A proposal for determining the initial desirable maximum catch of directed sardine west of Cape Agulhas during 2017, with suggestions on how this might be achieved

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University of Cape Town

Butterworth (2016) outlined a draft process for setting the initial directed >14cm sardine TAC for 2017. This document expands on the detail of that draft process, with some changes/updates. Further, it provides initial projections from November 2015 to November 2017, assuming that the May 2016 survey estimate of recruitment was observed without error. Ideally the SWG-PEL will select a low probability for November 2017 projected 2+ biomass being below the inflection point of the hockey-stick stock recruitment curve at the meeting on 7th December, based on the initial results presented below. In addition, the SWG-PEL may need to select a percentage increase above the recommended west coast catch limit that could be used to recommend an initial directed >14cm sardine TAC. This latter step seems to need consideration because formal spatial restrictions will not at this stage be included on the permits with the initial TAC allocation. Thus, as a worst case scenario, the majority of this initial TAC may be caught on the west coast. The remaining steps in this process are proposed to be undertaken after the November 2016 hydroacoustic survey estimate of abundance becomes available.