The Bioman and Juvena campaigns are the basic pillar of the international assessment of anchovy and allow recommendations to be made to the fisheries authorities on the risks associated with the admissible catches of anchovy and in the event that the data so advise, to open or close the fishery and recommend the Total Admissible Catches of anchovy (TAC) for the coming season.
AZTI’s scientists participate in this forum and their contributions are taken into account for the final calculation of the anchovy stock and the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) that the European Union will determine for the year following the evaluation.
The aim of the scientific campaign Bioman is to evaluate the adult anchovy population present in the Bay of Biscay at the end of spring, by applying the daily egg production method (MPHD), undertaking various studies and sampling throughout the anchovy reproduction area.
After collecting plankton samples, the eggs spawned by the anchovies are extracted. At the same time, samples of adult anchovies are collected to later calculate their average fertility; that is, the average number of eggs produced by each female. The relationship between the quantity of eggs found in the plankton and the average fertility of the females allows AZTI experts to estimate the biomass of this marine resource, considered to be one of the pillars of the economy of the Basque fishing sector and of the entire Cantabrian coast.
The Bioman study in spring is complemented by the Juvena campaign in autumn, in which AZTI’s research personnel determine the abundance and spatial distribution of young anchovies, study their condition and analyse the environmental factors that affect their survival. In this way, the technicians can predict the amount of anchovy that will enter the adult population the following year and that will sustain the fishery.
The importance of the campaign lies in the fact that only through sustainable management is it possible to guarantee the survival of the species and the future of the economic activity generated by this fishery both in the fishing sector and in the canning and food industry, which employs more than 3,500 people.
Gobierno Vasco, el Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente y el Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)