- AZTI technology centre and the Basque Government present the preliminary results of the Bioman 2022 scientific campaign, which this year estimates an adult anchovy biomass of around 230,000 tonnes.
- The final figures for anchovy stock abundance in the Bay of Biscay will be determined at the end of 2022 from a combined analysis using data from the Pelgas (Ifremer) and Juvena (AZTI) campaigns, which will be used to give advice on the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for 2023
- Bioman campaign is supported by the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Sustainability of the Basque Government and the European Commission, with the collaboration of the General Secretariat for Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Donostia, 7 July 2022– The annual Bioman scientific campaign, led by the AZTI technology centre, estimates a preliminary biomass of adult anchovy of some 230,000 tonnes for 2022, a figure well above the minimum value that guarantees the sustainability of the species (21,000 tonnes).
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government, Bittor Oroz, the Director General of AZTI, Rogelio Pozo, and representatives of the fishing sector have today presented the campaign data for this species which, during the 2022 fishing season, has registered catches by Basque vessels of 6,528 tonnes with an average auction price of 1.58 €/kg.
“The results confirm the good state of the species’ stock in the Bay of Biscay. This is excellent news that highlights the commitment we have been making for years for the environmental sustainability and the Basque fishing sector of a resource that provides work for more than 3,500 people in the Basque Country,” underlined Oroz, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy.
The general director of AZTI, Rogelio Pozo, also highlighted the positive trend of the results of these campaigns in recent years and was optimistic about next year’s fishing season. “Of the total number of population individuals, 55% of the specimens are of age 1, an average high figure that is above the average of the historical series and which seems to predict that the 2023 fishing season may also have positive results”, he stated.
Bioman 2022 campaign was carried out in May on board the oceanographic vessels Emma Bardán and Vizconde de Eza belonging to the General Secretariat of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and followed by the analysis of samples in AZTI’s laboratories.
By the end of the year, the final anchovy biomass estimate will be finalised from the combined analysis of the collected data not only from Bioman 2022, but also from the Pelgas 2022, Juvena 2022 and from the fishing season catches.
Impact of climate change
In addition, since 2016, Bioman not only measures anchovy biomass but also includes an ecosystem approach.
It is a holistic approach to the sustainability of the seas that not only assesses the fish biomass, but also their feeding (study of zooplankton and ichthyoplankton); or their habitat, in terms of predators (including cetaceans and birds), oceanographic parameters (essential physical properties of seawater such as temperature, salinity, etc.).
“Over the last 35 years we have noticed an upward trend in anchovy food. Zooplankton, and more specifically copepods – which are the small crustaceans that represent almost 70% of zooplankton – have increased by 2.4% per decade, which is good news because, without food, there is no fish,” say the technology centre.
The Bioman scientific campaign is supported by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government and the European Commission. Furthermore, the General Secretariat for Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is also cooperating with the campaign.