Science & Student Projects

The Pelagic AC continuously collaborates with scientists from national research institutes to secure that its recommendations are science-based as much as possible. Pelagic AC members also often participate in ICES meetings.  In addition, the Pelagic AC engages in EU-funded research projects, which have a specific - and for the Pelagic AC relevant - scope.

Furthermore, the Pelagic AC regularly hosts BSc and MSc students during their internships and thesis projects.


Population structure of the Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) revealed by whole-genomes

A report prepared for the members of the Northern Pelagic Working Group and the Pelagic Advisory Council by Angela P. Fuentes-Pardo, Mats Pettersson, C. Grace Sprehn, Leif Andersson (Uppsala University, Sweden) & Edward Farrell (EDF Scientific Limited, Ireland)
July 2020


The aims of this study were to identify informative genetic markers for the stock identification of horse mackerel and to estimate the extent of genetic differentiation among populations distributed across the distribution range of the species.


The results, based on the analysed samples, indicated that the North Sea horse mackerel are a separate and distinct population. The samples from the Western stock, west of Ireland and the northern Spanish shelf, and the northern part of the Southern stock, northern Portugal, appear to form a genetically close group. There was significant genetic differentiation between the northern Portuguese samples and those collected in Southern Portuguese waters, with those in the south representing a separate population. The North African and Alboran Sea samples were distinct from each other and from all other samples.


Please read the complete document: report

Exploration of potential changes in post-Brexit catch opportunities for European pelagic fisheries

Master Thesis

Author: Guillaume Carruel, February-August 2018




COFASP is an ERA-NET created to directly address actions envisaged within fisheries, aquaculture and seafood. It was created as under the KBBE theme in FP7, and is part of the Europe 2020 strategy, which recognises bioeconomy as an important part of the strategy. The main objectives of COFASP are:

1. To lay the basis for exploitation according to the precautionary principles and to enhance innovation in and competiveness of the primary sectors fisheries and aquaculture as well as subsequent seafood processing and distribution to the consumer.
2. To define the science, information and data necessary to underpin the revision of the CFP and to ensure its successful implementation by designing complementary national research programmes and outlining monitoring and information/data sharing systems needed


The EU funded ComFish project focuses on dissemination of scientific knowledge on fisheries research. The initiative explores innovative mechanisms to improve communication between scientists, policy makers, fisheries stakeholders and the society at large.


GAP2 brings fishers, scientists and policy makers together to work towards sustainable fisheries for the benefit of society. The Pelagic AC holds a seat in the steering committee of the project and is involved in a case study on Western Baltic spring spawning herring.


MareFrame is an EC-funded RTD project which seeks to remove the barriers preventing more widespread use of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. This entails development of new tools and technologies, development and extension of ecosystem models and assessment methods, and development of a decision support framework that can highlight alternatives and consequences. Most importantly the removal of barriers depends not only on collaboration with stakeholders in general, but on close integration and co-creation with stakeholders in all development phases, to ensure that ownership lies with them and to increase the chance of acceptance and uptake of the project outcomes.


Myfish aims at developing new Maximum Sustainable Yield indicators that can ensure high levels of fishery yield while respecting ecological, economic and social sustainability thus contributing to achieve the Good Environmental Status (GES) foreseen in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).


VECTORS of Change in European Marine Ecosystems and their Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts

The results of VECTORS, an EU funded marine research project, are available in a web-based synthesis at, so that the project’s findings can be used to improve the future management of our seas.  The 4 year project examined the causes and impacts of changes in European seas to improve our understanding of how human activities are driving these changes and what the impacts will be for our societies and economies.  VECTORS used modelling techniques to project the future changes and consequences of human activities in the marine environment under different scenarios of adaptation and mitigation in order to understand what will happen to our seas in the future subject to how we manage them now and what will be the ramifications for our societies.

To find out more please visit