International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Working Group on the History of Fish and Fisheries (WGHIST; outputs from 2023 meeting)

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posted on 2024-04-15, 14:39 authored by ICESICES

The ICES Working Group on History of Fish and Fisheries (WGHIST) explores how historical data (e.g., from prehistory to the last few decades) from a range of sources can help understand past human practices, how social-ecological systems have changed over time and the pressures upon them. WGHISTs four Terms of Reference consider: i) data collection and standardisation, ii) integration of different sources to obtain useful information about past ecosystem or fisheries dynamics, iii) long-term changes in social-ecological systems, and iv) utilisation of historical information for understanding social-ecological outcomes of management. In this iteration WGHIST has been encouraging discussion around inter-disciplinary working (from ecology, history, historical ecology, anthropology, archaeology, social science, palaeontology) at our annual meetings, by engaging with teams from large multidisciplinary projects, organising conference workshops and theme sessions, and completing analyses. This included considering the challenges of using mixed sources and approaches, how best to complete interdisciplinary work and how to effectively communicate across disciplinary divides. We are exploring how different disciplines interact, what language they use, what data they analyse and how. This will help integrate data and results across disparate disciplines. A huge effort standardising WGHISTs metadata has begun, including preparing guidance to help make historical data accessible to a wider community. Since 2021 WGHIST and its members have produced five peer-reviewed publications (with another two in review), two articles in newsletters, and three workshop reports. Outputs considered the potential contributions historical data can make to contemporary science and management. They included 120-year analysis of how major policy changes influenced patterns of UK seafood production, trade, and consumption; a 110-year reconstruction of Mediterranean swordfish populations; and, how seafloor functioning changed during global warming in deep time. We consider the contributions made by the late Professor Sidney Holt, an advocate for historical data, to four ongoing challenges in marine science and his successes engaging with stakeholders as well as scientists. Members showcased the historical databases they have built for European oysters can be used to inform restoration targets. Other resources highlighted included current research projects, relevant networks, new approaches, historical datasets and archives.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Bryony A Caswell; Camilla Sguotti

Contributors (Authors)

Konstantina Agiadi; Laura Airoldi; Paolo Albano; Karen Alexander; Alberto Barausse; Floris Bennema; Jacopo Bernardi; Madi Bowden-Parry; Paul G Butler; Bryony A Caswell; Maurice Clarke; Andre C Colonese; Jennifer Coston-Guarini; Fiz da Costa; Johannes Dahl; Andreas Dänhart; Anatole Danto; Diego B I de Souza; Bia Dias; Erin Dillon; Jennifer Dunne; Georg Engelhard; Anthony Firth; Louise Firth; Ben Fitzhugh; Eugenio Fossi; Evgeny Genelt-Yanovskiy; Otello Giovanardi; Molly Graham; Helen Green; Benjamin Harris; Luke Harrison; Shaha Hashim; Zoe Heard; Poul Holm; Sarah Hornborg; Adrian Jordaan; Emily S Klein; Darina Koubínová; Camilla B Larsen; Llibori M Latorre; Ann-Katrien Lescrauwaet; Jessica Leuders-Dumont; Mercedes M Lopez; Brian MacKenzie; Carlotta Mazzoldi; Loren E McClenachan; Krista McGrath; Ian McKechnie; Matthew McKenzie; Cian McLaverty; Luis G Miret Pastor; Alec Moore; John Nicholls; Henn Ojaveer; Christin Overgaard; Dean Page; Filippo Piccardi; Federica Poli; Bo Poulsen; Sasa Raicevich; Victoria Ramenzoni; Mauro Rizzetto; Alice Ryan; Camilla Sguotti; Anna Sturrock; Henrik Svedang; Andre Tavares; Lasse Thomsen; Robert Thorpe; Ruth H Thurstan; Alice Toso; Charles Travis; Leen Vandepitte; Rita Vianello; Paddy Walker; Catherine West; David Wilson; Jennifer Wittamore; Heike Zidowitz; Philine zu Ermgassen



Recommended citation

ICES. 2024. Working Group on the History of Fish and Fisheries (WGHIST; outputs from 2023 meeting). ICES Scientific Reports. 6:16. 101 pp.

Publication language

  • en

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  • PDF



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