

 

Greenland halibut

Atlantic herring

Deepwater redfish

European hake

Red king crab

Flounder

Silvery pout

 

Snailfishes

Anglerfish (monk)

Rough rattail

Lemon sole

Salmons

Greater argentine

Anglerfish (monk)

 

Shrimps

Spurdog

Spinytail skate

Spotted catfish

 

Ling

Atlantic cod

 

Haddock

Whiting

Rabbitfish

Whiting

 

Blue whiting

Blackmouthed dogfish

 

Prawns

European plaice

Greater forkbeard

Deepwater redfish

 

Round skate

Dealfish

 

Spotted catfish

Greater forkbeard

Esmark's eelpout

Flatfishes

 

Whiting

Deepwater redfish

 

Threespot eelpout

Spotted catfish

Blackmouthed dogfish

Starry skate

 

Spinytail skate

Greater forkbeard

 

White barracudina

Deepwater redfish

Arctic skate

Rabbitfish

 

Norway redfish

Long rough dab

 

Eelpouts

Northern wolffish

Velvet belly

Grey gurnard

 

Greater forkbeard

Norway pout

 

Glacial eelpout

Megrim

Norway redfish

Righteye flounders

 

Rabbitfish

Norway redfish

 

Snow crab

Rough rattail

Blue skate

Greater forkbeard

 

Lemon sole

Pollack

 

Golden redfish

Atlantic catfish

European plaice

Skates and rayes

 

Pollack

Spurdog

 

Starry skate

Norway redfish

Blue ling

Spurdog

 

Megrim

Whiting

 

Atlantic catfish

Lumpsucker

Roundnose grenadier

 

 

Anglerfish (monk)

 

 

Barracudinas

Redfishes

Spurdog

 

 

Esmark's eelpout

 

 

Bigeye sculpin

Round skate

Whiting

 

 

European hake

 

 

Shorthorn sculpin


Table 2. List of the most common species registered tin total catches by the High-seas Reference Fleet, south of 62°N latitude. Species are listed in descending order with the most regular occurring species in the top row.

Gillnet bottom-set

Hook longline

Seine purse

Trawl bottom

Trawl industrial

Trawl pelagic

Atlantic cod

Ling

Atlantic herring

Saithe

Blue whiting

Blue whiting

Saithe

Haddock

Mackerel

Ling

Norway pout

Mackerel

Haddock

Atlantic cod

Saithe

European hake

Saithe

Norway pout

Ling

Tusk

Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod

European hake

Atlantic herring

European hake

Saithe

Grey gurnard

Haddock

Silvery pout

Horse mackerel

Anglerfish (monk)

Small-spotted catshark

 

Mackerel

Atlantic cod

Argentines

Whiting

Cuckoo ray

 

Grey gurnard

Ling

Saithe

Pollack

Blue skate

 

Anglerfish (monk)

Argentines

European hake

Mackerel

Whiting

 

Tusk

Horse mackerel

Silvery pout

Starry skate

Pollack

 

Megrim

Anglerfish (monk)

Ling

European plaice

Spurdog

 

Atlantic herring

Haddock

Anglerfish (monk)

Tusk

European hake

 

Lemon sole

Witch

Atlantic cod

Spurdog

Anglerfish (monk)

 

Horse mackerel

Argentine

Whiting

Small-spotted catshark

Atlantic catfish

 

Blue whiting

Mackerel

Long rough dab

Witch

Starry skate

 

Greater argentine

Velvet belly

Argentine

Atlantic halibut

European conger eel

 

Starry skate

Whiting

Haddock

Megrim

Grey gurnard

 

Pollack

Atlantic herring

Pollack

Horse mackerel

Blackmouthed dogfish

 

Whiting

Long rough dab

Velvet belly

Atlantic catfish

Greater forkbeard

 

Atlantic halibut

Pollack

Hakes

Grey gurnard

Shagreen ray

 

Cuckoo ray

Pearlside

Atlantic catfish

Long rough dab

Triglops

 

Triglops

Blackmouthed dogfish

Boarfish

Tub gurnard

Rabbitfish

 

Witch

Blue-mouth redfish

Greater argentine

Atlantic herring

Longnosed skate

 

Greenland halibut

Spurdog

Rockfishes

Cuckoo ray

Atlantic halibut

 

Deepwater redfish

Poor cod

Triglops

Longnosed skate

Thornback ray

 

Greater forkbeard

Sand eel

Witch

Lemon sole

Blue-mouth redfish

 

Atlantic catfish

Atlantic catfish

 

Spotted ray

Deepwater redfish

 

Blackmouthed dogfish

Tusk

 

Turbot

European plaice

 

Golden redfish

Grey gurnard

 

Dab

Golden redfish

 

Long rough dab

Greater forkbeard

 

Starry smooth-hound

Sandy ray

 

Roundnose grenadier

Norway lobster

 


Table 3. List of the most common species registered tin total catches by the Coastal Reference Fleet, north of 62°N latitude. Species are listed in descending order with the most regular occurring species in the top row.

Gillnet bottom-set

Hook longline

Other

Pot

Seine demersal

Seine purse

Edible crab

Haddock

Mackerel

Edible crab

Atlantic cod

Atlantic herring

Atlantic cod

Saithe

Saithe

Tusk

Haddock

Mackerel

Stone crab

Atlantic cod

Pollack

European plaice

Saithe

Saithe

Saithe

Tusk

Atlantic herring

Atlantic cod

European plaice

Atlantic cod

Haddock

Golden redfish

Horse mackerel

Red king crab

Anglerfish (monk)

Pollack

Ling

Atlantic halibut

Atlantic cod

European lobster

Lumpsucker

Horse mackerel

Atlantic halibut

Ling

Whiting

Atlantic catfish

Atlantic halibut

European hake

Pollack

Whiting

 

European conger eel

Megrim

Haddock

Anglerfish (monk)

Velvet belly

 

Shorthorn sculpin

Atlantic catfish

Whiting

Tusk

Blackmouthed dogfish

 

Common harbour seal

Ling

 

Rabbitfish

Mackerel

 

Saithe

Dab

 

Golden redfish

Norway redfish

 

Norway lobster

Norway pout

 

European hake

Rabbitfish

 

Atlantic halibut

Spotted catfish

 

Megrim

Atlantic catfish

 

Common dragonet

Turbot

 

European plaice

Greenland halibut

 

Fourbeard rockling

Tusk

 

Lemon sole

Skates and rayes

 

Hooknose

Grey gurnard

 

Whiting

Grey gurnard

 

Ling

Pollack

 

Blackmouthed dogfish

Starry skate

 

Shore rockling

Whiting

 

Norway redfish

Pollack

 

Stone crab

Redfishes

 

Starry skate

Greater forkbeard

 

 

Brill

 

Lumpsucker

European hake

 

 

Golden redfish

 

Spurdog

Spotted catfish

 

 

Lemon sole

 

Grey gurnard

Deepwater redfish

 

 

Thornback ray

 

Poor cod

Anglerfish (monk)

 

 

Norway lobster

 

Velvet belly

Spurdog

 

 

Rockfishes

 

Thornback ray

Redfishes

 

 

Spotted ray

 

Greater forkbeard

Rough rattail

 

 

 

 

Small-spotted catshark

Horse mackerel

 

 

 

 

Mackerel

European plaice

 

 

 

 

Atlantic herring

Edible crab

 

 

 

 


Table 4. List of the most common species registered tin total catches by the Coastal Reference Fleet, south of 62°N latitude. Species are listed in descending order with the most regular occurring species in the top row.

Gillnet bottom-set

Gillnet pelagic

Net fyke

Other

Pot

Seine demersal

Stone crab

Mackerel

Atlantic cod

Mackerel

Corkwing

Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod

Atlantic herring

Ballan wrasse

Horse mackerel

Goldsinny wrasse

Haddock

Pollack

Saithe

Corkwing

Pollack

Ballan wrasse

European plaice

Ling

Garfish

Cuckoo wrasse

Saithe

Cuckoo wrasse

Anglerfish (monk)

Rabbitfish

Lumpsucker

Goldsinny wrasse

Greater sand eel

Edible crab

Pollack

Edible crab

Pollack

Pollack

Atlantic herring

Smallmouthed wrasse

Grey gurnard

Saithe

Spurdog

Poor cod

Atlantic salmon

European eel

Dab

Haddock

European hake

Smallmouthed wrasse

Whiting

Green shore crab

Turbot

Anglerfish (monk)

Razorbill

Bullheads and sculpins

Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod

Atlantic halibut

European hake

Trout

Green shore crab

Grey gurnard

European lobster

Saithe

Spurdog

Atlantic cod

Yarrell's blenny

Garfish

Bullheads and sculpins

Lemon sole

Velvet belly

Atlantic salmon

European eel

Red mullet

Pollack

Spurdog

Megrim

Ballan wrasse

Black goby

Sand lances

Poor cod

Brill

Norway redfish

Common eider

Edible crab

Blue whiting

Saithe

Ling

Tusk

Cuckoo wrasse

Viviporous eelpout

Cormorants

Tadpole fish

Megrim

Witch

Edible crab

Shanny

Poor cod

Shanny

Whiting

Blackmouthed dogfish

Northern fulmar

Ling

Rainbow trout

Black goby

European hake

Grey gurnard

Whiting

Saithe

 

Viviporous eelpout

John dory

Poor cod

 

Lemon sole

 

Ling

Skates and rayes

Lemon sole

 

Righteye flounders

 

Fivebeard rockling

Thornback ray

Blue ling

 

Common topknot

 

Gobies

Tub gurnard

Blue whiting

 

Eels

 

Munida

Atlantic catfish

Starry skate

 

Whiting

 

Butterfish

Flounder

Horse mackerel

 

Zoarcoids

 

Hyas

Greater weever

Atlantic halibut

 

Butterfish

 

Yarrell's blenny

Lumpsucker

Long rough dab

 

Flatfishes

 

Three-bearded rockling

Rabbitfish

Mackerel

 

Goatfishes

 

Shorthorn sculpin

Righteye flounders

Turbot

 

Pricklebacks

 

Common topknot

Stone crab

Whiting

 

Tadpole fish

 

Rocklings

Witch

Longnosed skate

 

Trout

 

Norway bullhead

Edible crab


Table 5. Description of target species for each fishing gear used by the Norwegian Reference Fleet. Area is relative to 62°N latitude.

Gear typeAreaFleetVessel categoriesTarget Species
Hook jiggingNorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessels north Gillnet/longline vessel southCod, saithe
SouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southCod, saithe, pollock, mackerel
Hook longlineNorthHigh-seasLongline/gillnet vessel Cod, haddock, saithe, wolffish, ling, tusk, Greenland halibut
SouthHigh-seasLongline/gillnet vessel Cod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk
NorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessels northCod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk, Greenland halibut
Hook trollingNorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southMackerel
SouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southMackerel
Gillnet bottom-setNorthHigh-seasLongline/gillnet vessel Gillnet vessel (Barents Sea) Cod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk, Greenland halibut
Gillnet vessel (North Sea)Cod
SouthHigh-seasLongline/gillnet vessel Gillnet vessel (North Sea) Cod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk
NorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessels north.Cod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk, Greenland halibut, anglerfish
Gillnet/longline vessel south Shrimp trawler (9-15m)Cod, haddock, saithe
SouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southCod, haddock, saithe, ling, tusk
Shrimp trawler (9-15m)Cod, haddock, saithe
Gillnet pelagicSouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southMackerel
Net fykeSouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southWrasse, cod??
Net pound/liftSouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southMackerel
PotNorthCoastalDemersal seine vessel southMackerel
Gillnet/longline vessel southWrasse, brown crab, Nephrops
SouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southWrasse, brown crab, Nephrops
Demersal seine vessel southNephrops
Seine demersalNorthHigh-seasDemersal/purse seine vesselCod, haddock
NorthCoastalDemersal seine vessel north Demersal seine vessel southCod, haddock, saithe
SouthCoastalDemersal seine vessel southCod, haddock, saithe
Shrimp trawler 9-15mCod
Seine purseNorthHigh-seasDemersal/purse seine vessel Saithe, herring, mackerel, sprat, horse mackerel
Industry trawler Herring
NorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessels northHerring
Demersal seine vessel south Gillnet/longline vessel southHerring, mackerel
SouthCoastalDemersal seine vessel southMackerel, horse mackerel
Gillnet/longline vessel southMackerel

 

Seine beach

NorthCoastalGillnet/longline vessels north.Herring
SouthCoastalGillnet/longline vessel southMackerel
Trawl demersalNorthHigh-seasDemersal factory trawler Cod, haddock, saithe, Greenland halibut, beaked redfish
SouthHigh-seasDemersal factory trawler Saithe, Greenland halibut
Trawl industrialNorthHigh-seasIndustry trawler Blue whiting, silver smelt, saithe
SouthHigh-seasIndustry trawler Sandeel, Norwegian pout, blue whiting, saithe
Trawl pelagicNorthHigh-seasDemersal factory trawler Beaked redfish
Industry trawler Herring, mackerel
SouthHigh-seasIndustry trawler Herring, mackerel, blue whiting, sprat
Trawl shrimpNorthHigh-seasDemersal factory trawler Shrimp
SouthCoastalShrimp trawler 9-15m Shrimp trawler 15-28mShrimp

4 - References

Bellido JM, Santos MB, Pennino MG, et al (2011) Fishery discards and bycatch: solutions for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management? Hydrobiologia 670:317–333. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-011-0721-5

Bjørge A, Moan A (2017) Revised estimates of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) bycatches in two Norwegian coastal gillnet fisheries. ICES By-catch WG. SC/24/BYCWG/08

Bærum KM, Anker-Nilssen T, Christensen-Dalsgaard S, et al (2019) Spatial and temporal variations in seabird bycatch: Incidental bycatch in the Norwegian coastal gillnet-fishery. PLoS One 14. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212786

Fangel K, Aas Ø, Vølstad JH, et al (2015) Assessing incidental bycatch of seabirds in Norwegian coastal commercial fisheries: Empirical and methodological lessons. Glob Ecol Conserv 4:127–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2015.06.001

5 - Appendices

5.1 - Appendix A: General information on the Norwegian Reference Fleet

Table A1. Vessel requirements in the High-Seas Reference Fleet

CategoryVessel requirementsPrioritised fisheries
Demersal factory trawler

Length >39m

Permit and quota for fishing with trawl for cod, haddock, saithe, north of 62°N

Permit and quota for fishing with trawl for saithe, south of 62°N

One or more vessels with licence for shrimp-trawl north of 62°N

One vessel >53 m and equipped for fillet production

One or more vessels equipped also for pelagic trawl

Cod, haddock, saithe with demersal trawl north of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Saithe with demersal trawl south of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Beaked redfish with pelagic/demersal trawl

Greenland halibut with demersal trawl

Shrimp trawl in the Barents Sea outside 12 nautical miles

Gillnet vessel fishing mainly in the North Sea

Length 28‒40m

Permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for cod south of 62°N

Primary fishery for the vessel must be gillnet targeting cod in the North Sea

Cod, haddock, saithe with gillnet south of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles
Gillnet vessel fishing mainly in the Barents Sea

Length 28‒40m

Permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for cod, haddock, saithe north of 62°N

Primary fishery for the vessel must be gillnet targeting cod in the Barents Sea and saithe on the fishing banks north of 62°N

Cod, haddock, saithe with gillnet north of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Greenland halibut with gillnet

Longline and combined longline/gillnet vessel

Length >35m

Permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for cod, haddock, saithe north of 62°N

Two vessels with permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for saithe south of 62°N

One vessel with permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for cod south of 62°N

Primary fishery for the vessel must be longline targeting cod, haddock, ling, tusk, Greenland halibut and wolffish

Two vessels fishing directly saithe with gillnet both north and south of 62°N

One or more vessels with activity annually west of 4°W

One or more vessels fishing cod, ling and tusk in the North Sea

Cod, haddock, saithe with longline/gillnet north of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Cod, saithe with longline/gillnet south of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Ling and tusk with longline north and south of 62°N outside 12 nautical miles

Wolffish in the Barents Sea

Greenland halibut with longline/gillnet

Ling, tusk with longline/gillnet west of 4°W

Demersal seine/ purse seine vessel

Length >28m

Permit and quota for fishing with conventional gear (gillnet, longline, demersal seine) for cod north of 62°N

Permit and quota for fishing with purse seine for saithe north of 62°N

Primary fisheries for the vessel must be with demersal seine for cod and with purse seine for saithe north of 62°N

Cod, haddock, with demersal seine north of 62°N outside 4 nautical miles

Saithe with purse seine north of 62°N

Norwegian Spring spawning herring with purse seine

North Sea herring with purse seine Mackerel with purse seine

Industry trawler (vessel targeting species primarily used for fish- meal production)

Licence for pelagic trawl

Primary fisheries for the vessel must be with trawl for sandeel, Norwegian pout and blue whiting in the North Sea

One vessel with permit and quota for fishing silver smelt with pelagic trawl north of 62°N

Sandeel with trawl in the North Sea/ south of 62°N

Norwegian pout/blue whiting mixed fishery with trawl in the North Sea/ south of 62°N

Saithe as retained bycatch in the North Sea/ south of 62°N trawl fishery

Blue whiting with pelagic trawl outside 12 nautical miles

Mackerel with pelagic trawl outside 12 nautical miles

Norwegian Spring spawning herring with pelagic trawl outside 12 nautical miles

North Sea herring with pelagic trawl outside 12 nautical miles

North Sea sprat with pelagic trawl outside 12 nautical miles

Capelin with pelagic trawl

Silver smelt with pelagic trawl north of 62°N


Table A2. Vessel categories in the Coastal Reference Fleet. See Figure A1 for map of statistical areas

CategoryVessel requirementsPrioritised fisheries

Gillnet/longline vessels north

Home harbours in statistical areas 03, 04, 05, 00, 06 & 07

Length 9‒16m

Home adresse and carries out most of its fishing in one of the areas described under the vessel category

Active in the predominant coastal fisheries for the area

Main fishing gear is gillnet/longline

Cod, haddock, saithe with gillnet/longline coastal north of 62°N

Ling and tusk with gillnet/longline coastal north of 62°N

Anglerfish with gillnet north of 62°N

Greenland halibut coastal fishery with gillnet/longline north of 62°N

Gillnet/longline vessel south

Home harbours in statistical areas 28, 08 & 09

Length 9‒16m

Home adresse and carries out most of its fishing in one of the areas described under the vessel category

Active in the predominant coastal fisheries for the area

Main fishing gear is gillnet/longline

Cod, haddock, saithe with gillnet/longline coastal south of 62°N

Anglerfish with gillnet south of 62°N

Mackerel coastal fishery with gillnet/jigging/other gears

Wrasse pot fishery

Demersal seine vessel north

Home harbour in statistical area 03

Length 9‒16m

Home adresse and carries out most of its fishing in one of the areas described under the vessel category

Active in the predominant coastal fisheries for the area

Main fishing gear is demersal seine

Cod, haddock, saithe with demersal seine coastal north of 62°N

Demersal seine vessel south

Home harbour in statistical area 08

Length 9‒16m

Home adresse and carries out most of its fishing in one of the areas described under the vessel category

Active in the predominant coastal fisheries for the area

Main fishing gear is demersal seine

Cod, haddock, saithe with demersal seine coastal south of 62°N

Mackerel coastal fishery with seine/other gears

Shrimp trawler – Skagerrak and North Sea

Home harbours in statistical areas 08 & 09

Length 9‒15m

One vessel with length 15‒28m

Home adresse and carries out most of its fishing in one of the areas described under the vessel category

Active in the coastal shrimp fishery

Main fishing gear is shrimp trawl

Shrimp fishery in the Skagerrak and North Sea


Table A3. List of vessels in the High-Seas Reference Fleet between 2015 and 2019

Vessel category20152016201720182019
Demersal factory trawler

Andenesfisk 1 (LJWI)

Havbryn (LDBT)

Hermes (LLOP)

Ramoen (LMLT)

Vesttind (LLDH)

Andenesfisk 1 (LJWI)

Havbryn (LDBT)

Hermes (LLOP)

Vesttind (LLDH)

Andenesfisk 1 (LJWI)

Havbryn (LDBT)

Hermes (LLOP)

Ramoen (LDNV)

Havbryn (LDBT)

Hermes (LLOP)

Ramoen (LDNV) 

Gadus Neptun (LDDG) 

Havbryn (LDBT)

Hermes (LLOP)

Ramoen (LDNV)

Gillnet vessel fishing mainly in the North Sea

Nesejenta (3WYO)

Skjongholm (LHSQ)

Nesejenta (3WYO)

Skjongholm (LHSQ)

Nesejenta (3WYO)

Skjongholm (LHSQ)

Nesejenta (3WYO)

Skjongholm (LHSQ)

Nesejenta (3WYO)

Skjongholm (LHSQ)

Gillnet vessel fishing mainly in the Barents SeaKato (LLJC)Kato (LLJC)Kato (LLJC)Kato (LLJC)Kato (LLJC)
Longline/gillnet vessel

Carisma Viking (LLPZ)

Nesbakk (LJZJ)

O.Husby (LJQG)

Vonar (LMCJ)

Carisma Viking (LLPZ)

Nesbakk (LJZJ)

O.Husby (LJQG)

Vonar (LMCJ)

Atlantic (LIYX)

Nesbakk (LJZJ)

O.Husby (LJQG)

Vonar (LMCJ)

Atlantic (LIYX)

Nesbakk (LJZJ)

O.Husby (LJQG)

Vonar (LMCJ)

Atlantic (LIYX)

Nesbakk (LJZJ)

O.Husby (LJQG)

Vonar (LMCJ)

Demersal /purse seine vessel

Hovden Viking (JWLM)

Skagøysund (LMUR)

Hovden Viking (JWLM)

Skagøysund (LMUR)

Kamilla Grande (JWLM)

Skagøysund (LMUR)

Kamilla Grande (JWLM)

Skagøysund (LMUR)

Hovden Viking (LEYN)

Skagøysund (LMUR)

Industry trawler

Cetus (LLYM)

Herøyfjord (LMHM)

Cetus (JXML)

Cetus (JXML)

Håflu (LEQI)

Håflu (LEQI)

Vikingbank (LLAS)

Cetus (LFFK) Håflu (LEQI)

Vikingbank (LLAS)


Table A4. List of vessels in the Coastal Reference Fleet between 2015 and 2019. See Figure A1 for map of statistical areas

Category

Statistical area20152016201720182019
Gillnet/longline vessels north.03Solgløtt (LM2890)Solgløtt (LM2890)Solgløtt (LM2890)Solgløtt (LM2890)Solgløtt (LM2890)
04

Odd Yngve (LM2864)

Øyværing (LM8662)

Odd Yngve (LM2864)

Øyværing (LM8662)

Odd Yngve (LM2864)

Øyværing (LM8662)

Odd Yngve (LM2864)

Øyværing (LK3925)

MT Senior (LG7408)

Øyværing (LK3925)

05

Ægir (LK5045)

Vornesværing (LK5647)

Ægir (LK5045)

Vornesværing (LK5647)

Ægir (LK5045)

Vornesværing (LK5647)

Ægir (LK5045)

Ægir (LK5045)

Braken (LM7459)

00/05

T.Sivertsen (LK5948)

Hellskjær (LM8308)

T.Sivertsen (LK5948)

Hellskjær (LM8308)

T.Sivertsen (LK5376)

Hellskjær (LM8308)

T.Sivertsen (LK5376)

Hellskjær (LM8308)

T.Sivertsen (LK5376)
00

Rånes Viking (LK5016)

Økssund (LK6737)

Rånes Viking (LK5016)

Økssund (LK6737)

Rånes Viking (LK5016)

Økssund (LK6737)

Rånes Viking (LK5016)

Økssund (LK6737)

Rånes Viking (LK5016)

Økssund (LK6737)

06Haldorson (LK4789)Haldorson (LK4789)Haldorson (LK4789)Haldorson (LK4789)Haldorson (LK4789)
07

Tramsegg (LK7141)

Haaværbuen (LM5498)

Øygutt (LK5160)

Tramsegg (LK7141)

Haaværbuen (LM5498)

Leon Olai (LK2759)

Tramsegg (LK7141)

Sørhav (LG4010)

Tramsegg (LG3690)

Sørhav (LG4010)

Tramsegg (LG3690)

Sørhav (LG4010)

Demersal seine vessel north03Charmi (LK3293)Charmi (LK3293) Kristian Gerhard (LK7556)Kristian Gerhard (LK7556)
Gillnet/longline vessel south28

Vester Junior LM5970)

Britt Evelyn (LK6966)

Vester Junior LM5970)

Britt Evelyn (LK6966)

Vester Junior LM5970)

Britt Evelyn (LK6966)

Vester Junior LM5970)

Britt Evelyn (LK6966)

Vester Junior LM5970)

Britt Evelyn (LK6966)

08

Austbris (LK9305)

Ramona (LK6606)

Repsøy (LK3270)

Austbris (LK9305)

Ramona (LK6606)

Repsøy (LK3270)

Austbris (LK9305)

Ramona (LK6606)

Vicma (LG9311)

Austbris (LK9305)

Ramona (LK6606)

Eggøy (LM8940)

Trellevik (LG4914)

Fjorden (LK6326)

Eggøy (LM8940)

09

Skogsøyjenta (LK5485)

Vesleper (LM7915)

Skogsøyjenta (LK5485)Skogsøyjenta (LK5485)Skogsøyjenta (LK5485)Skogsøyjenta (LK5485)
Demersal seine vessel south08Molinergutt (LG7405)Molinergutt (LG7405)Molinergutt (LG7405)Molinergutt (LG7405)Molinergutt (LG7405)
Shrimp trawler (9-15m)09

Brattholm (LK7238)

Tormo (LM3995)

Brattholm (LK7238)

Tormo (LM3995)

Mostein (LK5352)

Brattholm (LK7238)

Tormo (LM3995)

Mostein (LK5352)

Grepan Junior (LK5485)

Tormo (LM3995)

Mostein (LK5352)

Brattholm (LH2820)

Tormo (LM3995)

Shrimp trawler (15-28m)08/09    Guldringnes (LKZZ)

Figure A1. Map of statistical areas defined by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries

5.2 - Appendix B: Sampling protocols

Table B1. Protocol for catch registration and sampling in the High-Seas Reference Fleet

Gear type Catch registrationSampling
Demersal trawl

Every haul – the processed (landed) catch is registered and bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and seldom fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark). From 2019 registering bycatch of corals and sponges is also included in the procedure.

One haul every other day - total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species. From 2019 discards are registered separately from the retained catch per species that is processed for fishmeal.

One haul every other day – length and weight measurements are taken of up to 20 individuals of all species in the catch, both landed and from discards

One haul per week – Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species

Shrimp trawl

Every haul – the processed (landed) catch is registered and bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and seldom fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark). From 2019 registering bycatch of corals and sponges is also included in the procedure.

One haul every other day - total catch is estimated from 3 basket samples from the catch and registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species. From 2019 discards are registered separately from the retained catch per species that is processed for fishmeal.

One haul every other day – length and weight measurements are taken of up to 50 individuals of all species in the catch, both landed and from discards

Demersal seine

Every other haul – the processed (landed) catch is registered and bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and seldom fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark).

One haul every other day - total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species.

One haul every other day – length and weight measurements are taken of up to 20 individuals of all species in the catch, both landed and from discards

One haul per week – Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species

Pelagic trawl and purse seine

Every other haul/cast – the processed (landed) catch is registered and bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and rare fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark).

Every alternate haul/cast - total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species.

End of trip – if the onboard pumping of the catch is a closed system. Total catch, including bycatch species.

Hauls/casts with zero catch or slipping of all/part of the catch is also registered

Every other haul/cast –samples length and weight measurements for all species in the catch. Number of individuals in a sample dependent upon the species

Every other haul/cast –frozen sample of target species for length/age determination and other important variables. For some pelagic species frozen samples are taken for each catch.

One catch per week – Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species

Industrial trawl (Target species: Sandeel, Norwegian pout & Blue whiting)

Every haul – the landed catch is separated in to catch to consume and catch that is pumped into the holding tanks for fish-meal production, and registered by species. Bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and seldom fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark) is also registered. From 20One9 registering bycatch of corals and sponges is also included in the procedure.

One haul every other day - total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species. Species composition catch that is pumped into the holding tanks is estimated from 3 basket samples of following the IMR sampling procedure for catch sampling.

Every other haul – frozen sample of some target species for length/age determination and other important variables. For some species frozen samples are taken for each catch.

One haul every other day – length and weight measurements are taken of samples of all species in the catch, both landed and from discards. The number of individuals in a sample dependent upon species.

One haul per week – Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species

Long-line/gillnet

Every daily catch – the processed (landed) catch is registered and bycatch of seabirds, sea-mammals and seldom fish species (e.g. porbeagle and basking shark). Effort is recorded in number of hooks/gillnets, but not soak time.

Every other day – for a representative portion of the total gear hauled that day (approximately 16,000 hooks or 100 gillnets), total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species. Effort is recorded in number of hooks/gillnets and soak time.

One haul every other day – length and weight measurements are taken of up to 20 individuals of all species in the catch, both landed and from discards

One haul per week – Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species

Table B2. Protocol for catch registration and sampling in the Coastal Reference Fleet

Gear type Catch registrationSampling
All gear types

Each day – total catch is registered, including all bycatch species and discards of both commercial and bycatch species.

Shrimp trawl – from 2019 registering bycatch of corals and sponges is also included in the procedure.

Splitting the catch – if the day’s catch is taken from multiple fishing operations from different depths, fishing area or different gear types, then the catch should be split and registered separately. For example, two gillnets used the same day with different mesh-sizes and set at different depths.

One catch per week– length and weight measurements are taken of up to 20 individuals for each species in the catch, both landed and from discards. Otolith samples are taken for important demersal species