Modelling the trophic interaction, structure, and function of the northern North Sea food web: Ecopath Technical Report.

Clare Evelyn Hill, Jacob W Bentley, Natalia Serpetti, Clive Fox, Chevonne Angus, Johanna Heymans

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Abstract

This report outlines the model topology, describing in detail the methods used to create an ecologically balanced Ecopath model of the northern North Sea. This model builds upon previous research by Dr Steven Mackinson and others at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). The construction of their North Sea model (Mackinson and Daskalov, 2007), North Sea ICES Key run (ICES, 2016), and evaluation of fisheries management strategies (Platts and Mackinson, 2017; Mackinson et al., 2018) inspired the creation and design of our northern North Sea model. The model of Mackinson and Daskalov (2007) treated the whole North Sea as a single unit, however the oceanographic and biological characteristics of the northern and southern North Sea are distinct. This suggests value in constructing a separate northern North Sea model, as has already been done for the southern North Sea (Stäbler et al., 2018).
Commercial fishing in the Shetland Islands is a highly important economic and cultural activity. In 2019, 50,000 t of fish and shellfish, worth £81 million were landed in Shetland (Napier, 2019). This hub of fishing activity is driven by aggregations of demersal cod, monkfish and haddock, alongside large volumes of pelagic mackerel, herring, and blue whiting which are caught seasonally. It is hoped that this northern North Sea ecosystem model can be used to test future fisheries management scenarios of relevance to both Shetland and the wider Scottish and UK fishing industry.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherScottish Association for Marine Science
Number of pages119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021

Publication series

NameScottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) Reports
PublisherScottish Association for Marine Science
No.299

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