Marine physicists and ichthyologists at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iceland are developing a model which will be used to predict ocean conditions and the distribution of fish. The aim is for the model to facilitate fishermen in their search for fish by enabling them to predict the odds of finding specific species at specific locations. The latest data would be sent automatically from the fishing vessels via satellite to the model for updates.
Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
The project, headed by professor at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences Guðrún Marteinsdóttir, is a collaboration between MARICE (Marine Academic Research in Iceland) at the University of Iceland, the Marine Research Institute, the Icelandic Met Office and the Icelandic Maritime Administration, according to the University of Iceland Science Web. Numerous post-docs, PhD and masters students at the University of Iceland will take part in the project.
In an article published in the Public Service Review – European Science and Technology, the researches state that current methods for evaluating the stock biomass of various species of fish present numerous uncertainties.
The researchers further state that despite great efforts put forth by European fishing nations in evaluating the exploitable marine stock, results sometimes contradict greatly with predictions on the development of stock biomass.
Fish and fish stock behavior and their reaction to environmental changes are described in the article as among scientists’ greatest challenges. The model, Hydrodynamic Information System for the North Atlantic, or HISA, will take currents, temperature, nutrients and plankton into consideration.