The fishing areas in the North-East Atlantic are most often referred to according to the partitioning system used, for statistical and scientific purposes, by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The North Sea basin corresponds to ICES sub-area IV. It is adjacent in particular to division VIa (West of Scotland), division VIId (Eastern Channel), division IIa (southern part of the Norwegian Sea) and division IIIa (Skagerrak and Kattegat), this latter area being itself connected to the Danish straits (subdivisions 22-23) towards the Western Baltic Sea (subdivision 24). The fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent areas (notably the Eastern Channel and the Kattegat and Skagerrak), are highly complex. To catch demersal species, vessels use a variety of techniques and fishing gear, the most important being demersal trawls and seines, as well as beam trawls. Many of these fisheries do not only catch specimens of one single targeted species, but simultaneously catch several species present in the fished area, in varying proportions. Such fisheries are hence called ‘mixed fisheries’.
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