SURVIVAL - Assessing the impact of hydrodynamical forcing on the
survival of small pelagic fish early life stages off Western Iberia
SURVIVAL aims to study the physical processes determining the
hydrodynamic impact on the dispersal and survival or pelagic fish
eggs and larvae. It has been observed that the recruitment of
several small pelagic fish (SPF) species off the Western Iberian coast
has ... been decreasing in the last decades. Analysis of wind fields over
the North Atlantic and current-meter data of the Portuguese coastal
waters revealed that changes are occurring in the typical patterns of
the Western Iberian Peninsula Current System. Those changes are
characterized by increasingly frequent upwelling events during winter,
which is also the spawning period of several SPF species in that
ecosystem. The onset of upwelling during the spawning period may
drastically change the circulation pattern in which fish eggs and
larvae grow, and that may affect their survival. The survival during
early life stages could be a major factor in the recruitment success
of these species.
The study will integrate observational and modelling components.
Physical impact on the spawning process will be studied by means of
monitoring one spawning season in a pre-defined pilot area.
Atmospheric, oceanographic and biological data during the whole
spawning period will be acquired from in situ observations and
satellite remote sensing measurements. In parallel, all aspects
related to transport, dispersion and retention of the early life
stages will be modeled.