ICES latest advice, fisheries and ecosystem overviews

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) provides scientific advice on the marine ecosystem to governments and international regulatory bodies that manage the North Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.

ICES latest advice click here

ICES fisheries overviews click here

ICES ecosystem overviews click here

ICES ecoregions and advisory areas click here

From Fisheries Overviews – Greater North Sea Ecoregion (click here):

Around 6600 fishing vessels are active in the Greater North Sea. Total landings peaked in the 1970s at 4 million tonnes and have since declined to about 2 million tonnes.

Fisheries in the Greater North Sea catch a large diversity of species. These have been categorized into species that are pelagic, demersal, benthic (e.g. flatfish), crustaceans, and elasmobranchs.Total landings from the Greater North Sea varied between 2 and 3 million tonnes during the 1950s, then rose to between 3 and 4 million tonnes from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s (Figure). High catches of both pelagic species (mackerel and herring) and demersal species (cod and haddock) accounted for the increase in total landings in the late 1960s. Total landings declined after 1995 to a low of 1.4 million tonnes in 2012. This decline is attributed to overfishing and decreased productivity of important stocks such as cod and herring, but also to the successful reduction of fishing mortality to more sustainable levels after 2000.

Figure: Landings (thousand tonnes) from the Greater North Sea in 1950–2018, by country. The nine countries having the highest landings are displayed separately and the remaining countries are aggregated and displayed as “other”.