Navigation Links
Satellite data can help protect bluefin tuna

A new model developed by scientists of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) allows the potential presence of bluefin tuna to be tracked through daily updated maps, helping to protect endangered stocks and fight illegal fishing. The model, based on satellite remote sensing data, provides for the first time an overall view of the preferred bluefin tuna habitats in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their changes over time. Satellite-based habitat mapping can help identify more precisely areas to be inspected or to be closed for fisheries and it can also help refine estimates of fish stocks, thus contributing to a more effective fisheries management. European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Mire Geoghegan-Quinn, said: "This model will help to ensure sustainable management of bluefin tuna, actively contributing to two of the most pressing challenges for the future: food security and protection of the environment. Another good example of how science and research provide support to European Union policies."

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said "Responsible fisheries management decisions that ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and the availability of fish for future generations worldwide rely on good science. New findings, like the JRC's new model, will help us greatly in our efforts to protect bluefin tuna and fight illegal fishing practices."

The JRC habitat model allows the creation of near real-time maps of feeding and spawning potential bluefin habitats in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as habitat maps over a decade. The novelty of this model is the use of satellite data on the concentration of chlorophyll on the sea surface, as well as temperature, to track specific oceanographic features, which play a key role on the fish distribution.

The results achieved through the model clearly highlighted that bluefin tuna feeding and spawning is concentrated in some recurrent locations. Areas most frequently chosen for nutrition are on the northern side of the Mediterranean. Reproduction starts in May in the eastern part of the Mediterranean and ends in July in the western part.

However, the results also displayed a strong seasonality in habitat size and locations, as well as high year-to-year variations for the potential spawning habitat depending on regional weather conditions. This variability is key to evaluating the pertinence of Marine Protected Areas (or sensitive areas) for this species.

Bluefin tuna is a commercial fish of high market value which has been strongly overexploited for 15 years, especially in the Mediterranean Sea. The largest stock of adults which reproduce in the Mediterranean Sea is now at its lowest on record, around 40% of late 1950s' level.

In the past years the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has set lower quotas, established a restricted fishing period and recommended measures to enforce fisheries control. However, there is a need to increase the knowledge about spawning grounds for exploring additional management measures.

The implementation of a habitat-guided management could help identify spawning areas to be partially closed to fishing, thus protecting the spawners and ensuring adequate repopulation. Moreover, by restricting authorised fishing areas, control operations can be better targeted to fight illegal fishing, which is estimated to account for more than one-third of total catches in recent years.

The JRC habitat model can be adapted to other species of commercial interest. Potential habitat maps of fish at basin scale could help to produce more reliable assessments of fish stocks and can contribute to the planning of more efficient and sustainable use of limited maritime space.


Contact: Berta Duane
European Commission Joint Research Centre

Related biology news :

1. Satellites helping aid workers in Honduras
2. Value of satellites recognized for conserving wetlands
3. Small satellite takes on large thunderstorms
4. Satellite imagery shows fragile Wilkins Ice Shelf destabilized
5. ESA satellites focusing on the Arctic
6. ESA satellites flying in formation
7. New satellite data reveal impact of Olympic pollution controls
8. Satellites search out South Pole snowfields
9. New satellite techniques for looking at climate change
10. European satellites provide new insight into ozone-depleting species
11. DEIMOS joins MARS and its satellite of instruments on seafloor
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... interface solutions, today announced expansion of its TDDI ... touch controller and display driver integration (TDDI) ... smartphones. These new TDDI products add to the ... resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will be ... (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... view live demonstrations of iMedNet , MedNet,s ... iMedNet has been able to deliver time and ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company ... that CEO Jim McGorry will present at ... December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation ... below) for 30 days. Management will also be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, ... .  A replay will be available for 14 days ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... genomics company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding ... an AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: