Korea - Proposal to amend CMM 2021-08 for Pacific saury
The 7th session of the Scientific Committee has advised to the Commission that the current annual TAC for 2021-2022 specified in CMM 2021-08 for Pacific saury (333,750 t) based on historical catch is much larger than a TAC that would be based on the Fmsy catch approach (B2022*FMSY = 205,000 t).
Based on this advice, the Commission will need to consider measures that take into account the SC’s advice that A reduction to the TAC for 2021-2022 would increase the probability of higher biomass and catch levels in the Pacific saury stock.
In this regard, the SC has provided an example of a Harvest Control Rule that results in the TAC of 101,000 t, with the caveat that its performance has not been evaluated by a formal MSE framework for Pacific saury.
The calculated TAC is nearly a third of the current (2021-2022) level of TAC. This drastic reduction would impact the operational stability of the Pacific saury fishery. Instead, less severe cut can be compensated with effort control to bring the stock to a healthy status.
In sharing the reduction burden, Members’ contribution to the protection of juvenile fish must be taken into consideration, especially those who have fully complied with the voluntary obligation to refrain from fishing in the area 170 degrees East as set out in paragraph 14 of CMM2021-08.
Given the above information, Korea proposes that (1) the Commission set a TAC for 2023 and 2024 at 205,000 tons; (2) Members reduce their catches by 55% from the 2018 level; (3) Members that have complied with paragraph 14 reduce their catches by 45% from the 2018 level; and (4) fishing for Pacific saury in the areas east of 170°E from June to July be prohibited as a mandatory obligation.