Scientific Program

This event will consist of:

Concurrent Workshops

  • Workshop 1: Application of Genetics to Small Pelagic Fish
  • Workshop 2: The Devil’s in the Details of Using Species Distribution Models to Inform Multispecies and Ecosystem Models
  • Workshop 3: Small Pelagics for Whom? Challenges and Opportunities for the Equitable Distribution of Nutritional Benefits
  • Workshop 4: Evaluating Inter-Sectoral Tradeoffs and Community-Level Response to Spatio-Temporal Changes in Forage Distribution and Abundance
  • Workshop 5: Recent Advances in the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM): Challenges and Opportunities
  • Workshop 6: Small Pelagic Fish Reproductive Resilience

Plenary Sessions

Topic Sessions

  • Session 1: Trophodynamic Processes
  • Session 2: Life Cycle Closure: Advances in Process Understanding
  • Session 3: Understanding Population- and Ecosystem-level Shifts: From Seasonal Timing to Tipping Points
  • Session 4: Responses to Climate Variability and Change at Decadal to Centennial Time Scales
  • Session 5: Progress in Pelagic Surveys: From Biomass Estimates to Monitoring Ecosystems
  • Session 6: Reconciling Ecological Roles and Harvest Goals: Development and Testing Management Strategies to Safeguard Marine Ecosystem Services
  • Session 7: Advancing Social-ecological Analyses and Sustainable Policies for Dependent Human Communities


W1. Application of Genetics to Small Pelagic Fish

Rita Castilho (corresponding)
(Centre for Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Portugal)
Anna Verissimo
(Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO), Portugal)
Jan McDowell
(Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA)
Malika Chlaida
(National Institute for Fisheries Research, Morocco)

The scope of the 2022 SPF Symposium recognizes the recent developments of genetic-based methods such as eDNA and genome analysis and its contribution to clarify questions of stock/population structure, which are pivotal for integration on fisheries management advice. This workshop will introduce participants to a range of genetic and genomic tools that support the management of fishery resources and provide a critical assessment of costs and benefits. The workshop is designed to target a broad community of researchers, including those with some experience in genetics/genomics and those who are less familiar with these issues. Content and format will comprise an informal presentation on technical approaches, emphasizing case studies illustrating how genetics can help address fisheries’ existing management and policy needs. Ideally, follow-up discussions will be based on a series of topical-driven questions.

We welcome works that use molecular genetics to address questions relevant to fisheries science, such as (but not exclusively) population genetics/genomic approaches to resolve stock structure, stock delineation, and connectivity estimates; monitoring the genetic diversity of exploited stocks; eDNA metabarcoding on stomach contents as an alternative approach to trophic ecology studies; molecular identification of fisheries products for forensic/traceability purposes; molecular assays for species identification (e.g. larval fish/eggs).

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W2. The Devil’s in the Details of Using Species Distribution Models to Inform Multispecies and Ecosystem Models

Isaac Kaplan (corresponding)
(Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Elliott Hazen
(Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Robert Wildermuth
(Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, USA)
Stefan Koenigstein
(Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Mariana Hill-Cruz
(GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Germany)
Pierre-Yves Hernvann
(Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Barbara Muhling
(Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)

The ability to predict spatial distributions of small pelagic fish has advanced rapidly in recent years, with approaches such as generalized additive models, boosted regression trees, neural networks, and spatio-temporal approaches such as VAST and sdmTMB (Elith and Leathwick, 2009; Elith, Leathwick, and Hastie, 2008; Hazen et al., 2012; Muhling et al., 2020; Robinson et al., 2017; Thorson, 2019; Anderson, 2019). Benefits include improving our ability to map shifts in species ranges seasonally and over past decades, understanding the ocean conditions that drive these shifts, and predicting long-term spatial redistribution due to climate change. Efforts to project large-scale ecosystem shifts related to climate change have begun to couple these spatial distributions to complex multispecies and end-to-end-ecosystem models, enabling the incorporation of stock size, trophic interactions, and fishing effects on distribution. This type of model coupling is intuitively attractive, yet presents us with multiple decisions and approximations. This workshop will focus on identifying best practices for the detailed decisions (“the devil’s in the details”) required to couple the burgeoning field of species distribution models (SDMs) to more complex multispecies and end-to-end models such as Ecospace, Ecosim, Atlantis, OSMOSE, EcoOcean, and MICE models (Plagányi et al., 2014; Coll et al., 2020; Christensen and Walters, 2004; Fulton et al., 2011; Shin and Cury, 1999). We categorize these decisions as:

  • Should the more complex models include foraging behavior or other searching behavior, or should they simply be forced by the SDM, or a blend of both?
  • How to best handle cases when SDMs omit regions or seasons included within the complex models?
  • What covariates should be included in the SDM versus the complex model, or both models? This includes environmental covariates, space, and the influence of small pelagic species’ stock size on distribution.
  • How can complex but non-spatial ecosystem models be forced or informed by SDMs? This includes potential shifts in species diets or fleet catchability, even if these are implicit proxies for spatial overlap.
  • How can estimates of uncertainty from SDMs be incorporated within the more complex models, which are often computationally orders of magnitude slower?
We seek global expertise and solutions to these questions, particularly when considering long-term projections of species distributions and ecosystems under climate change. The anticipated product from the workshop will be a peer-reviewed manuscript summarizing the state of the art and emerging solutions for coupling SDMs to more complex multispecies and ecosystem models. This will include case studies from the California Current and Humboldt Current, but we invite broad participation and case studies from the PICES, ICES, and global community researching small pelagic species.

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W3. Small Pelagics for Whom? Challenges and Opportunities for the Equitable Distribution of Nutritional Benefits

Molly Ahern (corresponding)
(Fisheries Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO))
Nicole Franz
(Fisheries Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO))
Maarten Bavinck
(University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Shakuntala H. Thilsted
(WorldFish, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR))
Kendra Byrd
(WorldFish, CGIAR)
David Mills
(WorldFish, CGIAR)
Derek Johnson
(University of Manitoba, Canada)
Jeppe Kolding
(University of Bergen, Norway)

Small freshwater and marine fish, often consumed whole, are particularly rich in micronutrients and aid in the absorption of nutrients from plant-based foods with which they are commonly eaten. Small fish are still a relatively low-cost food in most countries of the world when compared to other animal-sourced foods, and can be purchased in small quantities, making them more accessible to the poor. This workshop will focus on the post-harvest aspects of small pelagics and explore their contribution to the food security and nutrition of poor and undernourished populations in the developing world through the sustainable food system framework (HLPE, 2020), particularly highlighting the role that small-scale fisherfolk play in access to small fish for food and nutrition security, and environmental, social and economic sustainability of food systems. The food system framework allows to expand the traditional value chain approach by looking at the availability, access, utilization, stability, and sustainability of small fish in food systems, addressing drivers, scales and levels, stakeholders, interactions, feedback and the multiple outcomes from food systems, including trade-offs such as the use of small fish for fish-based animal feeds. The workshop will address food security, nutrition and socio-economic aspects of the small pelagic post-harvest sector, focusing on questions such as:

  • How are small pelagics embedded in local food cultures and what are the related socio-economic benefits?
  • What is the impact of change in demand for small pelagics, in particular for fish meal production, on the equitable distribution of livelihood and nutritional benefits from these species?
  • What is needed to ensure that small pelagics continue to contribute to equitable livelihoods and nutrition for the most vulnerable?
The workshop is expected to provide more insights on the nutritional value of small pelagic fish, especially for more vulnerable consumer groups, and on the distributional segment of small pelagic value chains, with a focus on Africa. It will consist in short presentations followed by with interactive group discussions and wrap-up by a group of experts.

This workshop is timely, being in the midst of the International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA, 2022), the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), the UN Decade of Action on Ocean Science (2021-2030), and following the UN Food Systems Summit (2021).

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W4. Evaluating Inter-Sectoral Tradeoffs and Community-Level Response to Spatio-Temporal Changes in Forage Distribution and Abundance

Felipe Quezada Escalona
(Southwest Fisheries Center, NOAA, USA)
Tim Frawley
(Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, USA)
Dorleta Garcia
(AZTI, Spain)
Isaac Kaplan
(Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Juan Carlos Seijo
(School of Natural Resources, Universidad Marista, Mexico)
Stephen Stohs
(Southwest Fisheries Center, NOAA, USA)
Jonathan Sweeney
(Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, USA)
Desiree Tommasi (corresponding)
(Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, USA)
Robert Wildermuth
(Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, USA)

Small pelagic fish (SPF) exhibit large fluctuations in abundance and distribution in response to environmental variability, harvest, and predation pressure. Given their critical ecological role in transferring energy from the planktonic food web to higher trophic levels, such changes in SPF dynamics impact both directed fisheries on SPF, and other dependent predators, including commercially important finfish and protected species. It is therefore of interest to SPF fishery managers to evaluate tradeoffs between large-scale directed catch of SPF and their role in (1) supporting regional marine ecosystems as a forage base and (2) providing direct benefits to coastal communities as a source of livelihoods and nutrition. However, to maintain resilience of fishing communities and develop adaptation strategies to climate change, improved understanding of how fishers respond to spatio-temporal shifts in forage availability is also paramount. Fishers might have heterogeneous responses depending on local regulation, fleet sizes, industry structure, market institutions, and social norms. This workshop will highlight innovations and challenges in modeling responses of fishers and fishing communities to variability of SPF availability through a comparison of case studies of SPF fisheries around the world. We welcome contributions to methodological advances in integrated biological-economic models, ecologically informed economic models of fisher behavior, such as spatio-temporal fishing location models or multispecies discrete choice models, and models of fishing community response and adaptation to climate. We also encourage presentations highlighting approaches to modeling the economic and ecological tradeoffs inherent in SPF management, as well as approaches that focus on the heterogeneity in fishers’ realities. The anticipated outcome of the workshop will be a synthesis manuscript highlighting best practices and challenges in modeling responses of fishers and fishing communities to SPF variability through a comparison of case studies of SPF fisheries around the world.

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W5. Recent Advances in the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM): Challenges and Opportunities

Andres Uriate (corresponding)
(Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), AZTI, Spain)
Tim Ward
(South Australian Research and Development Institute, Australia)
Cristina Nunes
(Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Portugal)
Luis Cubillos
(Universidad de Concepción, Chile)
Kostas Ganias
(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Application of the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM) to the assessment of pelagic fish populations has been expanding and being refined since its development for anchovy at the Southwest Fisheries Center in the 1980s (Parker, 1980; Lasker, 1985). Since then, it has been applied to many other fish species (e.g., sprat, sardines, mackerels, horse mackerels, snappers, etc.) in oceans all over the world (Alheit, 1993; Stratoudakis et al., 2006; Bernal et al., 2012). Several workshops have been conducted to share the progress in the application of the method (e.g., San Sebastián, Spain, Motos, 1997; Concepción, Chile, Castro et al., 2005; Athens, Greece, Dickey-Collas et al., 2012, Adelaide, Australia, Ward et al., 2015). During the last decade there have been several advances in estimation procedures for both egg production and adult parameters, as well as new insights into reproductive biology (Basilone et al., 2015; Claramunt et al., 2019; Charitonidou et al., 2020; Ferreri et al., 2016, 2019; Ganias and Lowerre-Barbieri, 2017; Ganias et al., 2018; McGarvey et al., 2018; Oxley et al., 2017; Ward et al., 2021). In addition, several studies have consolidated long-time series of data and provided new perspectives on the strengths and challenges of the DEPM for monitoring pelagic fishes (Santos et al., 2018; Angelico et al., 2018; Ward et al., 2021). This symposium offers a timely opportunity for scientists from around the world who are working on different aspects of the DEPM on different species in different ecosystems to gather to discuss their new findings, ongoing challenges and future opportunities. The methodological developments warrant presentations and face-to-face discussions among scientists working on this field in a workshop, while more general challenges and perspectives overviews of this and other direct methods would better fit into the Topic Session 5 of the symposium (Progress in Pelagic Surveys: From Biomass Estimates to Monitoring Ecosystems). Convenors of the workshop will liaise with convenors of the Topic Session to clarify what contributions would fit best in each forum.

The workshop will be carried out through oral presentations on recent methodological developments on the application of the DEPM in different regions. We call for some contributions on several topics listed below to focus the workshop discussions:

  • Estimating daily egg production and mortality: ongoing challenges and potential solutions;
  • Spawning area: can new approaches provide better estimates? What about precision?
  • Late oocyte development and POFs resorption dynamics, spawning markers and improved estimations of spawning fraction: ongoing challenges and potential solutions;
  • Three adult parameters or four: pros and cons of estimating Relative Fecundity as two separate parameters;
  • Progress in estimation of spawning biomass, expansion to population by size and ages, spatial explicit procedures, precision and accuracy, and others.
The workshop agenda will be organized according to the abstracts received by the convenors, earlier than the general closing date for abstract submission established by the symposium (May 22, 2022). A month later, convenors will select the contributions most suitable for the workshop given the availability of time and notify their decision to abstract senders. The workshop agenda will be prepared by July 1, 2022. The anticipated product from the workshop, in conjunction with the Topic Session 5, will be a special issue of Fisheries Research. The intent is also to prepare a review/metanalysis paper. Consideration will be given to producing a white paper.

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W6. Small Pelagic Fish Reproductive Resilience

Rosario Domínguez Petit (corresponding)
(Centro Nacional Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO-CSIC), Oceanographic Centre of Vigo, Spain)
Susan Lowerre-Barbieri
(School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida / Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, USA)
Leonardo Castro
(Departamento de Oceanografía / Centro COPAS Sur-Austral, Universidad de Concepción, Chile)
Akinori Takasuka
(Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan)

The reproductive resilience paradigm takes an eco-evolutionary perspective to identify species-specific traits in spawner-recruit systems that drive reproductive success and consequently resilience to fishing pressure. Although reproductive success is tightly coupled with adult abundance and fecundity in many terrestrial animals, in exploited marine fish where and when fish spawn, and consequent dispersal dynamics, may have a greater impact. To operationalize the use of the reproductive resilience paradigm to inform management requires increasing scientific dialogue across fields including fisheries ecologists, geneticists, early life biologists and stock assessment scientists. We need to move beyond the intrinsic population growth equation to understand drivers of transgenerational productivity. The objectives of the workshop are:

  1. draw on diverse scientific expertise to discuss advances in understanding drivers of reproductive success in SPF stocks and reproductive resilience as an indicator of population and marine ecosystem status for sustainable management of marine stocks and ecosystems;
  2. using the reproductive resilience paradigm to identify core factors in SPF as well as knowledge gaps and research and modeling needs;
  3. outline a draft for a special issue or review paper in SCR journal focused on reproductive resilience of SPF.
Furthermore, the workshop aims to create a networking environment for research on Fish Reproductive Resilience to be presented in funding calls (e.g. EU COST-Actions), which promotes collaboration among scientists working on fish reproductive resilience and related fields.

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Topic Sessions

S1. Trophodynamic Processes

Susana Garrido
(Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Portugal)
Jana del Favero
(Management of the Ocean Decade, Brazil)
Francis Juanes
(University of Victoria, Canada)
Tatsuya Sakamoto
(Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA), Japan)

Plenary Speaker:
Carl van der Lingen
(‎Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), South Africa)

Invited Speaker:
Marta Albo-Puigserver
(Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Portugal)

Small pelagic fish (SPF) forage near the base of the food web in marine and inland waters. Changes in prey availability can have marked consequences on the productivity of populations of predators. Understanding environmental drivers of the dynamics of SPF populations, therefore, requires knowledge of the abiotic and biotic processes regulating SPF prey fields as well as robust estimates of diet and prey requirements. Moreover, top-down (predation) effects of SPF and their competitors may be just as important as bottom-up (abiotic) impacts in controlling the availability of prey. Future changes in predator–prey interactions depend on a complex array of individual factors affecting physiological rates and the strengths of associations between species. Although aspects of the trophodynamics of SPF have been studied for decades, gaps in knowledge still exist on important aspects of SPF diets, including prey quality requirements for the growth and survival of early life stages, ontogenetic diet shifts, and feedback between the changes in prey field dynamics and reproduction.

This session welcomes presentations on all aspects of trophodynamic processes involving SPF in marine and inland waters, particularly:

  1. The impact(s) of environmental drivers on the phenology, abundance and composition of key prey taxa, novel diet studies, and/or processes impacting rates of feeding, competition, and predation;
  2. Comparative studies focusing on trophic overlaps between SPF and other planktivorous species; especially, studies investigating climate-driven and/or density-dependent processes or the impacts of environmental drivers;
  3. Studies exploring novel techniques in the quantitative and qualitative analyses of SPF trophic ecology in marine and/or inland waters such as numerical modelling or molecular or biochemical techniques (e.g., from genetic, eDNA, fatty acid, or stable isotopic analyses).

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S2. Life Cycle Closure: Advances in Process Understanding

Ignacio A. Catalán
(Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), Spain)
Noelle Bowlin
(Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), NOAA Fisheries, USA)
Martin Huret
(French Research Institute for the Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER), France)
Motomitsu Takahashi
(Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA), Japan)

Plenary Speaker:
Akinori Takasuka
(Fisheries Biology Laboratory, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan)

Invited Speaker:
Laure Pecquerie
(Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences (LEMAR), French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), France)

Intrinsic (individual-level physiology and population-level density-dependence) and extrinsic (environment, both abiotic and biotic) factors interact to shape time-varying changes in the small pelagic fish (SPF) abundance and/or distribution that can differ across life stages. This mechanistic understanding of how and why different life stages vary in space and time is a classical avenue of research that is now benefitting from the perspectives offered by new technologies, spanning from molecular techniques, new modelling approaches, and laboratory experiments exploring interacting pressures. This session encourages presentations that advance process understanding of SPF life cycle closure, with emphasis on spatial ecology and life history strategies. Studies that focus particularly on processes affecting early life stages, from eggs to juveniles (growth, connectivity, density-dependence, recruitment), as well as research on adult stages (e.g., maturation, fecundity, migration), are welcome.

This session invites contributions from marine and inland systems that particularly focus on:

  1. Spatially-explicit research with relevance for management, including individual-based modelling, trait analysis as linked to spatial dynamics, etc.;
  2. Studies on species/population acclimation (plastic response) or genetic adaptation based either on molecular, rearing or modelling experiments;
  3. Studies that compare traits (growth, reproduction and survival) and mechanisms (extrinsic, intrinsic) explaining life cycle closure and habitat utilisation/connectivity at different scales in space and time, in particular across regions or under different climate regimes.

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S3. Understanding Population- and Ecosystem-level Shifts: From Seasonal Timing to Tipping Points

Rebecca Asch
(East Carolina University, USA)
Matthew Baker
(North Pacific Research Board, USA)
Jennifer Boldt
(Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canada)
Patrick Polte
(Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, Germany)

Plenary Speaker:
Mary Hunsicker
(Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), NOAA, USA)

Invited Speaker:
Joël Durant
(Centre for Ecology and Evolution Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Norway)

The responses of fish stocks to changing environmental conditions can have impacts at various time scales with consequences for a broad range of population characteristics. Although we strive to predict shifts in phenology and spatial distribution, such changes can also complicate efforts to understand the relationships between fish populations and environmental forcing, challenging our ability to predict future changes. Further hindering our efforts is the fact that the strengths of relationships among environmental drivers and population traits often change over time. These non-stationarities, both at the level of fish stocks and in a broader ecosystem context, are exemplified by tipping points between ecological regimes and/or rapid shifts in species dominance. These changes could be due to extrinsic factors linked to climate variability and atmospheric forcing, and/or intrinsic factors such as changes in animal behaviour or adaptation to new conditions. The consistency of shifts across ecosystems and regions is a harbinger of global-level threats to the resiliency of populations and ecosystems. This session aims to explore resilience in the context of non-stationarity (e.g., tipping points, shifts in inter-specific relationships, phenological mismatches between trophic levels, non-linear reactions to environmental forcing), both at the level of stocks and in a broader ecosystem context. In this context, defining and evaluating resilience becomes an important consideration, both for stocks and for fisheries.

This session encourages presentations that intend to understand the spatio-temporal variability in small pelagic fish (SPF) using one or several of the following approaches:

  1. Re-analyses or short-term forecasts of phenological shifts in key aspects of life cycles such as spawning or migration;
  2. Novel strategies to evaluate shifts in phenology, including assessment of the oceanographic, biogeochemical, or ecological drivers;
  3. The relationship between SPF and ecosystem-level tipping points;
  4. Perspectives on ways to define, evaluate, monitor, and promote stock and fishery resilience in the context of stock movement and boom-and-bust dynamics and in the context of the resilience of ecological functions.

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S4. Responses to Climate Variability and Change at Decadal to Centennial Time Scales

Ryan Rykaczewski
(Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), NOAA Fisheries, USA)
Dimitri Gutierrez
(Marine Institute of Peru (IMARPE), Peru)
Haruka Nishikawa
(Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japan)
Renato Salvatteci
(Center for Ocean and Society, Kiel University, Germany)

Plenary Speaker:
Renato Salvatteci
(Center for Ocean and Society, Kiel University, Germany)

Invited Speaker:
Michinobu Kuwae
(Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Japan)

Various strategies have been applied to resolve the impacts of climate and oceanographic conditions on populations of small pelagic fish (SPF). Sediment records, acoustic surveys, ichthyoplankton collections, fisheries landings, modelling experiments, and other fisheries-dependent and independent data provide some insight regarding the responses of fish populations to changes in the environment. However, each of these methods has caveats regarding the time and spatial scales that it can accurately address. Hypotheses developed through examination of historical landings records can be substantially different from those developed through investigation of sedimentary records. Similarly, because patterns of large-scale climate variability can have ecosystem impacts that differ in intensity among and within regions, examination of oceanographic data collected at local scales can provide perspectives divergent from those offered by consideration of basin-scale conditions. Reconciling the different (and sometimes contrasting) perspectives offered by various methods remains a challenge. Our understanding of population responses to climate conditions may benefit from multi-disciplinary approaches that appreciate this scale dependency and the potential for non-stationarity among relationships through time. Linking knowledge of species’ ecologies (e.g., recruitment, growth, feeding, distribution, migration, and spawning) with descriptions of changing environments by using both conceptual and numerical models can further help to resolve species’ sensitivities to climate variability and change.

This session welcomes presentations that:

  1. Use information from multi-disciplinary approaches to better resolve the responses of SPF species to climate variability during paleo, observational, and future time periods;
  2. Highlight divergent perspectives and propose hypotheses that might reconcile differing views;
  3. Recognize that relationships among SPF populations and environmental conditions may be non-stationary across periods or when viewed at different spatio-temporal scales;
  4. Discuss of how insight offered by paleo and observational records can be applied to better project SPF population responses to future anthropogenic climate change.

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S5. Progress in Pelagic Surveys: From Biomass Estimates to Monitoring Ecosystems

Maria Manuel Angélico
(Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Portugal)
Chris Rooper
(Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canada)
Jeroen van der Kooij
(Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), UK)
Tim Ward
(South Australia Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Australia)

Plenary Speaker:
Noelle Bowlin
(Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), NOAA, USA)

Invited Speaker:
Tim Ward
(South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Australia)

Directed surveys are a crucial part of monitoring and scientific assessment of small pelagic fish (SPF). Acoustic, egg, and larval survey programs have been conducted on a wide range of SPF species in many regions of the world since the 1970s. Early fisheries surveys often focused on a single target species with limited information collected on the physical environment and other pelagic ecosystem components. Vast technological advances and increased recognition of the need for robust advice to inform fisheries management on environmental drivers, including climate change, have resulted in improvements in survey methodologies. Modern surveys are increasingly becoming holistic enterprises that deliver a comprehensive set of in situ observations on different biological, physical, and chemical components of the pelagic ecosystem. Together with sophisticated modelling approaches and remotely sensed data, surveys are providing important new insights on the structure and function of pelagic ecosystems. The design and outputs of surveys vary according to their purpose and depend on the platforms, equipment, and expertise available. These differences hamper robust comparisons of SPF dynamics among ecosystems. Moreover, information from fisheries may be an important supplement to information gained from traditional surveys. It is becoming increasingly important that information and products from all parts of the survey process are shared with all stakeholders (from other researchers, the industry, to the broader community). This transparency ensures that survey methodologies are developed within a quality assurance framework that meets both accreditation criteria and community expectations regarding access to knowledge derived from publicly-funded research.

This session invites presentations on all aspects of surveys targeting pelagic fish species in marine and inland waters, including:

  1. New technologies, approaches (e.g., survey design, data processing, autonomous vehicles) and products;
  2. Biomass estimation – improving accuracy and precision, alternative indicators of stock status, use in stock assessments;
  3. Climate change-induced challenges to survey design and products;
  4. Incorporation of industry data to supplement traditional survey data;
  5. Ecosystem-based approaches, integrated monitoring, modelling, survey products for ecosystem assessment.

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S6. Reconciling Ecological Roles and Harvest Goals: Development and Testing Management Strategies to Enhance Marine Ecosystem Services

Sarah Gaichas
(Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), NOAA Fisheries, USA)
Cecilie Hansen
(Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Norway)
Isaac Kaplan
(Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), NOAA Fisheries, USA)
Richard Nash
(Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), UK)

Plenary Speaker:
Éva Plagányi
(CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere, Australia)

Invited Speaker:
Amy Schueller
(Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), NOAA, USA)

Ecosystem-based fisheries management plans for small pelagic fish (SPF) must often reconcile the role of these species in marine and inland food webs as well as their economic and social value as a harvested resource. Natural, environmentally driven fluctuations in SPF pose an additional challenge to the sustainable use and management of SPF production. In this session, we welcome presentations regarding management approaches that help ensure sustained ecosystem services from marine and inland SPF stocks, including both harvest and forage provision for predators. In addition, ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluations that allow testing new approaches, such as spatial management, improved monitoring and recruitment forecasts, or alternative harvest strategies, are encouraged. One goal of the session is to identify success stories from particular regions, with careful consideration about how that success can be replicated.

The session hopes to attract studies addressing:

  1. Approaches that can integrate long-term climate change and short-term environmental variability into management and whether/how these approaches differ;
  2. Trade-offs between assuring ecosystem needs of predators versus yields of SPF, and performance indicators and reference points representing these trade-offs;
  3. Quantifying the dynamic role of SPF within the ecosystem, and inter-annual changes in dominant populations drivers (e.g., fishing versus climate drivers);
  4. The utility of ecosystem models to evaluate multiple drivers of fish stocks and/or test management strategies and the best practice of using ecosystem models (e.g., quantifying ranges of uncertainty, measuring model skill, and including information into assessment and management);
  5. Assessing and managing fluctuating stocks of SPF in data-limited situations;
  6. Integrating indicators and ecosystem data, coming either from direct monitoring from the fishing industry or from surveys, into SPF management and related ecosystem modelling.

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S7. Advancing Social-ecological Analyses and Sustainable Policies for Human Communities Dependent on SPF

Tarûb Bahri
(UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO))
Maria Gasalla
(University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Mitsutaku Makino
(University of Tokyo, Japan)
Myron Peck
(Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), the Netherlands)

Plenary Speaker:
Elena Ojea
(CIM-Universidade de Vigo, Spain)

Invited Speaker:
Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted
(Worldfish, CGIAR)

Small pelagic fish (SPF) represent an essential source of highly nutritious food, particularly for the poorer and more vulnerable segments of society, and support livelihoods, including for women involved in post-harvest activities in developing countries. Moreover, SPF form the most commercially important fisheries resources globally. There is a constant and dynamic evolution of SPF fisheries to adapt to and respond to external drivers such as climate change and market demand, but a number of gaps in quantitative and qualitative knowledge exist on SPF fisheries at all levels: ecological, social, and economic. Science-based advice for management, therefore, requires not only information on the drivers of the natural dynamics of SPF (e.g., productivity regimes), but also on societal needs and requirements (e.g., economic and/or cultural). Considering the increasing momentum on sustainability (Sustainable Development Goals, FAO Declaration on Fisheries Sustainability), this session takes stock of progress made in the use and management of SPF, including demonstrating how new technologies and tools fill knowledge gaps in the context of global change. The session also invites presentations on how information has been gathered from dependent human communities and used to advance various social-ecological analyses. The session is expected to have a strong focus on marine and inland small-scale fisheries, SDG 14.b (access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets), and to contribute to the generation of knowledge that will inform the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) that will be celebrated in 2022.

This session welcomes presentations on SPF in marine and inland waters that:

  1. Quantify and characterize the reliance of coastal communities on SPF for nutrition, food security, and employment;
  2. Advance management and governance arrangements (e.g., management plans, implementation of Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, regional approaches) impacting access to SPF resources;
  3. Examine access to markets including recent trends in processing, marketing and use of SPF (e.g. inter-regional and international fish markets, reduction for feed, changes in value chains);
  4. Report on climate vulnerability/risk assessments, adaptation measures, and strategies focused on SPF throughout the value chain as well as economic tipping points.

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Important Dates
October 24, 2022
Full registration fee refund deadline
TBA, 2022
Manuscript submission deadline
March 18, 2021
Call for workshop proposal
June 15, 2021
Deadline Workshop proposal submission
June 30, 2021
Workshop acceptance notification