Project Details


The UNCOVER project has produced a rational scientific basis for developing Long-Term Management Plans (LTMP) and recovery strategies for 11 of the ecologically and socioeconomically most important fish stocks/fisheries in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Peninsula.

UNCOVER’s objectives were to:
1. Identify changes experienced during stock depletion/collapses.
2. Understand prospects for recovery.
3. Enhance the scientific understanding of the mechanisms of fish stock/fishery recovery.
4. Formulate recommendations how best to implement LTMPs/recovery plans.

The project recommends that such plans ideally should include:
1. Consideration of stock-regulating environmental processes.
2. Incorporation of fisheries effects on stock structure and reproductive potential.
3. Consideration of changes in habitat dynamics due to global change.
4. Incorporation of biological and technological multispecies interactions.
5. Integration of economically optimized harvesting.
6. Exploration of the socio-economic implications and political constraints from existing and alternative recovery plans.
7. Investigations on the acceptance of plans by stakeholders and specifically incentives for compliance by the fishery.
8. Agreements with and among stakeholders.

UNCOVER has provided imperative policy support underpinning the following fundamental areas:
1. Evolution of the Common Fisheries Policy with respect to several aims of the ‘Green Paper’.
2. Contributing to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive with respect to fish stocks/communities.
3. Achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) for depleted fish stocks. This has been done by contributing to LTMPs/recovery plans for fish stocks/fisheries, demonstrating how to shift from scientific advice based on limit reference points towards setting and attaining targets such as MSY, and furthering ecosystem-based management through incorporating multispecies, environmental and habitat, climate variability/change, and human dimensions into these plans.

The project was coordinated by Institut für Ostseefischerei, Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, Germany.

Research area: Marine Living Resources
Research area: Fish Biology
Effective start/end date01/01/200631/12/2010

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Christian Albrechts University of Kiel (Project partner)
  • German Federal Research Centre for Fisheries (Project partner)
  • Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia (Project partner)
  • University of Aberdeen (Project partner)
  • Nikolai M. Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (Project partner)
  • Aalborg University (Project partner)
  • Cefas Weymouth Laboratory (Project partner)
  • University of Portsmouth (Project partner)
  • Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Project partner)
  • University of Bergen (Project partner)
  • Institute of Marine Research (Project partner)
  • Sea Fisheries Institute (Project partner)
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Visserij Onderzoek b.v. (Project partner)
  • Marine Laboratory (Project partner)
  • AZTI (Project partner)
  • University of Hamburg (Project partner)


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