Forage fish, their fisheries, and their predators:Who drives whom?

Engelhard, Georg H., Peck, Myron A., Rindorf, Anna, Smout, Sophie C., van Deurs, Mikael, Raab, Kristina, Andersen, Ken H., Garthe, Stefan, Lauerburg, Rebecca A.M., Scott, Finlay, Brunel, Thomas, Aarts, Geert, van Kooten, Tobias and Dickey-Collas, Mark (2014) Forage fish, their fisheries, and their predators:Who drives whom? ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71 (1). pp. 90-104. ISSN 1054-3139

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The North Sea has a diverse forage fish assemblage, including herring, targeted for human consumption; sandeel, sprat, and Norway pout, exploited by industrial fisheries; and some sardine and anchovy, supporting small-scale fisheries. All show large abundance fluctuations, impacting on fisheries and predators. We review field, laboratory, and modelling studies to investigate the drivers of this complex system of forage fish. Climate clearly influences forage fish productivity; however, any single-species considerations of the influence of climate might fail if strong interactions between forage fish exist, as in the North Sea. Sandeel appears to be the most important prey forage fish. Seabirds are most dependent on forage fish, due to specialized diet and distributional constraints (breeding colonies). Other than fisheries, key predators of forage fish are a few piscivorous fish species including saithe, whiting, mackerel, and horse-mackerel, exploited in turn by fisheries; seabirds and seals have a more modest impact. Size-based foodweb modelling suggests that reducing fishing mortality may not necessarily lead to larger stocks of piscivorous fish, especially if their early life stages compete with forage fish for zooplankton resources. In complex systems, changes in the impact of fisheries on forage fish may have potentially complex (and perhaps unanticipated) consequences on other commercially and/or ecologically important species.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 16:56
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 21:31
DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fst087

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