Skip to main content
Institute of

SF Sea Fisheries

Ongoing projects - Marine ecosystems

A close look at the productivity of the Benguela Upwelling System (TRAFFIC)

The Benguela Upwelling System, off southern Africa, belongs to the most productive marine ecosystems on earth and supports many important fisheries. In TRAFFIC, scientists from Germany, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa investigate the efficiency of its food chains.

More
A close look at the productivity of the Benguela Upwelling System (TRAFFIC)

A physical-statistical model of hydrography for fishery and ecology studies (AHOI)

AHOI (Adjusted Hydrography Optimal Interpolation) is a simple physical-statistical model developed in the working group 'Operational Observation Systems' of the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries to produce monthly gridded in situ hydrography through various decades. Special care is given to a high vertical resolution, in order to yield a good representation of the near-seabed hydrography due to its importance for marine ecosystems. As a case study we produced monthly maps of temperature and salinity in the North Sea from 1948 to 2013. This study has been published in Journal of Marine ...

More
A physical-statistical model of hydrography for fishery and ecology studies (AHOI)

AKW - Alternative Crangon added value

The North Sea shrimps (Crangon crangon) caught on the North Sea coast are today mainly shelled by hand in Morocco. We are investigating the possibilities of using a new mechanical shrimp peeling technique for regional processing and marketing of the shrimp.

More
AKW - Alternative Crangon added value

Analyses of fishery effort in German fishing fleets

The project aims at a better understanding of the relationship between fisheries and population dynamics of fish stocks in order to better predict and justify the necessity of fleet capacity adjustment measures

More
Analyses of fishery effort in German fishing fleets

Assessment of pelagic fish stocks in the North Sea and North Atlantic

Data on population parameters of pelagic fish stocks (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel, blue whiting and sprat) in the North Sea and North Atlantic are combined with catch records and landings statistics and provide input for the fish stock assessments of ICES. The results of these calculations serve as a basis for sustainable fisheries management.

More
Assessment of pelagic fish stocks in the North Sea and North Atlantic

Automated fish age reading and analysis of growth patterns using deep learning

In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence has increased massively in various disciplines. Can this technology also be applied in fisheries science? This question is to be clarified in a PhD project.

More
Automated fish age reading and analysis of growth patterns using deep learning

Biological Oceanography

Factors such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, and oceanic currents shape the environmental conditions of marine life and directly or indirectly impact marine ecosystems. In this project, we aim to understand and quantify these impacts and use climatic trends to predict future changes in marine life.

More
Biological Oceanography

Climate Change and Future Marine Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (FutureMARES)

Climate change has negative impacts on marine ecosystems, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Which adaptation strategies to climate change using nature based solutions are possible, to reduce the negative impacts on marine ecosystems?

More
Climate Change and Future Marine Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (FutureMARES)

Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring in Cabo Verde - developing a blueprint for Large Ocean States (CEM_CV)

The management of marine natural resources in small island states - large ocean countries often poses certain challenges due to the extent of marine environment to be covered and the according logistics and infrastructure. Likewise, significant efforts are required to let policy makers and often remote communities fully participate in decision making processes. Data on the extent and dynamics of the natural resources as well as the notion of drivers of change are needed to understand ways to improve their state and utilization, to maintain and preserve vulnerable parts of the ecosystem and ...

More
Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring in Cabo Verde - developing a blueprint for Large Ocean States (CEM_CV)

CoastalFutures - Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

In "CoastalFutures", we elaborate science-based concepts for sustainable management of coasts, marine ecosystems and their resources. We develop an innovative model system to test future use scenarios and support analyses of possible management options.

More
CoastalFutures - Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

Collection of economic data of the fish processing industry

As part of the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF), we collect economic data of the German aquaculture.

More
Collection of economic data of the fish processing industry

Economic analyses

More

Enhancement of multi-species assessment models

This research activity will enhance multi-species models (improved diet selection models and recruitment models) to enable best possible projections of stocks developments. This will contribute to a sustainable harvest of fish stocks inside an ecosystem approach. Not only fisheries influence fish stocks but also predation and other environmental factors.

More
Enhancement of multi-species assessment models

Establishment of a trilateral UFO network of mobile, portable and stationary units for an automatic, continuous, non-invasive monitoring of fish stocks in the Bay of Kiel (UFOTriNet)

In UFOTriNet, an intelligent underwater test network of innovative stationary and mobile UFO units is being developed with the aim of automatically and continuously monitoring the diversity and abundance of fish populations and their environment.

More
Establishment of a trilateral UFO network of mobile, portable and stationary units for an automatic, continuous, non-invasive monitoring of fish stocks in the Bay of Kiel (UFOTriNet)

Exclusion of mobile bottom-fishing in the German Natura 2000 areas (MGF Nordsee)

What happens to habitats and communities when commercial fishing stops? This important but largely unanswered question is the focus of this research project.

More
Exclusion of mobile bottom-fishing in the German Natura 2000 areas (MGF Nordsee)

Fish & fisheries in numbers - the Data Collection Framework

The Data Collection Framework (DCF), co-funded by the EU, allows Member States to collect fisheries data relevant for the sustainable management of fish stocks.

More
Fish & fisheries in numbers - the Data Collection Framework

Fisheries economics in numbers

As part of the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF), each Member State is obliged to collect economic data of its fishing fleet.

More
Fisheries economics in numbers

Future Forum Coastal Fisheries 2045

What are the perspectives for German coastal fisheries in long-terms? This central question arises, when facing the crisis of German fisheries in the Baltic Sea or considering the current developments of Marine Spatial Planning and other issues in the North Sea.

More
Future Forum Coastal Fisheries 2045

Helgoland Tope Tagging Project (HTTP)

Tope is the biggest shark species resident in German waters and is classified as "critically endangered". Tagging experiments with satellite pop-up tags in the North Sea are expected to provide information on migration behaviour of this species and thus allow a more precise estimate of distribution and population size.

More
Helgoland Tope Tagging Project (HTTP)

Helping to implement a WASCAL master research program "Climate change and Marine Sciences" at Mindelo / Cabo Verde (WASCAL TI-CCMS)

Climate change poses a significant challenge to African societies within the next decades. Direct effects such as droughts and water shortages will be amplified through increased economic and population growth. To combat climate change effects and maintain the livelihoods of the peoples is thus the major aim of WASCAL. Marine resources will play a significant role in the future supply of protein for human nutrition in West Africa.

More
Helping to implement a WASCAL master research program "Climate change and Marine Sciences" at Mindelo / Cabo Verde (WASCAL TI-CCMS)

Herring larvae in the North Sea

How many herring larvae are hatching annually? The Thünen-Institute of Sea Fisheries estimate their number in annual research surveys. For example, we use this informationas an indicator of the spawning stock biomass of North Sea autumn spawning herring.

More
Herring larvae in the North Sea

How does climate affect baby herring in the North Sea? (THRESHOLDS)

Climate variability and change directly and indirectly affect the distribution and productivity of marine fishes including commercially important fish species. Most of the alterations in productivity are thought to be driven by changes in growth and survival of the fish early life stages. We aim at a better mechanistic understanding of how bottom-up processes (e.g. temperature, prey) impact larval vital rates (e.g. survival, growth) by using North Sea herring as a case study.

More
How does climate affect baby herring in the North Sea? (THRESHOLDS)

How reproduction impacts stock size

Knowledge on the strength of the recruiting year class of a fish stock is of tremendous importance for sustainable mangement. Successful reproduction and foraging of fry are of essential importance for the further development of the stock.

More
How reproduction impacts stock size

Hydroacoustics - Methods, Applications, Development

Hydroacoustic methods utilize sound waves to detect marine organisms. Modern echosounders can not only be used to determine stock parameters but also allow identification of habitat use, species composition and further parameters of marine ecosystems.

More
Hydroacoustics - Methods, Applications, Development

Impact of brown shrimp fishery on benthic habitats (CRANIMPACT)

Bottom contacting fishing is being criticised for destroying seafloor habitats. However, there is a broad range of combinations of fishing gears, habitats and associated ecosystems questioning whether such general statement holds true. Each possible combination of gear and habitat type will exhibit a different degree of impact or damage to seafloor integrity. Although the mechanisms how fishing impacts on seafloor integrity are well understood, results cannot easily be applied to specific regions and fishery – habitat combinations. Each and every benthic habitat and associated ecosystem is ...

More
Impact of brown shrimp fishery on benthic habitats (CRANIMPACT)

Impact of the use of offshore wind and other marine renewables on European fisheries

What is the general impact of the development of marine renewables on the European fishing sector? In our study we will answer this question, highlight pathways for possible co-existence solutions and research gaps and provide concluding policy recommendations.

More
Impact of the use of offshore wind and other marine renewables on European fisheries

Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework directive (MSFD)

As holistic approach, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive poses a challenge to the scientific community: How to describe the state of the marine environment with 11 descriptors? We develop indicators, techniques in risk assessments, and integrated assessment frameworks.

More
Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework directive (MSFD)

Interactions between fisheries, biodiversity and food webs (BioWeb)

Climate change, declining fishing pressure, and reduced nutrient inputs are shifting structure and functions in the ecosystem of the southern North Sea. In BioWeb, we explore the links between these environmental and land-use changes and trends in biodiversity.

More
Interactions between fisheries, biodiversity and food webs (BioWeb)

Multiple Stressors on North Sea Life (MuSSeL)

Using high-resolution models, we aim to better understand the combined impacts of climate change and human uses on the southern North Sea. The MuSSeL project combines geophysical with novel theoretical models to identify hot spots of change.

More
Multiple Stressors on North Sea Life (MuSSeL)

Oceanographic baseline monitoring: collection and provision of hydrographic data from the North Atlantic

The hydrographic conditions in the oceans, which signifcantly influence different fish habitats, vary over wide ranges of spatial and temporal scales based on a number of different physical processes. The Thünen Institute for Sea Fisheries conducts long-term observation programmes to regularly record and monitor the hydrographic parameters and make them available for further analyses.

More
Oceanographic baseline monitoring: collection and provision of hydrographic data from the North Atlantic

Risk assessment in fisheries management

Why does fisheries managment sometimes fail? Conduction of risk analyses on various aspects of fisheries management can help to answer this question.

More
Risk assessment in fisheries management

Scientific advice in support of the common fisheries policy

In implementing the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU Commission obtains scientific advice and awards individual specific contracts (studies). For this purpose, the EU Commission has concluded a framework contract with two large project consortia, covering topics for the Baltic and North Sea and the North Atlantic (SANoBA), but also other EU waters in the North-East Atlantic and outer regions such as Madeira or the Azores (SAF EU).

More
Scientific advice in support of the common fisheries policy

Shaping Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (SEAwise)

The wish for an ecosystem based fisheries managment is omnipresent. However, potential approaches still lack implementation in Europe. In the project SEAwise we want to change this.

More
Shaping Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (SEAwise)

Shedding light on the South Atlantic: a status assessment (TRIATLAS)

Scientists from Europe, Brazil and southern Africa are comprehensively investigating the current state, driving forces and potential future of South Atlantic regions.

More
Shedding light on the South Atlantic: a status assessment (TRIATLAS)

Structural Change in Coastal Fisheries

Coastal fisheries change. Reduced catch opportunities put enormous economic pressure on the fishers. Thereby, fisheries are not exclusively a business. Fisheries is a centuries old cultural practice, which characterises coastal communities until now.

More
Structural Change in Coastal Fisheries

Sufficient offspring for brown shrimp?

Brown shrimp fishery is from the economic point of view the most important fishery in Germany. Our research aims to develop a sustainable and ecologically sound fishery.

More
Sufficient offspring for brown shrimp?

Sustainable exploitation of North Sea and North Atlantic fish stocks

As contracting party of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and EU Member State, Germany is obliged to submit national data to the scientific fish stock assessment working groups of ICES and other European organisations.

More
Sustainable exploitation of North Sea and North Atlantic fish stocks

The demography of fishes

Age composition data for fish stocks are essential input parameters for stock assessment. It is therefore necessary to permanently develop age determination methodology further.

More
The demography of fishes

Tipping points in the socio-ecological system of the North Sea (SeaUseTip) - Main Phase

SeaUseTip is the first interdisciplinary approach to assess the vulnerability of the socio-ecological system of the North Sea to tipping points. On that basis, strategies and tools for an integrated ecosystem-based management in the face of sudden changes in the system are developed.

More
Tipping points in the socio-ecological system of the North Sea (SeaUseTip) - Main Phase

What are they? And how many are they?

Hydroacoustic methods utilize sound waves to detect marine organisms. Modern echosounders can not only be used to determine stock parameters but also allow identification of habitat use, species composition and further parameters of marine ecosystems. These data are the basis for predictive models allowing estimating sustainable catch quotas.

More
What are they? And how many are they?

Youngfish in German coastal waters

The shallow waters of the German Bight and Wadden Sea serve as nursery grounds for several commercially important fish species. Annual abundance and growth assessments of youngfish allow for a first indication of the level of incoming catches in future years.

More
Youngfish in German coastal waters

Completed projects - Marine ecosystems

Ecosystem Approach to the management of fisheries and marine environment in West African waters (AWA)

The project as part of a strategic partnership to West African countries puts forward a vision of ecosystem based management of regional natural resources.

More
Ecosystem Approach to the management of fisheries and marine environment in West African waters (AWA)

Enhancing Prediction of Tropical Atlantic Climate and its impacts (PREFACE)

Climate predictions in the tropical-subtropical Atlantic bear a high degree of uncertainty and even bias. Biological long-term data sets are used to support model evaluation and in turn, improved climate predictions are applied to improve forecasts for biological distribution and stock abundance models.

More
Enhancing Prediction of Tropical Atlantic Climate and its impacts (PREFACE)

Fish monitoring in the Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea is an important and sensitive ecosystem. Long-term monitoring of the different ecosystem components is essential in order to understand the processes and their dynamics in this unique habitat. The main goal of this project is to assess the development and status of the fish fauna in the German Wadden Sea area by means of analysing updated monitoring data.

More
Fish monitoring in the Wadden Sea

Implications of climatic changes on fish stocks and fisheries off East Greenland (CLIMA)

The East Greenland ecosystem has been influenced by warming in the North Atlantic in recent years. As a consequence, there were distinct changes in the distribution and composition of the fish fauna in this area. The aim of this project is to investigate the functional relationships of climatic and biological changes and to estimate their impact on the fish stocks, fishing and fisheries management.

More
Implications of climatic changes on fish stocks and fisheries off East Greenland (CLIMA)

Interaction in European coastal waters: A roadmap to sustainable integration of aquaculture and fisheries (COEXIST)

Competition for space is increasingly an issue in coastal zones. Multiple uses create complex issues for ocean governance and management. "How to evaluate the interactions between coastal fisheries, aquaculture and other activities in coastal areas?" is the central resarch question addressed by COEXIST.

More
Interaction in European coastal waters: A roadmap to sustainable integration of aquaculture and fisheries (COEXIST)

Knowledge for sustainable management of Crangon fisheries in the coastal North Sea (MaKramee)

This project will synthesize exisiting scientific knowledge as baisis for better management of the brown shrimp fishery in the North Sea.

More
Knowledge for sustainable management of Crangon fisheries in the coastal North Sea (MaKramee)

NOAH1: North Sea - Observation and Assessment of Habitats

The importance of the seafloor for a healthy ecosystem: Evaluation of pressures, state and services of benthic ecosystems in the German Bight of the North Sea.

More
NOAH1: North Sea - Observation and Assessment of Habitats

NOAH2: North Sea - Observation and Assessment of Habitats

What is the ecological state of the seafloor in the German EEZ of the North Sea? Information about sedimentology, geochemistry, biology and anthropogenic pressures is compiled and used for developing a concept for ecosystem-based risk assessment.

More
NOAH2: North Sea - Observation and Assessment of Habitats

Redfish with a label

How organic residues on ear stones help us to discriminate between different redfish stocks.

More
Redfish with a label

Self-management in the brown shrimp fishery (CRANMAN)

The German brown shrimp fishery got a sustainability certificate (MSC ecolabel) since 2017. Unlike other fisheries that are subject to a management plan of the European Union, the prerequisite for the MSC ecolabel is an internal self-management of the shrimp fishery. The CranMan project aims at creating the scientific basis to accompany and improve the self-management of the shrimp fishery.

More
Self-management in the brown shrimp fishery (CRANMAN)

Study on stomach content of fish

The aim of the project is to improve the data basis for multi species and ecosystem models. Predator-prey relationships are an important driver of fish population dynamics.

More
Study on stomach content of fish

Tools for Marine spatial Planning (MESMA)

How can the efficiency of a current or future spatial management approach be assessed in relation to stated management objectives? MESMA has produced a set of coherent management tools (concepts, models and methods) for Monitoring, Evaluation and implementation of Spatially Managed marine Areas (SMAs), based on European collaboration.

More
Tools for Marine spatial Planning (MESMA)

Towards a Joint Monitoring Programme for the North Sea and Celtic Sea (JMP NS/CS)

The main aim of this project is to build a constructive network between all institutions that are responsible for monitoring in the North and Celtic Seas, concerning both fisheries and environmental monitoring.

More
Towards a Joint Monitoring Programme for the North Sea and Celtic Sea (JMP NS/CS)

Variability of benthic infauna in North Sea fish habitats (BINO)

Benthic fish habitats are subject to change - due to climate impacts as well as fisheries activities. This project aims at documenting the availability of benthic infauna for demersal fishes, investigating the relationship of the variability in infauna biomass and species composition to changes ingroundfish communities.

More
Variability of benthic infauna in North Sea fish habitats (BINO)

Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas Marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors (VECTORS)

The European seas undergo significant changes. These are caused by multiple vectors of change. Within the VECTORS project, we seek to identify the causal mechanisms and consequences of those changes in our marine ecosystems.

More
Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas Marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors (VECTORS)

Scroll to top