Fisheries Management

At AZTI, we carry out research work in co-operation with the main European and worldwide fishing research centres to establish the scientific basis for the sustainability of marine environments and fishery resources. We contribute efficiently and equitably to the knowledge and integral assessment of the main species exploited by Basque fleets operating in seas and oceans around the world.

Our research work is conducted within the framework of international bodies such as ICCAT, IOTC, ICES/CIEM, NAFO, STEFC, etc., in which AZTI researchers are actively involved.

We participate actively in the drafting of the scientific guidance for management, on which the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources and activity is based, so that the respective administrations can establish management decisions and measures based on scientific knowledge of the state of the resources and the economy of the fleets.

Observation and data

We work with the fishing industry and its competitiveness

Through the Fish Sampling and Information Network we collect data regarding landings, discards and biological characteristics of catches, and economic data of the fleets and sale price of the different species. It is worth highlighting the major significance recently achieved by data related to fleet dynamics (ship location spatial data) which have started to be collected recently.

Our experts obtain information from different biologic parameters (population structure, growth, reproduction, natural mortality, etc.); behaviour parameters (distribution and migration) from different commercial species.

Integrated assessment and management of living resources

Preserving the sustainability of the marine environment

We provide advice to public administrations on the performance of campaigns for direct assessment of stock biomass through different methods (ichthyoplankton-based, acoustic, optical, etc.). We work hand-in-hand with companies in the sector performing joint research cruises.

We use novel methodologies to evaluate the state of stocks (including those with few data) to establish the status of resources, which take into account space-time, species multiplicity, different fleets that exploit them and their economic structure.

We have tools to enable simulation of different management scenarios and different catching rules andevaluate the bio-economic impact of management decisions on stocks and fleets.

We work hand-in-hand with companies in the sector performing joint research cruises for the adaptation of the fishing activity to the new European regulations.

Ecosystem approach to management

Our research work is conducted within the framework of international bodies

We investigate on the impact of natural variability and climate change in the dynamics of fishing resources. We simulate the consequences of exploiting species at a certain level and how this could impact other species which are caught with them. We carry out fleet profitability studies and provide advice for optimal adaptation of fleets to evolution of regulatory scenarios.