Joint ICES/PICES Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish

Joint ICES/PICES Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish​

​Affiliation: EPDSG

Akinori Takasuka (PICES)
Ignacio Catalán  (ICES)​​​​
Myron Peck (ICES)
Ryan Rykaczewski (PICES)​

Advancing knowledge and tools to understand the drivers of small pelagic fish.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Small pelagic fish (SPF) account for more than 30% by weight of the total landings of marine capture fisheries around the world and play an important role in the transfer of energy through mid-trophic levels in marine ecosystems and in global protein security, including the growing aquaculture industry.  The oscillations of SPF populations are dramatic and cyclical in response to climate variability on multi-decadal scales.  This working group is a platform to coordinate and perform collaborative work to advance knowledge and tools to understand the drivers of SPF. 

​​The group is tasked to:

  • review recent progress on understanding how various drivers (environmental and/or anthropogenic) impact the population dynamics of SPF in different ecosystems and whether and how potential drivers shift with changes in ecosystem state;
  • foster comparative analyses of SPF across different social-ecological systems based on updated field data sets of climate indices, environmental factors and tipping points, and new fish biology and ecophysiology;
  • identify, prioritize, and coordinate research most needed to advance our knowledge and capacity to predict the population dynamics of SPF at both short (seasonal to inter-annual) and long (decadal to centennial) time scales;
  • recommend strategies of marine ecosystem monitoring and fisheries management of SPF that contribute to sustainable ecosystem-based fisheries management, through biophysical, ecosystem and/or socio-economic models.
  • organize workshops and topic sessions at meetings including an international symposium on SPF taking place in November 2022​​ showcasing integrative analyses of this working group and recent advances in SPF science.
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​WG​SPF at their March 2020 meeting at ICES HQ in Copenhagen.

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