Master-projects on fish population dynamics
Several species of fish, important both from an ecological and an economic perspective, migrate from feeding grounds in the Barents Sea to spawning grounds along the Norwegian coast in winter/spring. Examples include, the Northeast Arctic (NEA) cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), saithe (Pollachius virens) and the Barents Sea capelin (Mallotus villosus). To understand how and why the population of these fishes vary in size between years, we need to understand the mechanisms associated with recruitment of young fish. One major aspect of the recruitment process is the spawning migration and the proceeding spawning. To shed light on the underlying mechanisms that may cause variations in the migration and spawning time and location one often has to analyze indirect data, such as fisheries catch statistics. I propose several master projects with the aim of shedding light on the spawning and migration of the above-mentioned fish populations by analysis of fisheries catch statistics from the Norwegian fisheries. In particular, the projects may aim to understand year-to-year fluctuations in spawning locations of capelin or saithe. Document and explain potential size distribution of spawning haddock between spawning locations (as documented in cod) or aim to estimate spatial differences in timing of spawning in different locations in cod and haddock. Other related questions may also be relevant and can be developed by the student in collaboration with the supervisor(s). The projects will mainly involve quantitative analysis on the computer using e.g. R or other relevant programs. The outcome of the projects will likely lead to important output with relevance for ecology as well as for management of these fish stocks.
If you are interested in pursuing some of these alternatives or have any questions, please contact Øystein Langangen