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CODYSSEY
Cod spatial dynamics and vertical movements in European waters and implications for fishery management

The principle aim of the proposed research is to improve understanding on the horizontal migrations and vertical movements of cod. This will include the influence of environmental and biological factors on them in order to provide management relevant information as to the horizontal availability, vertical accessibility and individual vulnerability of cod to fishing activities. The fulfilment of this objective will provide tools for the evaluation of stock assessment methodology, management and conservation of cod stocks in European waters. It will also be highly relevant to future stock assessment and the management of cod stocks under the soon-to-be renegotiated Common Fisheries Policy, and other instruments for fisheries management.

Objectives
The objectives of the project are:
1) to undertake a comprehensive data storage tagging programme to collect, on an individual level, behavioural and environmental experience data from cod in four contrasting ecosystems: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and Icelandic / Faroese waters
2) to develop a geolocation database, based on existing comprehensive hydrographic datasets
3) to reconstruct horizontal movements of cod in relation to spawning / feeding grounds
4) to identify key environmental forcers of horizontal movements of cod
5) to simulate cod population-level processes using behaviour-based models of spatial dynamics
6) to describe patterns and mechanisms of vertical movement in relation to environmental parameters and develop predictive models of vertical distribution of cod
7) to identify and validate signature microstructures in otoliths ('ethotyping') from recaptured fish and quantify their frequency distributions in populations, in order to scale up individual-level behavioural results to population-scale behavioural phenomena
8) to disseminate the management-relevant information gained from the research as widely as possibly through a variety of fora (for example, ICES Working Groups).

Progress to Date
Tagging programmes are well underway, and preliminary analyses have been undertaken. See www.codyssey.co.uk for more information.

Results
Information on the timing, scale and duration of horizontal and vertical movements of cod.
Definition of the systematic changes to the horizontal availability and vertical accessibility of cod to fishing and acoustic survey gear.
Assessment of the potential and locations of effective closed areas to conserve cod stocks.
Understanding how cod move, and the links between the environment and their behaviour.
Improvement of our ability to predict cod stocks changes after human intervention.
Identification of the limitations and application of archival tag technology.

Classified in CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Dr DAVID RIGHTON
Pakefield Road
NR33 0HT Lowestoft
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 1502 524359
Fax: +44 1502 513865
E-mail: d.righton@cefas.co.uk

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-00813
Organisation CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE SCIENCE
Area 5.1.2
Start date 10 January 2002
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 5 241 862 €
Total EC contribution   2 254 255 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.codyssey.co.uk

The partners

  • INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH, BERGEN, NORWAY, Norway - NO
    bjordal@imr.no
  • DANISH INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESEARCH, Denmark - DK
    eh@dfu.min.dk
  • SCOTTISH MINISTERS ACTING THROUGH FISHERIES RESEARCH SERVICES,MARINE LABORATORY, United Kingdom (The) - GB
    craigg@marlab.ac.uk
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