e-Fishing – New molecular tools to support fisheries management

The economic importance of the fishing sector and the high importance of fish for human consumption, make necessary a fisheries stocks management that is capable of ensuring a sustainable exploitation of resources and that at the same time allows foreseeing and adjusting to new conditions, namely those resulting from climate change. In this sense, a correct assessment of the diversity and abundance of fish present in our coastal zone, and also of the diversity and abundance of species present in the lower trophic levels, becomes increasingly relevant. Biomonitoring through molecular tools (in particular e-DNA – environmental DNA) is a promising tool to support fisheries management, as complement to the approaches currently used in the assessment and management of fishery stocks. The present project proposal is based on a multidisciplinary approach, using metagenomic analysis of environmental DNA and crossing with the data of fish sold at auction and place of capture, for which the collaboration of producers associated with producing organizations will be counted which are part of Anopcerco – National Association of Organizations of Fisheries Producers of Siege and particularly of OPCENTRO (Cooperative of General Fisheries of the CRL Center). This analysis will enable a more rigorous assessment, than that obtained by conventional methods, of the diversity of fish (and other marine organisms) existing and their abundance. The project also includes, involving the producers associated with Anopcerco and OPCentro, the analysis of planktonic communities as a proxy for the existing environmental conditions, given their relevance for the success of the recruitment of the main fishing stocks, target of capture by the art of the siege (ex. sardines, mackerel, horse mackerel and anchovy). At the same time, a study will be made of the genetic diversity of the sardine populations of the main fishing sites of the Ibero-Atlantic stock frequented by the Portuguese fleet, in order to verify whether they belong to a single global population or, if they belong to populations sufficiently different to justify the division of the Ibero-Atlantic stock in different regions.

Fisheries management


MARE-Polytechnic of Leiria: Maria Jorge Campos – mcampos@ipleiria.pt

130.038,91 € (MARE-Polytechnic of Leiria)| PORTUGAL 2020 // Duration 2019-2022


Project Card