AFI-30806 Fisheries Ecology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LAJ Nagelkerke
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. LAJ Nagelkerke
ir. PAM van Zwieten
prof. dr. AD Rijnsdorp
Examiner(s)dr. ir. LAJ Nagelkerke
ir. PAM van Zwieten
prof. dr. AD Rijnsdorp

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

AFI-20306 Aquaculture and Fisheries, AFI-31306 Life History of Aquatic Organisms.


The course Fisheries Ecology (AFI-30806) deals with the ecology of fishes and other aquatic organisms in relation to the exploitation of aquatic resources. Direct and indirect effects of fishing are treated at the organism, population, community and ecosystem level. Subjects include the main categories of organisms involved in global fisheries and their biological characteristics, principles of fish population dynamics, data collection, stock assessments and ecosystem effects of fisheries. Interactions with marine mammals and birds will also be treated. Special attention is given to the environment - fish - fishery interactions. In the tutorials the principles of population dynamics, simulation models, and virtual population analysis are taught.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify the main vertebrate and invertebrate species in world fisheries as well as their main biological and life-history characteristics that influence their vulnerability to fisheries;
- explain how the main developments in effort and technology in the world's fisheries have influenced marine and other aquatic ecosystems over the last century;
- apply first-stage data-processing, parameter estimation, and basic statistical concepts involved in fisheries ecology;
- apply basic models of fish population dynamics, fisheries yield models, and mass-balance models using computer-supported simulations;
- assess the assumptions underlying widely-used models in fisheries ecology;
- analyse how bottom-up and top-down processes can influence marine and other aquatic communities;
- analyse the evolutionary and community effects of fishing and conservation on fished and unfished species and populations;
- construct a management advice, following a stock assessment, using the major steps used world-wide by fisheries scientists in providing the scientific base for single species management.


- follow lectures, studying textbook and tutorial notes;
- perform exercises in tutorials.


Two written tests (each 50%) with open and closed questions.
The minimum mark for each test is a 5


Course guide
Textbook: Jennings, S., Kaiser, M.J., & Reynolds, J.D. (2001). Marine Fisheries Ecology. Blackwell Science. 432p. ISBN-10: 0632050985. Notes for tutorial exercises;
Internet site with presentations, background information assignments and self-test questions;
Selected scientific articles.

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScG: Marine Biology4WD
MBIBiologyMScD: Conservation and Systems Ecology4WD
MASAnimal SciencesMScF: Animal Ecology4WD
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScB: Marine Resources and Ecology4WD