DTU Aqua's research into marine living resources looks at the sustainable utilization of fish and shellfish stocks. This involves work to assess the amount and distribution of fish and other commercially relevant marine species; to this end we also study the size and age distribution of individual fish populations.
We examine the length, weight and age of the fish, and often also its sex and maturity. The data we use to do this comes from fisheries and from scientific expeditions. It is then converted into estimates of trends in stock size and biomass, and the average growth, reproduction and mortality rates of individual fish.
We are constantly developing methods to gather and process data to describe the current status of and trends in fish stocks based on the best available information. We also develop methods and tools to monitor and analyze these stocks. Finally, we develop statistical models to analyze and predict population trends and to what extent these stocks can be exploited.
We develop experimental and model-based methods to boost local marine fish stocks, including:
Research into marine living resources can be divided into five main areas:
Identification of species and stocks
Analysis of stocks and statistical methods to assess stocks
Methods to identify stocks
Development and improvement of monitoring methods for both habitats and stocks
Models for fisheries management
Why do we carry out research into marine living resources?
The overall goal of DTU Aqua’s research marine living resources is to help ensure the sustainable utilization of ecologically and commercially important fish and shellfish stocks. Fisheries are dependent on there being enough fish and shellfish in the sea, both now and in the future, and varied animal life in the sea is a prerequisite to meeting our responsibilities to ensure the diverse nature of marine life.
The concrete goal for the area of research is therefore to be able to assess and predict the numbers of fish in the sea, where they are and how they move around. We develop methods and tools which enable us to both estimate how many fish from a given population there are in the sea, and to assess trends in populations. In order to do this, we develop statistical models to simulate stock sizes and spatial distribution in the sea.
Data about fish stocks and quantities and species caught originates from landing statistics, fishermen's logbooks (which provide information on species, quantities and areas), samples from fisheries collected by DTU Aqua at different ports, and on board fishing vessels and from DTU Aqua's scientific expeditions. This data includes gender, age, size, maturity, genetics, etc. and is used to identify populations and their respective age compositions.
What is the research used for?
The research is used to give advice on how much a stock can withstand being fished seen from a biological perspective, so as to avoid overfishing, thereby ensuring that stocks can develop sustainably.
Research therefore forms the basis for DTU Aqua's consultancy services for Danish and international authorities involved with fisheries. Our primary customers are the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the European Union (EU).
In the short term, the objective is to offer advice on the current status of fish populations and on fishing opportunities for individual stocks, which in turn makes it possible to determine sustainable fishing quotas. In a slightly longer-term perspective, research contributes to the analysis of trends in populations. Results from the research are also included in models of ecosystem-based management systems which are involved in looking after entire ecosystems.
Research which contributes to fisheries management can be based on an ecosystem-based approach within the framework of the EU’s Marine Strategy Directive, the revision of the EU's common fisheries policy and analyses of the effects of fishing and management (impact assessments).
DTU Aqua collaborates extensively with the fishing industry and recreational fishermen to collect data and implement new management initiatives, for example through fully documented fishery and advice on fishing quotas.
View projects within the research area "Marine Living Resources" in the project database DTU Orbit.
Professor Henrik Mosegaard, tel. +45 35 88 34 61,