Fisheries Ecology


About this course

The course Fisheries Ecology (AFI30806) deals with the ecology of fishes and other aquatic organisms in relation to the exploitation of aquatic resources. Direct and indirect effects of fishing are treated at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels. Subjects include the main categories of organisms involved in global fisheries and their biological characteristics, principles of fish population dynamics, data collection, stock assessments, and ecosystem effects of fisheries. Interactions with marine mammals and birds will also be treated. Special attention is given to the environment - fish - fishery interactions. In the tutorials the principles of population dynamics, simulation models, and virtual population analysis are taught.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify the main vertebrate and invertebrate species in world fisheries as well as their main biological and life-history characteristics that influence their vulnerability to fisheries
  • Explain how the main developments in effort and technology in the fisheries have influenced marine and other aquatic ecosystems over the last century
  • Apply first-stage data-processing, parameter estimation, and basic statistical concepts involved in fisheries ecology
  • Apply basic models of fish population dynamics, fisheries yield models, and mass-balance models using computer-supported simulations
  • Assess the assumptions underlying widely-used models in fisheries ecology
  • Analyse how bottom-up and top-down processes can influence marine and other aquatic communities
  • Analyse the evolutionary and community effects of fishing and conservation on fished and unfished species and populations
  • Construct a management advice, following a stock assessment, using the major steps used world-wide by fisheries scientists in providing the scientific base for single species management

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
AFI20306 Aquaculture and Fisheries, AFI31306 Life History of Aquatic Organisms, or equivalent courses on (population) ecology.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University