New project on European hake recruitment
Faced with the same enthusiasm as ever a new project, DREAMER, focusing on recruitment dynamics of one of our flagship species, the European hake Merluccius merluccius. This proposed project is a logical continuation of CRAMER project.
The overall objective of the project is to analyze the causes that determine hake recruitment with special attention to the demographic and environmental causes; and in particular consider the fishing pressure and climate change are ascertaining the recruitment pulses, reversing historical trends and encouraging the northern population. However it presents innovative aspects: some not studied op top now, as the study of the two seasonal components, trophic dynamics of larvae, or differential recruitment between sexes; other little studied, such as connectivity changes induced by fisheries and resilience; while others require further analysis, such as parental effects, the daily growth, larval distribution and the effect of environmental conditions on recruitment dynamics. To address these objectives more effectively, information from further north (Norway) and further south (Portugal) is included, and for that we have the collaboration of three foreign research agencies (University of Bergen, Bergen Research Institute, Norway, and the Portuguese Institute of Marine and Atmospheric). This knowledge will improve recruitment processes assessment and management of this population, which in turn will allow the sustainable exploitation and more effective recovery plans.
The project is already in full swing work centered on the North European stock of hake on board the R/V Ramón Margalef and Emma Bardan. Research surveys on North stock (Bay of Biscay) have been matched with campaigns assessment mackerel and horse mackerel Northeast Atlantic carried out in the study area every 3 years (TRIENAL 2016). The joint coordination of both campaigns is a great effort both campaign design and execution. This also implies that the specific sampling Dreamer project has to conform as much as possible, sampling Triennial so that the objectives of the latter are not compromised. Match campaign Dreamer Triennials project represents a great economic savings for the project and a great value to the triennial research surveys.
Responsible for such research survey is the AZTI researcher and principal investigator of the coordinated project, Paula Álvarez.