2021 stock assessments published

Summaries of the 2021 stock assessments by scientists at UHI Shetland are available to download below. The full 60-page draft report is available to SSMO licence holders by logging into the private Members Area.

The assessments cover seven Shetland shellfish species. At this stage there is still more work to do on the scallop assessment before the scientists can give robust advice. This includes incorporating information from the scallop survey on the Atlantia II.

These annual assessments are unique in Scotland. They provide detailed, very localised, scientific data which are used to adjust the SSMO's Harvest Control Rules. From this, it can be determined whether stocks are strong enough to sustain extra fishing licences or if extra management controls are needed to stop overfishing.

At a board meeting on 2nd December it was agreed that the results provided no scope for offering extra full creel licences during 2023. But there was no immediate requirement to curb existing fishing effort on any species, although the easily overfished velvet crab stock continues to require caution.