Conservation and Impact

     As traditional fisheries, such as those targeting cod and hake, went into decline fishing fleets began to exploit less accessible populations and more marginal fishing grounds. This shift was followed by a move to less desirable species. Eventually fleets developed to take advantage of new fishing grounds in deeper waters with most of the major deep-water fisheries developing after World War II. Most species living in deep waters are long lived, slow growing and slow to reach sexual maturity (about 10 years in Coryphaenoides rupestris and at least 20 years in Hoplostethus atlanticus) making them particularly vulnerable to over fishing. Thus, it is critical to understand the processes that promote or restrict connectivity between populations in order to develop effective management strategies.

     To ensure that the results of our work reach end-users we have put together a panel of research biologists and resource managers to provide feedback, make suggestions, and ask questions. Each is an expert in different aspects of deep-sea biology, fisheries, and conservation. The working group meets via virtual workshops once a year. The first meeting was held in December 2013 with the second planned for January 2015. Toward the end of the third and final year of funding a workshop will be organized at Durham University (2016) in which final results will be presented and a round table discussion will be held to outline the implications of our findings for conservation and management issues and to discuss possible future research directions.