W RK PACKAGE 3
Theme: Fine-scale Mapping
Integrating fine-scale seafloor mapping into the assessment & management of benthic fisheries for environmentally conditioned advice
Fishing is an inherently spatial process and although habitat can determine a species’ distribution and productivity, traditional fisheries assessment approaches prescribe to the ‘unit stock’ concept and do not explicitly account for the spatial distribution of abundance or fishing effort. Understanding fine-scale spatial habitat patterns, their influence on fish population dynamics, and how they can be integrated into fisheries assessments, would improve fisheries science advice within an ecosystem context and help operationalize an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Using newly developed software tools with novel statistical approaches to modelling spatio-temporal processes, Work Project 3 (WP 3) focuses on advancing our understanding of environmental drivers and spatial-temporal structure of exploited sedentary marine species (e.g. sea scallop, sea cucumber). The provision of such environmentally conditioned science advice is particularly crucial to inform fisheries management at this time in order to mitigate, adapt, and respond to the impacts of climate change.