Predicting the natural mortality of marine fish from life history characteristics

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


For fish much of the life history is determined by body size. Body size and asymptotic size significantly influences important life history processes such as growth, maturity, egg production, and natural mortality. Futhermore, for a population to persist, offspring must be able to replace their parents on a one-for-one basis in the long run. Otherwise the population would either increase exponentially or become extinct. Combining data on growth and specific fecundity in a size-based fish community model of the North Sea and using the requirement of a one-for-one replacement provides the information necessary to estimate the scaling of natural mortality with size and asymptotic size. The estimated scaling is compared with output from multispecies fish stock models, with the empirical scaling of the maximum number of recruits per unit of spawning stock biomass with body size, and with estimates from a comprehensive compilation of empirical data on the natural mortality of marine fishes. The comparisons are all in aggreement with the predictions from the model. We conclude that natural mortality scales with body length raised to a power around -1.6, with the asymptotic length of the species, and with the von Bertalanffy growth parameter K.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventNordic Marine Sciences Conference - Strömstad, Sweden
Duration: 13 Sept 201016 Sept 2010


ConferenceNordic Marine Sciences Conference


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