CoralFISH aims to:

  • develop essential methodologies and indicators for baseline and subsequent monitoring of closed areas;
  • integrate fish into coral ecosystem models to better understand coral fish-carrying capacity;
  • evaluate the distribution of deepwater bottom fishing effort to identify areas of potential interaction and impact upon coral habitat;
  • use genetic fingerprinting to assess the potential erosion of genetic fitness of corals due to long-term exposure to fishing impacts;
  • construct bio-economic models to assess management effects on corals and fisheries to provide policy options;
  • produce habitat suitability maps both regionally and for OSPAR Region V to identify areas likely to contain vulnerable habitat. The latter will provide the EU with the tools to address the issues raised by the UNGA resolution.
New data acquisition is an important goal of CoralFISH. This process can be divided into three parts in the project :
  • improved mapping of coral habitat in each of six regional study areas;
  • coordinated surveys in each of these regions to investigate the interaction of fish with coral habitat using the the same methodologies, i.e. acoustic fisheries survey, commercial long-lining and finally detailed in situ observation with Remotely Operated Vehicles or submersibles or towed video apparatus;
  • detailed temporal observations of both fish and coral and their response to changing environmental forcing using 'state of the art' instrumented lander systems provided by NIOZ and UNIABDN.
The lander work (part iii above) will be carried out in three known coral locations in Norway, off the west coast of Ireland and in the Ionian Sea, and will provide a wide variation in ambient environmental conditions and will feed into WP 5 - ecosystem modeling. Coral by-catch caught on long-lines will be preserved, identified and sent to partners carrying out genetic studies in WP4. Information generated in WP 5 will be used to constrain habitat suitability models to enable better prediction of the likely occurrence of vulnerable habitat (corals) in WP6 and WP7. All of this information together with evaluation of deep-water bottom fisheries (WP2) will inform the development of bio-economic models (WP8) that will be used to assess the impact of management measures to protect coral habitat on fisheries.

Latest News
EU Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn launches €8 billion FP7 research call. More here.
CoralFISH will have a display at the European Commission's 'Research in Action' exhibition in Dublin, July 9th-20th, showcasing EU-funded Research in Ireland.
CoralFISH will be involved in the Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale in Galway June 30th - July 8th. More information available here
Registration and abstract submission for the joint CoralFISH/Deepfishman conference in August "The scientific basis for ecosystem based resource management and monitoring in the deep-waters of the Mediterranean & North Atlantic" is open here.
Issue 6 (March 2012) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
Issue 5 (October 2011) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
CoralFISH researchers were at sea in Autumn 2011 on the Pourquoi Pas? Their cruise blog is a good read, even now they're back on land.
NIOZ are organising the 5th International Deepsea Coral Symposium, to be held in Spring 2012. (More)
A workshop on coral identification will be held as part of the syposium and registration is now open (More).
CoralFISH researchers were involved in the "International Earth system expert workshop on ocean stresses and impacts" earlier this year. The summary report from the workshop is now available here.
BBC website features work by CoralFISH's Chris Yesson and Alex Rogers on global seamounts.
Issue 4 (February 2011) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
Some recent work by CoralFISH researcher Andre Freiwald & his team features in the latest edition of Ireland's Science Spin magazine p3. (More)
CoralFISH partners ZSL hosted a symposium "Marine Protected Areas on the high seas" in Feb 2011 (more)
Issue 3 of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
CoralFISH were represented at EurOCEAN 2010 (Ostend, 12-13 October 2010). (more)
The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity was hosted by CoralFISH partners, the University of Aberdeen, Sept 2011.
Issue 2 of the CoralFISH Newsletter is available to download now from here
CoralFISH team in the Azores get ready to sail (More)
SEAMBOR report released. (Marine Board-ESF Position Paper 14) (More)
CoralFISH scientists will be aboard an ECOMAR cruise departing St John's in Canada on 26th May. Follow their cruise here
CoNISMa are running a course in meta-analysis in ecology in December. More info.
A joint ESF/ICES/EFARO foresight report entitled: "Science dimensions of Ecosystem Approach to Management of Biotic Ocean Resources" will be published shortly.(more)
News archive