SEAMAR is an multi-disciplinary study to develop a Bio-Physical Transport Model for the prediction of year-to-year survival during. the early life-history stages of the western stock of mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and hence ultimate recruitment strength.
The study will be based on an existing transport model developed as part of the SEFOS programme, which included a simulation of the physical environment but did not take account of biological interactions. Growth and mortality rates in response to environmental conditions such as food availability and temperature will be incorporated in the model as functions of the biological and physical environment. This will take predictive modelling of pre-recruit survival beyond the current state of the art and will give a fundamentally more realistic simulation of the fate of the eggs, larvae and post-larvae of mackerel in their drift from the spawning grounds to the nursery areas and an improved ability to predict recruitment. The modelled drift and survival (recruitment) of the post-larvae will be related to the observed distribution and abundance from lagrangian studies, recruit surveys and to recruitment indices from VPA stock assessment models as validation of the model. This understanding, combined with known changes in spawning behaviour (timing, location and pattern), will allow the prediction of scenarios for successful mackerel recruitment and the establishment of operational models for stock management as proposed by IWC & ICES.
1. To develop a Bio-Physical Transport Model for eggs, larvae and post-larvae of mackerel by incorporation of biological characteristics in a transport model.
2. To define the distribution, behaviour, growth and mortality of eggs, larvae and post-larvae of mackerel and their interrelationships with environmental variables for input to the model.
3. Using observed wind data for individual years and variations in the wind patterns, to run model simulations of the drift and survival of eggs, larvae and post-larvae of mackerel allowing for mortality in relation to environmental conditions during the period of planktonic drift.
4. To relate the modelled drift and survival (recruitment) of the post-larvae to the observed distribution and abundance in recruit surveys and to recruitment indices from VPA stock assessment models.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
AB11 9DB Aberdeen
20008 Donostia (Gipuzkoa)