Shifts in North Sea forage fish productivity and potential fisheries yield

Lotte Worsøe Clausen, Anna Rindorf, Mikael van Deurs*, Mark Dickey-Collas, Niels T. Hintzen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

1. Forage fish populations support large scale fisheries and are key components of marine ecosystems across the world, linking secondary production to higher trophic levels. While climate-induced changes in the North Sea zooplankton community are described and documented in literature, the associated bottom-up effects and consequences for fisheries remain largely unidentified.
2. We investigated the temporal development in forage fish productivity and the associated influence on fisheries yield of herring, sprat, Norway pout and sandeel in the North Sea. Using principal component analysis, we analysed 40 years of recruitment success and growth proxies to reveal changes in productivity and patterns of synchroneity across stocks (i.e. functional complementarity). The relationship between forage fish production and Calanus finmarchicus (an indicator of climate change) was also analysed. We used a population model to demonstrate how observed shifts in productivity affected total forage fish biomass and fisheries yield.
3. The productivity of North Sea forage fish changed around 1993 from a higher average productivity to lower average productivity. During the higher productivity period, stocks displayed a covariance structure indicative of functional complementarity. Calanus finmarchicus was positively correlated to forage fish recruitment, however, for growth, the direction of the response differed between species and time periods. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the associated fishing mortality (Fmsy) decreased by 33%–68% and 26%–64%, respectively, between the higher and lower productivity periods.
4. Synthesis and applications. The results demonstrate that fisheries reference points for short-lived planktivorous species are highly dynamic and respond rapidly to changes in system productivity. Furthermore, from an ecosystem-based fisheries management perspective, a link between functional complementarity and productivity, indicates that ecosystem resilience may decline with productivity. Based on this, we advise that system productivity, perhaps monitored as forage fish growth, becomes an integral part of management reference points; in both single species and ecosystem contexts. However, to retain social license of biological advice when fish catch opportunities are reduced, it is crucial that shifts in productivity are thoroughly documented and made apparent to managers and stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Volume55
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1092-1101
ISSN0021-8901
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

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title = "Shifts in North Sea forage fish productivity and potential fisheries yield",
abstract = "1. Forage fish populations support large scale fisheries and are key components of marine ecosystems across the world, linking secondary production to higher trophic levels. While climate-induced changes in the North Sea zooplankton community are described and documented in literature, the associated bottom-up effects and consequences for fisheries remain largely unidentified.2. We investigated the temporal development in forage fish productivity and the associated influence on fisheries yield of herring, sprat, Norway pout and sandeel in the North Sea. Using principal component analysis, we analysed 40 years of recruitment success and growth proxies to reveal changes in productivity and patterns of synchroneity across stocks (i.e. functional complementarity). The relationship between forage fish production and Calanus finmarchicus (an indicator of climate change) was also analysed. We used a population model to demonstrate how observed shifts in productivity affected total forage fish biomass and fisheries yield.3. The productivity of North Sea forage fish changed around 1993 from a higher average productivity to lower average productivity. During the higher productivity period, stocks displayed a covariance structure indicative of functional complementarity. Calanus finmarchicus was positively correlated to forage fish recruitment, however, for growth, the direction of the response differed between species and time periods. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the associated fishing mortality (Fmsy) decreased by 33{\%}–68{\%} and 26{\%}–64{\%}, respectively, between the higher and lower productivity periods.4. Synthesis and applications. The results demonstrate that fisheries reference points for short-lived planktivorous species are highly dynamic and respond rapidly to changes in system productivity. Furthermore, from an ecosystem-based fisheries management perspective, a link between functional complementarity and productivity, indicates that ecosystem resilience may decline with productivity. Based on this, we advise that system productivity, perhaps monitored as forage fish growth, becomes an integral part of management reference points; in both single species and ecosystem contexts. However, to retain social license of biological advice when fish catch opportunities are reduced, it is crucial that shifts in productivity are thoroughly documented and made apparent to managers and stakeholders",
author = "{Wors{\o}e Clausen}, Lotte and Anna Rindorf and {van Deurs}, Mikael and Mark Dickey-Collas and Hintzen, {Niels T.}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1111/1365-2664.13038",
language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "1092--1101",
journal = "Journal of Applied Ecology",
issn = "0021-8901",
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}

Shifts in North Sea forage fish productivity and potential fisheries yield. / Worsøe Clausen, Lotte; Rindorf, Anna; van Deurs, Mikael; Dickey-Collas, Mark; Hintzen, Niels T.

In: Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2018, p. 1092-1101.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Shifts in North Sea forage fish productivity and potential fisheries yield

AU - Worsøe Clausen, Lotte

AU - Rindorf, Anna

AU - van Deurs, Mikael

AU - Dickey-Collas, Mark

AU - Hintzen, Niels T.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - 1. Forage fish populations support large scale fisheries and are key components of marine ecosystems across the world, linking secondary production to higher trophic levels. While climate-induced changes in the North Sea zooplankton community are described and documented in literature, the associated bottom-up effects and consequences for fisheries remain largely unidentified.2. We investigated the temporal development in forage fish productivity and the associated influence on fisheries yield of herring, sprat, Norway pout and sandeel in the North Sea. Using principal component analysis, we analysed 40 years of recruitment success and growth proxies to reveal changes in productivity and patterns of synchroneity across stocks (i.e. functional complementarity). The relationship between forage fish production and Calanus finmarchicus (an indicator of climate change) was also analysed. We used a population model to demonstrate how observed shifts in productivity affected total forage fish biomass and fisheries yield.3. The productivity of North Sea forage fish changed around 1993 from a higher average productivity to lower average productivity. During the higher productivity period, stocks displayed a covariance structure indicative of functional complementarity. Calanus finmarchicus was positively correlated to forage fish recruitment, however, for growth, the direction of the response differed between species and time periods. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the associated fishing mortality (Fmsy) decreased by 33%–68% and 26%–64%, respectively, between the higher and lower productivity periods.4. Synthesis and applications. The results demonstrate that fisheries reference points for short-lived planktivorous species are highly dynamic and respond rapidly to changes in system productivity. Furthermore, from an ecosystem-based fisheries management perspective, a link between functional complementarity and productivity, indicates that ecosystem resilience may decline with productivity. Based on this, we advise that system productivity, perhaps monitored as forage fish growth, becomes an integral part of management reference points; in both single species and ecosystem contexts. However, to retain social license of biological advice when fish catch opportunities are reduced, it is crucial that shifts in productivity are thoroughly documented and made apparent to managers and stakeholders

AB - 1. Forage fish populations support large scale fisheries and are key components of marine ecosystems across the world, linking secondary production to higher trophic levels. While climate-induced changes in the North Sea zooplankton community are described and documented in literature, the associated bottom-up effects and consequences for fisheries remain largely unidentified.2. We investigated the temporal development in forage fish productivity and the associated influence on fisheries yield of herring, sprat, Norway pout and sandeel in the North Sea. Using principal component analysis, we analysed 40 years of recruitment success and growth proxies to reveal changes in productivity and patterns of synchroneity across stocks (i.e. functional complementarity). The relationship between forage fish production and Calanus finmarchicus (an indicator of climate change) was also analysed. We used a population model to demonstrate how observed shifts in productivity affected total forage fish biomass and fisheries yield.3. The productivity of North Sea forage fish changed around 1993 from a higher average productivity to lower average productivity. During the higher productivity period, stocks displayed a covariance structure indicative of functional complementarity. Calanus finmarchicus was positively correlated to forage fish recruitment, however, for growth, the direction of the response differed between species and time periods. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the associated fishing mortality (Fmsy) decreased by 33%–68% and 26%–64%, respectively, between the higher and lower productivity periods.4. Synthesis and applications. The results demonstrate that fisheries reference points for short-lived planktivorous species are highly dynamic and respond rapidly to changes in system productivity. Furthermore, from an ecosystem-based fisheries management perspective, a link between functional complementarity and productivity, indicates that ecosystem resilience may decline with productivity. Based on this, we advise that system productivity, perhaps monitored as forage fish growth, becomes an integral part of management reference points; in both single species and ecosystem contexts. However, to retain social license of biological advice when fish catch opportunities are reduced, it is crucial that shifts in productivity are thoroughly documented and made apparent to managers and stakeholders

U2 - 10.1111/1365-2664.13038

DO - 10.1111/1365-2664.13038

M3 - Journal article

VL - 55

SP - 1092

EP - 1101

JO - Journal of Applied Ecology

JF - Journal of Applied Ecology

SN - 0021-8901

IS - 3

ER -