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© Kay Panten
Institute of

SF Sea Fisheries


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

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

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.

Background and Objective

The multi-disciplinary VECTORS project pursues the goal to collate and extend available knowledge on current and potential future pressures and vectors of change in European seas. Many of such vectors act directly, such as fisheries, climate change, or the introduction of invasive species through the ballast water of ships. Other vectors analyzed act indirectly, e.g. policy, energy needs, or tourism. Based on a better understanding of potential vectors of change, VECTORS scientists derive projections on changes in ecosystems, their functioning and productivity. Consequences of changes for economy as well as for society and their governance are being evaluated.

Target Group

Policy makers on national and EU levels; scientists of various marine disciplines


In order to cover the broad range of relevant drivers and pressures of change in the European Seas, VECTORS scientists work in multiple disciplines and encompass a wide variety of methods. Investigations reach from measurements with research vessels or satellites through the implementation of laboratory experiments and interviews to the application of theoretical models. They cover disciplines from physiology, biological and physical oceanography to economy and sociology.  With our experiments and models, we address a broad realm of spatial and temporal scales, starting e.g. from the motion of individual fish larvae and reaching to the distribution of the resulting fish population in the North Sea. Or, evaluating the effects of a local closure for fisheries on the entire fish stock and its potential to result in future catches and revenues.  


Final Report


  1. 0

    Peck M, Arvanitidis C, Butenschön M, Melaku Canu D, Chatzinikolaou E, Cucco A, Domenici P, Fernandes JA, Gasche L, Huebert KB, Hufnagl M, Jones MC, Kempf A, Keyl F, Maar M, Mahevas S, Marchal P, Nicolas D, Pinnegar JK, Sell AF, et al (2016) Projecting changes in the distribution and productivity of living marine resources: a critical review of the suite of modelling approaches used in the large European project VECTORS. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 201:40-55, DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2016.05.019

  2. 1

    Queiros AM, Huebert KB, Keyl F, Fernandes JA, Stolte W, Maar M, Kay S, Jones MC, Hamon KG, Hendriksen G, Vermard Y, Marchal P, Teal LR, Somerfield PJ, Austen MC, Barange M, Sell AF, Allen JI, Peck M (2016) Solutions for ecosystem-level protection of ocean systems under climate change. Global Change Biol 22(12):3927-3936, DOI:10.1111/gcb.13423

  3. 2

    Simons SL, Döring R, Temming A (2015) Combining area closures with catch regulations in fisheries with spatio-temporal variation: Bio-economic implications for the North Sea saithe fishery. Mar Policy 51(1):281-292, DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2014.08.017

  4. 3

    Simons SL, Döring R, Temming A (2015) Modelling fishers' response to discard prevention strategies: the case of the North Sea saithe fishery. ICES J Mar Sci 72(5):1530-1544, DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsu229

  5. 4

    Keyl F, Kempf A, Sell AF (2015) Sexual size dimorphism in three North Sea gadoids. J Fish Biol 86(1):261-275, DOI:10.1111/jfb.12579

  6. 5

    Simons SL, Bartelings H, Hamon KG, Kempf A, Döring R, Temming A (2014) Integrating stochastic age-structured population dynamics into complex fisheries economic models for management evaluations: the North Sea saithe fishery as a case study. ICES J Mar Sci 71(7):1638-1652, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsu049

  7. 6

    Simons SL, Döring R, Temming A (2014) Modelling the spatio-temporal interplay between North Sea saithe (Pollachius virens) and multiple fleet segments for management evaluation. Aquatic Liv Res 27(1):1-16, doi:10.1051/alr/2014003

  8. 7

    Sell AF, Kröncke I (2013) Correlations between benthic habitats and demersal fish assemblages - A case study on the Dogger Bank (North Sea). J Sea Res 80:12-24, DOI:10.1016/j.seares.2013.01.007

  9. 8

    Kempf A, Stelzenmüller V, Akimova A, Floeter J (2013) Spatial assessment of predator–prey relationships in the North Sea: the influence of abiotic habitat properties on the spatial overlap between 0-group cod and grey gurnard. Fisheries Oceanogr 22(3):174-192, DOI:10.1111/fog.12013

    Involved external Thünen-Partners

    Funding Body

    • European Union (EU)
      (international, öffentlich)


    2.2011 - 1.2015

    More Information

    Project funding number: 266445
    Funding program: EU – FP7 – Thematic Priority "Environment (including Climate Change)"
    Project status: finished

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