International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
WGSPEC12.pdf (2.75 MB)

Report of the Working Group on Small Pelagic Fishes, their Ecosystems and Climate Impact (WGSPEC)

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posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
Small pelagic fishes such as sardine, sardinella, anchovy, herring, sprat and others represent about 20–25 % of the total annual world fisheries catch. They support im-portant fisheries in many European countries. Their dynamics have important eco-nomic consequences as well as ecological ones. The great plasticity in the growth, survival and other life-history characteristics of small pelagic fishes is the key to their dynamics and makes them ideal targets for testing the impact of climate variability on marine ecosystems and fish populations. North Atlantic marine ecosystems are exposed to large-scale climate forcing by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the decadal and by the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) on the multi-decadal scale, in addition to global warming. At present, a fascinating natural climate ex-periment involving small pelagic fish is going on in waters surrounding Europe, which has been largely ignored, in spite of its acute and future commercial impor-tance for the European fishing industry.


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