Technology Answers to the Requirements Set by the Ecosystem Approach

Part of the Fish & Fisheries Series book series (FIFI, volume 31)

Time series of abundance indices from scientific surveys are often the backbone in assessing the present state and expected development of exploited fish stocks. However, landing statistics, which have associated uncertainties often set the historic trends, and thus might be misleading with respect to ecosystem dynamics. The extended demand in the ecosystem approach is to consider the welfare of the whole ecosystem. Can this be done adequately with traditional tools? And what solutions can be expected from new technologies?

Future methods must enable quantitative observation of biotic densities with adequate resolution in both time and space. We also need to quantify the dynamics, including inter- and intra-specific competition and interactions between biology and environment. Advanced technology and knowledge have created a new scientific base for the ecosystem approach. Remote sensing techniques based on acoustics and optics offer both detailed and overview pictures, and can be deployed in time and space from innovative platforms and vessels of opportunity. Remote categorisation of information, e.g. species and size identification, is no longer a dream and modern observation techniques give the scientists information about processes with adequate time resolution. In the short term, we need to uncover the actual efficiencies of sampling trawls. The research should aim at establishing sampling tools based on knowledge of behavioural stimuli and responses of the target species rather than traditional ideas in trawl construction. In the long term, the limiting factor is not the technology, but our ability to develop integrated observation-modelling solutions that merge complex data from a multitude of sensors and platforms and extract the essential information.


Ecosystem survey technology acoustics optics platforms sensors integrated monitoring 


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResearchNordnesNorway

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