We research to achieve a sustainable fishing activity by an economically competitive fleet with responsible fishing practices. From an ecosystem-based resource assessment approach so as to:

  • Oceanographically characterise areas of study.
  • Determine habitats and population dynamics.
  • Provide scientific recommendations for fishery management.

With this objective in mind, AZTI researchers carry out:

  • Surveys at sea with systematic sampling using plankton and fish nets.
  • Biomass evaluation of the fish population using direct (egg production method, acoustics) and indirect (CPUE, etc.) assessment methods.
  • Population biomass estimates by age.
  • Calculation of the accuracy of the different biomass estimates.
  • Estimates of the reproductive parameters of the population (partial and total fecundity, egg-laying frequency, atresia, sex ratio).
  • Age determination through otolith analysis.
  • Integrated resource assessment, combining multiple-source estimates (acoustics, egg production method, catches) and different statistical models.
  • Recruitment forecast based on juvenile fish abundance estimates.
  • Determination of fish spawning areas and their variability over time.
  • Mapping of plankton (eggs and larvae) and ichthyofauna abundance.
  • Experimental acoustics: nocturnal acoustics, shallow-water acoustics and multi-frequency acoustics.
  • Estimate of acoustics-related parameters: in-situ and ex-situ target strength studies and frequency response of the different fish species.

We research from an ecosystem-based resource assessment approach, to attain a sustainable fishing activity by an economically competitive fleet with responsible fishing practices

Applicable sectors

  • Public Administrations.
  • Management Bodies.
  • Fishermen’s Associations.
  • Universities and/or technology centres specialised in the fisheries sector.


  • Direct knowledge of the biology, variability and abundance of the different marine resources available.
  • Awareness of temporary changes in these marine resources.
  • Contribution to marine resource sustainability.
  • Information for the implementation of management measures (TACs, minimum catch size, closure of areas etc.)
  • Ecosystem-based approach to resource assessment.

We work with foreign Public Administrations in the implementation of comprehensive assessment and fishery management methods


  • A personalised diagnosis of the client’s needs is carried out with the client, seeking the best options.
  • Definition of the target area based on the characteristics of the study.
  • Delivery formats and means: video, drawings, multimedia, written report, press conferences, scientific and informative papers and others.


  • 25 years’ experience in the comprehensive assessment of fish species and the factors controlling their dynamics.
  • Multidisciplinary team with experts in fish species assessment and management.
  • High level of expertise in different techniques: resource assessment, growth and mortality (otoliths), fecundity (histology), movement (biophysical models, tagging, otolith microchemistry), oceanographic campaigns.
  • We have numerous European contacts in the fisheries biology sector, complementing our fields of activity.

Proven track record

  • Sustainable population management and sustainability of extractive fishing activities.
  • Opening of closed fisheries (Bay of Biscay anchovy), anticipating recruitment success, with the corresponding economic benefits for the sector.
  • Over 100 scientific publications in ISI-indexed journals related to biology and fisheries management.
  • External guidance in third-country scientific projects.
  • Cooperation with foreign Public Administrations in the implementation of integrated assessment and fisheries management methods.

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