Landings of anchovy in the Eastern Scheldt (Oosterschelde) in relation to environmental conditions

Wageningen Marine Research is looking for a (MSc) student with interest in fish ecology, fisheries and data analyses, who will analyse the commercial anchovy landings in the Eastern Scheldt in relation to water temperature and salinity.

The anchovy fishery in the Eastern Scheldt (hereafter ‘weervisserij’) is a traditional fishery targeting anchovy. Catches of anchovy fluctuate strongly and seasonal (May-June) catches in the Eastern Scheldt ‘weervisserij’ are, for the third year, dramatically low. These low anchovy catches threaten the commercial fishery and research is needed to understand the potential causes.

Patterns in catch rates of anchovy in relation to environmental conditions should be studied to better understand the potential drivers of the productivity of anchovy in the Eastern Scheldt. Main parameters will be: water temperature prior to the fishing season, as this may be a trigger for anchovy to migrate to the Eastern Scheldt to spawn; salinity, as a proxy for fresh water influx in the Eastern Scheldt as anchovy prefers water salinity of less than 34 in summer. In order to conduct the analyses, historic catch and effort data from one fisher should still be acquired and digitised to collate available long-term data on catch and effort. These data and time series of anchovy catches in several of the North sea (coastal) surveys can be compared to assess whether the low catches of anchovy are a local (Eastern Scheldt) or more regional (North Sea) issue.

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with an interest in fish ecology, fisheries and data analysis. The research will consist of data digitization (collection), data analysis and the writing of a research report (thesis). You can deal and work with large data sets and have experience with the program R. It is also important to have analytical skills and working independently.

Practical information

  • Starting date: flexible (in consultation)
  • Duration: six or more months
  • Location: IJmuiden
  • Dutch speaking is a prerequisite
  • Internship compensation (financial) is available
  • Supervisor(s): Joey Volwater (Wageningen Marine Research) & (2nd) Ingeborg de Boois (WMR)