What is the research methodology?
- The project aims to develop a full life cycle model for the main pelagic resources in the Aegean Sea (anchovy and sardine), coupled with a lower trophic level ecosystem model in a 3-D configuration
- The composite model will built up from a 3-D full life cycle population model that has already been developed for European anchovy by Politikos et al. (2015).
- The already developed anchovy model will be revisited, corrected (regarding concepts and parameters) and calibrated with new information collected during the project and an additional new bioenergetics model will be developed for sardine..
- The newly developed multispecies model will be further elaborated with regard to fish bioenergetics, and specifically anchovy and sardine energy allocation strategies to growth and reproduction
- To illustrate how the amount of energy allocated to growth and reproduction fluctuates seasonally, anchovy and sardine samples will be collected seasonally for a year onboard the commercial fishing fleet of the North Aegean
- To thoroughly study how fish size and the seasonal variations of energy reserves affect egg production, ovarian dynamics will be studied in detail by applying advanced techniques and theories in reproductive biology of fish, i.e., the oocyte packing density theory, post-ovulatory follicle method, stereological techniques and the autodiametric method (Schismenou et al. 2012; Somarakis et al. 2012)
- Once developed and tested the end-to-end model will be used in a series of scenario simulations with the aim to identify climatic and human-related drivers of population variability and sardine/anchovy shifts