Bangor PhD Student receives award at the 6th World Fisheries Congress

Gwladys Lambert, who recently completed her PhD in the School of Ocean Sciences.Gwladys Lambert, who recently completed her PhD in the School of Ocean Sciences.Gwladys Lambert, who recently completed her PhD in the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, was awarded joint second best oral presentation at the 6th World Fisheries Congress held in Edinburgh 7-11th May.

The World Fisheries Congress is a major event, organised every 4 years by the World Council of Fisheries Societies. The Congress gathers scientists, managers, politicians and representatives of the industry to discuss the promotion of international cooperation in fisheries science, conservation and management to work towards sustainable use of marine resources around the world. With over 1000 delegates from over 65 countries in attendance, the four-day congress covered a variety of themes including fishing impact, aquaculture, illegal fishing, climate change and marine protected areas.

Gwladys giving a talk at the World Fisheries Congress.Gwladys giving a talk at the World Fisheries Congress.With over 300 student presentations submitted at the Congress, Gwladys gave a talk at the fishing impact session. She presented some research she had conducted during her PhD supervised by Professor Michel Kaiser, Dr Jan Hiddink and Professor Simon Jennings (CEFAS).  The idea of the work was to try and estimate how long it takes for seabed faunal communities to recover after being disturbed by fishing gears such as scallop dredges. Gwladys explained:

“Towed fishing gears can damage, remove or kill species that are not necessarily targeted by the fishery. It is very important to study fishing impact on seabed organisms as they are part of the marine ecosystems. These organisms are essential in the food chain and provide habitat to other species. If we know which seabed organisms are mostly affected, how and how long it takes for them to recover and if there are any places where they will recover faster due to good environmental conditions, we can probably improve fisheries management strategies and then work towards sustainable use of our resources”.

“The main point I was discussing during my talk was how to know where and when fishing occurs. Generally scientists don't have very accurate data and have to make estimations/predictions. We can get access to some fishing distribution data but the access is being restricted for privacy concerns and this can be a major impediment to the progress of fisheries science. In turn, it can directly affect management advice and thereby affect the fishing industry in the long run.”

 "I really enjoyed conducting this research and also presenting it to experts, colleagues and friends during the congress. I did not expect any award for it, but it is obviously very encouraging and motivating!"

Publication date: 16 May 2012