Module OSX-4001:
Marine Fisheries

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Ian McCarthy

Overall aims and purpose

The module aims to provide a broad overview of fisheries and detailed training in the techniques used in the assessment of finfish population dynamics. The specific aims are:

1) To develop knowledge and understanding of the anatomy, morphology and ecology of pelagic and demersal finfish.

2) To develop dissection and data collection skills for finfish.

3) To develop knowledge and understanding of the current status of global fisheries

4) To develop knowledge and understanding of techniques used to assess population dynamics of finfish.

5) To understand how these data are used to inform fisheries management.

Course content

The course will provide (a) a broad overview of fisheries biology and (b) detailed training in the techniques used in the assessment of finfish population dynamics. In a series of fisheries lectures the following topics will be covered: the current status of global marine finfish fisheries will be discussed; bivalve, gastropod/echinoderm, cephalopod, crustacean and finfish fisheries will be reviewed; the types of models used in stock assessment and fisheries modelling will be introduced; the role of mapping essential fish habitat for commercial species as a means to both target these species during fishing activities and to providing protected areas will be reviewed; the effects of fishing activities on benthos will be discussed. Students will write a short essay (5 credits), selected from a list provided by staff, on a topic that has been covered in the lecture series but also requires further self-study by the student. In a series of fish ecology lectures, students will be introduced to the lifecycles of marine fishes and given a detailed review of how to assess the population dynamics of finfish species: areas to be included are how to estimate abundance, how to age finfish and how to calculate growth rates, mortality rates and maturity ogives. The importance of all of these measurements in developing management models for exploited fish species will be discussed. As part of this course, there will be three laboratory practicals where fish caught on fishing trips in the Field skills module will be dissected and aged. Students will learn about the morphology and ecology of pelagic and demersal fishes, learn dissecting skills and be trained in collection of data that can be used to assess the population dynamics of fishes. The knowledge obtained from these lectures and practicals, together with the student's own self-study will be used to compile a detailed report (15 credits) on the population dynamics of one of the main teleost fish species in the coastal waters of North Wales (e.g. dab, plaice, gurnards, whiting) for the module assessment.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Rudimentary report containing the very basics of what was done, but missing detail and with only the simplest analysis. Design and layout of report acceptable.The “info-sheet” will be poorly designed (e.g. too many words, use of jargon, lack of photos and infographics) and will not convey information in a clear and concise fashion making it difficult for the reader to easily and quickly understand the topic. The fact sheet will not be of a good enough standard to be published and used for public education by agencies such as Wildlife Trusts or other Conservation NGOS, Cefas or Fisheries authorities.

good

Report sufficiently introduced and referenced and containing the important details of material and method, with tabulated and/or graphical presentation of data obtained and a concise but sufficient analysis of the data. Short but pertinent discussion with a few papers referred to. Design and layout of report reasonable. The “info-sheet” will be adequately designed but not presenting the information in an optimal format.to convey information in a clear and concise fashion. The fact sheet will not be of a good enough standard to be published and used for public education by agencies such as Wildlife Trusts or other Conservation NGOS, Cefas or Fisheries authorities but would be so after further modification/editing.

excellent

Outstanding report having a concise introduction covering all relevant aspects of the study and giving full references. Materials and methods fully and succinctly described, data well presented in tabular and/or graphical format, data fully analysed using the correct analytical methods for all data sets. Discussion focused, critical and concise, covering all aspects of the study, and fully referenced. Design and layout of report exceptional.The “info-sheet” will clearly and concisely convey a comprehensive summary of a fisheries topic and should be of a standard that would be good enough to be published and used for public education by agencies such as Wildlife Trusts or other Conservation NGOS, Cefas or Fisheries authorities.

Learning outcomes

  1. On completion of the module students will be able to demonstrate:

    Knowledge of the different fisheries resources, exploited by man and their current status.

  2. Ability of handle and analyse data, collate information from various published sources and to communicate this information in the format of an essay or an interpretive report.

  3. Knowledge of the anatomy and morphology of pelagic and demersal finfish and how this relates to the ecology of the species.

  4. Key dissection and laboratory skills to collect accurate data on size, sex, maturity status, and age of finfish species

  5. Understanding and knowledge of the population dynamics of finfish species.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Fisheries info fact sheet 25
Population dynamics of major finfish species 75

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Practical classes and workshops

4 x 7 hrs (2 dissection practicals, 1 ageing practical, 1 data analysis computer practical)

28
Private study

Reading list and web sites will be provided on the module page on Blackboard, to guide students for self-study. Each lecture topic will have associated reading material which will be book chapters, reviews and/or primary source papers. All students will be expected to read this material. In addition, a broader range of reading sources will be recommended to allow students to read more widely and explore topics of interest in more detail. All reading material will be made readily available either electronically via Blackboard or library on-line resources or in books held on reserve in the library

148
Lecture

20 hours of lecture (combination of 1 and 3 hour lectures) plus 4 x 1 hour help sessions to assist in data analysis for the fisheries report

24

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
  • Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
  • Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.

Resources

Reading list

King – Fisheries Biology, Assessment and Management. Available as ebook through library

SOFIA State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report. Available from FAO fisheries webpage.

Plus other lecture-specific reading lists provided by lecturers through Blackboard

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: