Critical interactions between species and their implications for a precautionary fisheries management in a variable environment – a modeling approach (BECAUSE) (38613)

Project Details


Across Europe, the population of predatory fish has fallen dramatically in recent years. This has reduced the predation rate and the prey species has remained fairly stable. Therefore the balance between predators and prey species has been radically changed. No accurate scientific picture of the exact interactions between these species and their effects on non-commercial top predators is available. To maintain biodiversity and make recovery plans more effective, such an understanding is vital.

The sustainable management of European fisheries requires an adaptive approach that takes into account the long term dynamics of the entire marine ecosystem so as to protect the biodiversity of our seas. BECAUSE investigated the interaction between predator and prey, and the shifts in their relative populations and looked into how fishing affects the balance of the marine food chain. The interactions targeted for investigation included sandeel/predator fish, predators and prey of cod, and hake/prey fish.

Contributions to the policy development aimed at integrating a sustainable ecosystem approach into the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) thereby helping the EU to meet its global fishing commitments and underwrite the sustainability of ecosystem services. Multi-species fisheries assessment were improved and enhanced policy and management measures to replenish fish stocks and ensure high yields were proposed.

The was coordinated by Universität Hamburg, Germany.

Research area: Marine Living Resources
Effective start/end date01/01/200431/12/2007