Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CODYSSEY Report Summary

Project ID: Q5RS-2002-00813
Funded under: FP5-LIFE QUALITY
Country: United Kingdom

Role of environment in determining cod behaviour

The CODYSSEY project is a comparative evaluation of the behavioural characteristics of cod in the NE Atlantic to improve understanding of the horizontal migrations and vertical movements of cod in relation to environmental and biological factors in order to provide fisheries managers with information on the horizontal availability, vertical accessibility and individual vulnerability of cod to fishing activities.

The environmental data from the CODYSSEY tagging programme has demonstrated that, in the wild, cod can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions that are outside of the range considered tolerable in laboratory experiments. These data make a tremendous contribution to our understanding of the results and analyses from fishing surveys, which sometimes make simplifying assumptions about the way that cod are expected to select habitat. Thus, while environmental temperature undoubtedly has a powerful controlling influence on metabolic demand in fish, our studies suggest that the role of temperature in determining movements and distribution of adult cod in the open sea may not be critical and other environmental factors (e.g. prey distribution, suitable flow refuges etc.) may be equally, or even more, important.

Similarly, in trying to understanding the potential impact of climate change at the population level, the effect of temperature on adult cod may not be as important as understanding the effect of temperature on other biological mechanisms such as the link between temperature and survival during the early life history stages.


David RIGHTON, (Project Coordinator)
Tel.: +44-0150-2562244
Fax: +44-0150-2513865
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