General course objectives
To provide the participants with an understanding of (1) the global scale of fisheries and its impact on the ecosystem, (1) the most commonly applied quantitative models, and (3) the biological background of fisheries advice; including the concept of sustainable fishing.
The global fisheries annually catch an astonishing amount of c. 100 million tons of fish. In the North Sea alone, between 30 and 40% of the biomass of commercially exploited fish is removed each year by fisheries. The course will explain how fisheries scientists assess the size of these fish stocks to produce biological fisheries advice; and what role the International Council of the Exploration of the Seas (and other international advisory bodies) play in this regard. The lectures have a global perspective, but with a particular focus on the North Atlantic. Topics covered in the course involves (1) data collection and ageing of fish, (2) models of growth, mortality and recruitment, (3) stock assessment and catch predictions, (4) multispecies models, (5) ecological impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, (6) recreational fishing, (7) marine protected areas and stock enhancement programs, (8) introduction to fisheries management beyond single-species assessments. The students will be applying simple mathematical models and will be acquainted with full-scale operational assessment models that are run via online platforms. The students will be producing 1 report in which they should produce their own biological fisheries advice.
To ensure a balance between conventional approaches, recent development of the state-of-the-art, and the newest pioneering ideas and trends (and ongoing debates), a suite of researchers from DTU Aqua have been connected to the course and will give lectures on the diverse topics.
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
- Recognize basic scientific concepts and terms used by fisheries biologists (i.e. learn the essential ”language”)
- List the different types of quantitative models used in fisheries science (from simple models of growth to stock assessment models and even ecosystem models) and describe some conceptual differences
- Identify and describe a range of tools (besides stock assessment models) used to regulate fishing activities and ensure sustainable exploitation (by scientists and managers)
- Understand and analyze the content of standard fisheries advice (with offset in the ICES format)
- Apply the most essential mathematical equations and models used by fisheries biologists
- Estimate the size of a fish population and perform short- and long-term predictions of the effect of changing fishing effort.
- Assemble existing knowledge and construct new ideas as to how we can develop and maintain sustainable fisheries in the future