Fisheries management measures: the case of European seabass

High market value and iconic status make European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax, a highly desired target species for both professional and recreational fisheries. Seabass is selectively targeted with hand lines, but also caught with nets and trawls. Increased fishing intensity between 2000 and 2010 proved unsustainable. Slow growth, late reproductive maturity, aggregation at spawning areas and high residency add to seabass’ vulnerability to overexploitation and local depletion. Efficient stock management is additionally hindered by the prevalent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and its consequential data poverty. Seasonal migrations across manmade borders of national and management zones demonstrate the need for an international and adaptive management approach.

The task of the student will consist of making an assessment of the European seabass management, with a focus on the northern stock (covering the North Sea, English Channel, Irish and Celtic Sea). This will involve 1) making a historical overview of management measures, both on a European level as on a national level for the bordering countries; 2) reviewing the effectiveness of these measures by integrating criticism of different sources (scientific literature, communications from stakeholders…); and 3) providing substantiated suggestions for seabass management in the future.

The student should be able and willing to process and structure large amounts of literature. During the internship, the student will learn how to consult and interpret management documents. This internship will mainly involve office work. If possible (considering weather conditions), the student can participate in fieldwork for telemetry research, which involves the tagging of seabass and the maintenance of acoustic receivers at sea.

Language requirements: 
Accommodation possibilities : 
Accomodation is not available at the host institute, but Ghent has numerous accomodation possibilities. Rent prices vary, but it should be possible to find something between €300 - 450.
Additional costs to be covered by the student: