Tuesday 26. May 2009

Effects of fishing activities on benthic communities

Thursday May 28 at 12.10 Dr. Emil Ólafsson, who is currently teaching the course Evaluating Variation in Population and Communities, in the Coastal and Marine Management master´s program, will give a talk about the effects of fishing on benthic communities. The talk will be held at the University Centre´s cafeteria and is open to the public.

The impact of fisheries on marine ecosystems is complicated and often difficult to assess. By targeting and reducing the abundance of high-value predators, fisheries deeply modify the trophic chain and the flows of biomass (and energy) across the ecosystem. This may have cascading effects on species diversity and community structure. They can also alter habitats, most notably by destroying and disturbing bottom topography and the associated habitats (e.g. seagrass and algal beds, coral reefs, soft bottoms). Fishing often generates bycatch and discards which may also have drastic effects on benthic communities. In this talk a short overview will be given about characteristics of benthic communities and how fishing can affect them.

Dr. Ólafsson sits on the editorial committees of several international journals including Marine Ecology Progress Series. He is the founder and Scientific Director of Menntun, a consultancy company specializing in environmental research and education.