Drivers of dynamics of small pelagic fish resources

Image credit: Arnaud Bertrand

Drivers of dynamics of small pelagic fish resources: biology, management and human factors


Populations of small pelagic fish (SPF) such as sardine, anchovy, herring, capelin and mackerel provide ~25% of the global annual yield of capture fisheries. The well-being of many human coastal communities around the world, particularly in developing countries, depends critically on these SPF resources. Population sizes of SPF exhibit extreme fluctuations in both abundance and geographic spread due to the impact of environmental and anthropogenic influences. Despite many internationally coordinated research efforts, we still do not have sufficient knowledge about the drivers of SPF population dynamics and, particularly, the interactive effects of environmental and anthropogenic factors. This Theme Section — by using a comparative approach — provides fundamental insights into (1) the biology of SPF, (2) the drivers of SPF dynamics, and (3) the socioeconomic impacts of SPF fisheries. Such insights are urgently needed for ecosystem-based management of these highly variable fish populations.


Editors: Jürgen Alheit, Arnaud Bertrand, Richard Brodeur, Susana Garrido, Martin Quaas, David Reid, Dominique Robert, Stelios Somarakis, Akinori Takasuka, Olivier Thébaud, Verena Trenkel

Organizer: Jürgen Alheit