Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Fisheries systems – management and modelling

Overall Course Objectives

Fisheries management has global problems because the combined ecological, economic and sociological interactions and consequences of the fishery and the management are not considered. The scientific management advice is at present mainly based on evaluation of single stocks. Eg. the overall biological and economic consequences of data poor non-assessed stocks and mixed fisheries, i.e. where several stocks of both target and unintended bycatch species are exploited in the same fishery, are not fully integrated into management. The effects of technological development and economic incentives and behavioral changes in the fishery are not taken into consideration, which impact the development of both stocks, fisheries, and the ecosystem. Also, the ecological interactions are not integrated into the management advice. Newly developed stock, fisheries and ecosystem based management models cover this complexity. This enables a more flexible and integrated scientific evaluation and advice with respect to development in stocks and fisheries and considers impacts from environment, fisheries, and management start conditions under different management systems. The course will make students familiar with selected quantitative stock based, ecosystem based and bio-economic fisheries based management methods and evaluation models, which forms the basis for fisheries management advice and management strategy evaluation. The course gives students a basic understanding of the structure, dynamics, and function of the different management and fisheries systems from an ecological and socioeconomic perspective. It will provide tools to evaluate key stock, fisheries and ecological data, parameters, and indicators and to evaluate management scenarios before implementation with respect to their biological, bio-economic (fleet) and sociological (behavior) impacts, sustainability, and risks (uncertainty/ sensitivity) – like a flight simulator.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the development in fisheries and ecosystem based management systems (and associated advice) globally and in EU, as well as their conceptual methods, models and institutional set-up.
  • Describe the complexity in fisheries management, decision making processes, and management options in context of multiple objectives and risks with respect to management of the sea.
  • Describe and discuss management evaluation models which integrate the dynamics of the living resources in dependence of the fishing activity, environmental forcing, and the biological species inter-actions.
  • Apply and use different versions of advanced stock based (1), fisheries based (2) and ecosystem based (3) marine management models incl. stock, bio-economic and broader ecosystem based management evaluation tools.
  • Estimate and evaluate fisheries impact on stocks and the marine ecosystem under different conditions and scenarios using the models and different estimation methods.
  • Estimate and evaluate how climatic factors impact on stock production, size, and distribution, and the resulting fishing opportunities for different fleets using these models and methods.
  • Describe the efficiency and precision of the models in relation to integrated evaluation of stock and fleet dynamics and with respect to different advisory and management scenarios.
  • Discuss integrated ecosystem based management covering several stocks and fishing fleets as well as their mutual interactions and the interactions with environmental forcing factors.
  • Describe homogeneous fisheries and calculate fleet specific fishing mortality under consideration of fleet specific fishing efficiency, behavior, and selectivity towards target and by-catch species.
  • Evaluate bio-economic effects of management scenarios, options and strategies under different management systems before implementation in context of environmental variability.

Course Content

The course will be based on an overview and educate students in the developments in fisheries and ecosystem based management systems globally and in EU, as well as their conceptual methods, models and institutional set-up. The course will give understanding of the complexity in fisheries management, decision making processes, and management options in context of multiple objectives and risks with respect to management of the sea. On this basis the course will give practical experience in use of different versions of advanced fisheries based and ecosystem based marine management evaluation models, as well as global understanding of the complexity in fisheries management systems. There will be made a general introduction to fisheries policies and their implementation, governance and institutional set-up. This is followed by an introduction to R in context of models used in the course and methods for basic fisheries data modelling. Simple and advanced methods and models will be used to assess fish stocks and fisheries, the side-effects of fisheries, as well as to make fisheries management strategy evaluation (MSE) and forecasts. The course will provide the student with basic quantitative and qualitative tools to estimate and evaluate fisheries impact on stocks and the marine ecosystem under different pre-conditions by use of the models both in data rich and data poor conditions. This includes estimation of stock specific abundances and fishing mortalities as well as fisheries reference points associated with maximum sustainable yield (MSY) from time series of catch and survey data using surplus production (SPiCT) and age-based (SAM) models. Also, the students will be educated in stakeholder perception of fisheries management and MSE. In general, the course will give the student tools to evaluate stock based, ecological and fisheries bio-economic effects of different types of and scenarios for management, i.e. management options, strategies and management systems, before implementation under consideration of other ecosystem impacts. This also includes evaluation and understanding of economic and sociological consequences for different stakeholders and actors. Finally, the course provides methods to evaluate and discuss ecosystem based management covering single and several stocks and fishing fleets in a cross disciplinary and cross sector perspective where the interactions between those are considered as well as the interactions with environmental and climate forcing factors.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Lectures, group work, calculation and PC-modeling exercises, home work with follow up
on exercises. Additionally, 1 final assignment with a general descriptive part and a quantitative modeling exercise part, which is started at session 13 and submitted electronically in the weeks after in written report, power-point- and relevant software form.


This course provides students with competences relevant to UN SDGs, particularly #8 (Decent work and economic growth), #12 (Responsible consumption and production), #13 (Climate action) and #14 (Life below water)

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 25312
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Thurs 13-17

7.500,00 DKK