State of assessed commercial fish and shellfish stocks in relation to the good environmental status criteria for fishing mortality and reproductive capacity in marine regions

Figure Created 26 Jul 2022 Published 05 Aug 2022 Last modified 21 Sep 2022
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This figure shows trends in the status of assessed commercially exploited fish and shellfish stocks between 1947 and 2019, expressed in two metrics-fishing mortality (F) and reproductive capacity (i.e. spawning stock biomass (SSB))-relative to their policy thresholds for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive's 'good environmental status' (GES) (i.e. FMSY and MSY Btrigger, respectively).

European data


Additional information

• For fishing mortality, a value greater than 1 (F>FMSY) indicates that exploitation exceeds the level that would produce the maximum yield and is likely less sustainable in the long term.
• In the North-East Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, for reproductive capacity a value greater than 1 (SSB>MSY Btrigger) indicates that the stocks are in a healthy condition.
• In the Mediterranean Sea, no GES threshold is available for reproductive capacity. The dashed horizontal line represents the 2003 level for this region.
• Stocks assessments have different starting years depending on the data available. In recent years the trend is based on more stocks and the trends in indicators are expected to be robust.
• Due to the reduced number of stock assessments available for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the indicators are not shown for these regions.
• Shaded areas represent confidence limits.


GES= good environmental status; MSY= maximum sustainable yield; F= fishing mortality; FMSY= the fishing mortality that will lead to MSY catch in the long term; SSB= spawning stock biomass (a measure of reproductive capacity); MSY Btrigger= either the biomass at the lower level of the range (5th percentile) of SSB able to produce MSY or Bpa (a stock status reference point above which the stock is considered to have full reproductive capacity, having accounted for estimation uncertainty).

Geographical coverage
Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) regions: North-East Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea (excluding the Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

Temporal coverage
1947-2019 (Baltic Sea and North-East Atlantic Ocean); 2003-2018 (Mediterranean Sea).


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage

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