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ERC

PHYSFISH Report Summary

Project ID: 640004
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PHYSFISH (The Role of Physiology in the Causes and Consequences of Fisheries-Induced Evolution)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To date the project has been progressing successfully with a few minor postponements and adjustments. Major achievements include:
1) The production of a laboratory-based apparatus for the simulation of fishing by trawl and trap. Establishment of the trawl simulations was especially elaborate with the installation of a large flume tank and a custom-built miniature trawl net.
2) The establishment of wild zebrafish selection lines. This process included the installation of two purpose built zebrafish rearing racks as well as six large stock tanks. In addition, wild zebrafish were obtained and the first generation has been bred successfully.
3) The installation of an acoustic telemetry array for tracking the behaviour of wild fish. So far 25 wild perch have been released into the array and we have completed our first data download. Analysis of this data is underway and will provide the first information on links between physiological traits and habitat selection in wild, free-ranging fish.
4) The completion of two sets of experiments to examine how physiology interacts with social influences to determine vulnerability to capture by trap and trawl. These experiments were completed by PhD students on the project.
5) From the perspective of staff hirings, one technician, one postdoc, and two PhD students were hired onto the project. In the original proposal only one PhD student was intended to start in the first year but two excellent candidates were in the first hiring pool and so both were hired. This has turned out to be a great outcome because the establishment of the zebrafish populations have gone much more smoothly with the addition of the second PhD student.
Notable delays and project changes are as follows:
1) The acoustic array has been installed in a freshwater Loch system instead of a marine system. We chose to go with this option first in order to test the system and provide data for a later installation of the array in a larger system.
2) Some of the work for WP3 has been delayed because the postdoc on the project obtained permanent employment in another position and so the position needed to be re-filled. The new postdoc will start in March 2017 an experiments for WP3 will begin shortly thereafter.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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