Good Fish Guide
Pouting or Bib
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Gill net,Fixed net
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - All Areas
Stock detail - I-IX
Fish type - White round fish
Pouting (or Bib) is a short-lived species common in British inshore waters. It is not commercially fished and therefore not assessed and no information available on its stock status. However its biology suggests that it is moderately resilient to fishing. When buying choose mature (over 21 cm) locally caught fish. Avoid eating fresh (not previously frozen) fish caught during their spawning season (March to April). As an under-utilised species it is ranked by Cefas as one of the most tolerant of over-fishing and therefore one of the better ones for consumers to eat.
A member of the cod family, it is a common fish in inshore waters, particularly in rocky areas where large schools form around wrecks and reefs. Moves inshore to depths of 50m or less to spawn in March to April. It matures at 1-2 years old at lengths of 21-25 cms. Can attain a size in excess of 40cm, but more usually between about 20-32cm. The maximum reported age reached is 4 years.
Pouting is a bycatch (fish caught unintentionally whilst trying to catch other fish) species that is more commonly being landed for human consumption. Because pouting is not commercially fished (targeted), the status of the stocks is not assessed, therefore, no information is available. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the stocks are in abundance, however the species does suffer from discarding. Formal stock assessment is essential to ascertain whether this fishery is sustainable. Pouting is however considered an under-utilised species. Under-utilised species are ones that fishermen don't catch their full quota of; or they catch them but then discard the fish because no one wants to buy them. Centre for Environmental, Fisheries and Aquaculture Scince (Cefas) have compiled a list of these species using quota and discard information, expert advice and local knowledge and chose around 50 under-utilised species to study. To determine their sensitivity to over-fishing Cefas has developed a system, the Relative Life History Sensitivity Analysis, to study the risk. It uses biological information like growth and breeding strategies to see how increased fishing pressure might damage each species. They then ranked the species by how tolerant they are to being over-fished. For a full list of the species that are most under-utilised AND most tolerant of over-fishing and therefore the best ones for consumers to consider choosing see www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/our-science/fisheries-information/marine-fisheries/under-utilised-species.aspx
Pouting is mostly taken as bycatch in mixed trawl fisheries. As such there are currently few management measures for the species. Any measures available will be through local byelaws enforced by Inshore Fishery Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). For example Southern IFCA Netting Code of Practice voluntarily requests that fishers avoid the bycatch of diving seabirds (razorbills, guillemots, puffins and gannets) in gill and fixed nets. No specific fixed gear mesh size is attributed to pouting. The species is taken as part of a mixed net fishery. Only where the catch retained on board composes mostly of pouting does legislation (EC Council Regulation (850/98)) require the mesh size to be equal to or greater than 220mm.
Pouting (or Bib) is taken as by-catch in trawl fisheries for other whitefish and also in gill or fixed nets. Because it is not commercially fished there is no minimum landing size specified for it in EU waters. The type of net in use and the mesh size used will determine the size and maturity of fish retained by it.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
www.southern-ifca.gov.uk; www.marlin.ac.uk/biotic; EC Council Regulation (850/98) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31998R0850&qid=1403776329113&from=EN; http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/198587/3; http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Trisopterus-luscus.html; http://www.seafish.org/media/publications/SeafishSpeciesGuide_Pouting_201401.pdf
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