Title: Deep Sea – Close Kin: A Genetic Approach for Improved Fisheries Management
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC98803
ISBN: 978-92-79-54007-3 (print)
978-92-79-54008-0 (online)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 27601
OP LB-NA-27601-EN-C (print)
OP LB-NA-27601-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98803
DOI: 10.2788/316400
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Deep-sea fish stocks consist of species that live at depths of greater than 400 metres. While being important for EU fisheries, this natural renewable resource is particularly vulnerable to over-fishing, as many deep sea species are slow-growing and commonly of low fecundity. Generally little is known about the biology of deep sea species, and there prevails a substantial lack of scientific data on deep-sea stocks. This constitutes a major impediment to management strategies underpinning sustainable and profitable deep sea fisheries. Europe’s deep-sea fisheries began in the 1970’s and were entirely unregulated. The fleet grew as rewards were high, but many species were rapidly depleted. It was only in 2003 that a management plan was brought into action. While some measures to better protect commercially exploited deep sea fish have been adopted, such as the limitation of fishing effort or total allowable catches, these have been insufficient to allow stocks to recover and there is a general consensus that most deep-water stocks remain below safe biological limits for exploitation. In a recent communication to the Council and the European Parliament, the European Commission has emphasized the need to improve our knowledge on deep sea fish species to move away from the current prevailing unsustainable exploitation. Ideally, this would be the development of a robust and practical approach to estimate the abundance of deep sea species to support stock assessments and reduce the uncertainty about the state and rebuilding rates of commercially exploited deep sea stocks. The current rapid technology development and concurrent steep drop in costs of large-scale genotyping offers major opportunities for fisheries management. This report explores whether the concept of genetic close-kin abundance estimation, recently applied to establish biomass estimates of Southern Bluefin Tuna, can be applied to fisheries management of deep sea fish species.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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