Conservation Physiology of Marine Fishes

Main/primary objectives

The main objective of the Action is to coordinate European research efforts to understand the physiological mechanisms that determine distribution and abundance of marine fish species, and thereby contribute to sustainable management of biodiversity and fishery resources.

Secondary objectives

1) To review existing knowledge on how temperature and other environmental factors implicated in anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) affect physiology and performance. This will identify species for which adequate information on tolerance limits is available (WG 1)

2) To identify critical gaps in knowledge needed to understand the fundamental niche for these species of marine fish. Focus will be placed on seasonal acclimatisation, differential sensitivities across life stages, and intra-specific diversity across the species range (WG 1)

3) To propose research projects to fill these gaps (WG1)

4) To evaluate and harmonise research into emerging technologies in biologging, biotelemetry and trace

chemical markers, which can reveal habitat selection and physiological performance in the wild (WG 1)

5) To relate information on physiological tolerance of environmental factors to habitat selection in the wild, to

gain insight into whether fish choose habitat to optimise performance (WG 1)

6) To coordinate research and application of physiological proxies of climate change effects, and biomarkers

of ecological performance, across Europe (WG 1)

7) To provide for interactions between physiologists, ecologists and modellers, to integrate physiological and behavioural ecology knowledge into models forecasting the effects of environmental change (e.g., climate change) and other conservation problems (WG 2).

8) To identify priority conservation research areas where physiological approaches can be applied, and to propose relevant research projects (WG 2)

9) To use MPAs as natural laboratories to evaluate physiological biomarkers and tease apart the influence of fishing pressure versus other environmental stressors on ecological performance (WG 1 & 2)

10) To provide for interactions among conservation researchers, resource managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders, to promote incorporation of physiological knowledge into policy decision support tools and decision making processes. (WG 3)