Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish, their Ecosystems and Climate Impact



WGSPECWGSPECTrueAthanasios Tsikliras, Priscilla LicandroEPDSG10/23/2009 11:32:00 AMatsik@bio.auth.gr, priscilla.licandro@outlook.com424Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish, their Ecosystems and Climate Impact

The ICES Working Group of Small Pelagic Fishes, their Ecosystems and Climate Impact (WGSPEC) encourages and gathers cross-disciplinary experts to look at the linkages between small pelagic fish and climate impacts.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​WGSPEC studies mechanisms that link the variability of small pelagic fish (i.e. anchovy, sardine, sardinella, sprat and herring) populations, in different ocean basins under large-scale climatic forcing. Considering its ecosystem context, WGSPEC gathers together scientists representing relevant disciplines such as physical oceanography, atmospheric sciences, fisheries, plankton. WGSPEC members represent different northern and southern European countries and are actively involved either in the ICES or in the Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM).

WGSPEC members are devoted to ensure that the knowledge gathered and the new achievements of the group are effectively communicated within and beyond the ICES.
For this, the activities undertaken by WGSPEC have generated several papers published or in press, in peer-reviewed journals.

Over the years WGSPEC has also contributed to organize a number of meeting sessions and workshops, such as: the workshops “Anchovy, Sardine and Climate variability in the North Sea and Adjacent Areas” in 2010; the workshops “Reaction of Northern Hemisphere Ecosystems: A comparison” and “ Basin-wide Impact of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO” in 2011; a session at the PICES/ ICES Symposium “Drivers of Dynamics of Pelagic Fish Resources” and a gathering event “Introducing ICES to a new generations of scientists” in 2017.

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Publications related to WGSPEC activity:

  • Petitgas P, Alheit J, Peck MA, Raab K, Irigoien X, Huret M, van der Kooij J, Pohlmann T, Wagner C, Zarraonaindia I, Dickey-Collas M. 2012; Anchovy population expansion in the North Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 444: 1-13
  • Alheit, J., Pohlmann, T., Casini, M., Greve, W., Hinrichs, R. , Mathis, M., O'Driscoll, K., Vorberg, R., Wagner, C. 2012.; Climate variability drives anchovies and sardines into North and Baltic Seas. Progress in Oceanography 96: 128-139
  • Alheit, J., Licandro, P., Coombs, S., Garcia, A., Giráldez, A., Garcia Santamaría, M.T., Slotte, A. & Tsikliras, A.C. (2014). Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) modulates dynamics of small pelagic fishes and ecosystem regime shifts in the eastern North and Central Atlantic. J. Mar. Syst., 131: 21-35.
  • Alheit J, Gröger JP, Licandro P, McQuinn IH, Pohlmann T, Tsikliras AC (2018) What happened in the mid-1990s? Ecosystem changes in the Northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Deep-Sea Research II (in press)
  • Tsikliras AC, Licandro P, Pardalou A, McQuinn IH, Gröger JP, Alheit J (2018) Synchronization of Mediterranean pelagic fish populations with the North Atlantic climate variability. Deep-Sea Research II (in press)


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