Trophic impact of Atlantic bluefin tuna migrations in the North Sea

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2017

Documents

DOI

View graph of relations

Large highly migratory predators can have major impacts on local marine ecosystems by reducing prey populations and leading to trophic cascades that affect the entire fish community. These trophic interactions are typically non-linear and can alter both the migratory behaviour of the predator and the stability of the fish community. The impact of a migrating top-predator is investigated here for Atlantic bluefin tuna in the North Sea. Bluefin tuna has been absent from the region for half-century, but recent years have seen recovery of migrations and a return of bluefin tuna in the area. We use a size spectrum model to analyse the trophic impact of the returning tuna on the entire fish community, under scenarios with varying levels of tuna consumption and fishing mortality on the prey. We show that with high level of prey fishing mortality in the North Sea, the effect of a tuna re-colonization results in only limited trophic cascades. However, high tuna consumption or changes in fishing mortality may result in a sudden recruitment failure of small-pelagic fish due to cascading effects on the fish community. In present-day conditions, the level of tuna consumption that triggers recruitment failure is lower at increasing fishing mortalities on their prey, providing indications for the future sustainable management of both small-pelagics and bluefin tuna in the area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume74
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1552-1560
ISSN1054-3139
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 0

    Keywords

  • fish community, long distance migration, size spectrum model, trophic cascade
Download as:
Download as PDF
Select render style:
APAAuthorCBE/CSEHarvardMLAStandardVancouverShortLong
PDF
Download as HTML
Select render style:
APAAuthorCBE/CSEHarvardMLAStandardVancouverShortLong
HTML
Download as Word
Select render style:
APAAuthorCBE/CSEHarvardMLAStandardVancouverShortLong
Word

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 134423389