Lead Scientist: Eider Andonegi, Marine Research Division, AZTI-Tecnalia, Spain
Co-scientist: Marcos Llope, Centro Oceanográfico de Cádiz, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Spain
Understanding the physical, chemical, ecological, and human processes that occur in the ecosystem is crucial in providing an integrated assessment and supporting an appropriate management advice. It is necessary to assess the structure, functioning, and dynamics of the ecosystem, together with their responses to natural and anthropogenic pressures.
Most ecosystems across ICES regions have been heavily exploited for a long period. The effects of fishing pressures are known to alter fish and trophic dynamics and to have a cascading effect through food webs.
This study aims to compare the trophic structure of two heavily exploited ecosystems - the south-eastern Bay of Biscay and the Gulf of Cadiz – and to analyze historical changes in trophic controls of these two stressed systems. While this has been relatively well studied in most European regional seas, such as the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea, it remains rather unexplored in the south-western ecosystems. To do so, the available data of different trophic levels need to be collected and analysed, along with required fishery data and environmental information.