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Staff & Students

Guðrún Marteinsdóttir &


Marsýn „Oceanographic Consulting Service“ (Supported by the Icelandic Technology and Development Fund)

The main objective is to perform a pilot study and marketing research to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a company that will provide cost-effective short term predictions on the safety of sailing routes and oceanographic features such as ocean currents, sea level heights, wave heights, sea ice cover, temperature and salinity. An additional service provided by this company will be the mapping of fishing grounds displaying potentially high catch areas that are linked with physical features of the ocean.


The importance of diversity in terms of stock structure, life history and behavior for the survival of the cod stock in Iceland (Supported by Ministry of Fisheries Project Fund)

Objective: Map the diversity of the Icelandic cod stock in terms of behavioral ecology, stock structure, use of spawning sites and spawning behavior.



Impact of freshwater runoff on physical and biotic ocean conditions dictating successful reproduction and recruitment of cod (Supported by Ministry of Fisheries ProjectFund)

The aim of this project was to initiate an exploration into the role of hydrodynamics and freshwater runoff in establishing and maintaining suitable environmental conditions needed for successful recruitment of cod and other important fish stocks utilizing the coastal areas of Iceland for spawning and nursery grounds. During the first steps of this project, to be completed in two years, we aimed to attain the following goals 1) Evaluate and advance the development of the three dimensional hydrodynamic model, CODE so as to create a state –of-the-art modeling tool that can be used to explore the hydrodynamic variation; 2) link CODE with outputs from a freshwater runoff model and 3) describe the role of freshwater river discharge on the ocean dynamics in key areas representing spawning grounds of some of our most important fish stocks. (Final report)



FishACE: Fisheries-Induced adaptive changes in exploited stocks; Marie Curie student network (6th frame:5578).

Overall objec-tive can be broken down into research on three cross-cutting themes:

Theme 1. Systematic empirical evaluation of the extent of fisheries-induced adaptive changes in the Euro-pean seas, forming the basis for assessing the need and acuteness of managerial interventions.

Theme 2. Development of dynamical models and statistical tools required for detecting and quantifying fisheries-induced adaptations in the wild, as well as for evaluating management strategies devised for cop-ing with adaptive change.

Theme 3. Design of innovative and practically valuable management tools, including the evaluation of suit-able reference points facilitating the evolutionarily sustainable utilization of living marine resources.


GENIMPACT: Evaluation of genetic impact of aquaculture activities on native populations – A European network (6th frame: 22802)

The objective of ‘Genimpact’ was to integrate current knowledge about the genetic impact of aquaculture, identify on-going projects in this area and define future research priorities. The project will also provide recommendations for management options for the aquaculture industry in order to minimize the genetic impact of aquaculture activities. The project proposes to produce a web page to facilitate public access to the results and reports of this implications for aquaculture management, stock conservation and environment safety, to discuss the results with representatives of the aquaculture industry, environmental, consumer and animal welfare organizations, and to disseminate the results in scientific and lay language among scientific audiences, NGOs, policy makers and the media.


Improved gain and productivity of the lobster fishery (AVS R31-06)

Focused on:

1) Seasonal variation in health & condition; 2) Investigation into the effects of fishing and post-capture handling on quality and value; 3) Development of aging techniques and investigation on the dynamics of the population of lobsters in Iceland; 4) Investigating the unique life history features of Icelandic lobster for management purposes; 5) Development of an optimal management strategy for the lobster fishery in Iceland.


The use of hydrodynamic models to explain recruitment in cod (the Icelandic Research Fund)

Objective: Develope and integrate hydrodynamic, egg production and particle tracking models that describe the three dimensional flow of ocean around Iceland and the production, dispersal and survival of cod eggs and larvae during transport from the main spawning sites in the SW to the nursery sites in the North.


Evaluation of genetic and environmental impact of aquaculture activities on native populations (AVS S004-05)

Map state of the art in terms of:

Population structure and methods to discriminate between rear and wild fish
Impact of mixing and interaction between wild and reared fish
Coastal management and monitoring of escapees


Reproductive compatibility of wild and reared cod (AVS S5-05)

Pilot study to explore the potential for documenting spawning behavior of cod in the wild



Objective: North Atlantic cod stocks appear to be overexploited and in a depleted state. A recurrent feature of the declines in abundance, has been collapse of the spatial distributions of fish and loss of the distinct sub-stocks. There is evidence that a diverse sub-stock structure is necessary to ensure the long term health and productivity of fish stocks, but maintaining this is not recognized as an objective of current fisheries management. The overall objective of this project is to develop the conceptual and mathematical basis for advising on how fisheries management measures might be framed to conserve or restore not only stock biomass, but also sub-stock diversity.



Population genetic structure of cod in Icelandic waters (Icelandic Research Council)

The geographical management units (stocks) of most commercially exploited fish species almost certainly do not represent single spawning stocks, but complex aggregations comprising many distinct sub-stocks. the stock structure of cod in Icelandic water is not well know. Recent results, both genetic and biological, have indicated that the stock structure may be complicated and that several spawning aggregations appear to exits all around the country. It has also been shown that the contribution of these aggregations as well as the main spawning stock at the Southwest coast to the recruitment is highly variable and appears to depend on temporal and spatial variation in both stock strucute and local environmental conditions. The main objective of the present project is to improve our knowledge on the stock structure of cod in Icelandic waters in order to develop a conceptual basis for advising on how fisheries management measures should be framed to conserve stock biomass and diversity. The most innovative methods of stock discrimination including analysis of microsattellite DNA and morphology and elemental fingerprints of otoliths to be used as natural markers will be employed on cod from several spawning sites, surviving juveniles as well as cod from mixed feeding aggregations.



This project is a continuation of the EU funded project FAIR-CT95-0084 and the program on Cod Reproduction and Recruitment started in 1993. Main objectives include integration of stock and environmental effects in an effort to hindcast the effective reproductive potential of Icelandic cod and reanalyze stock-recruitment data by substituting reproductive output for spawning biomass. In the analyses, emphasis has been put on: 1) production of new biological reference points to be used for short-term projections of reproductive potential, based on relationships between spawning time and duration, egg production, egg viability and female age, size and condition; 2) Determine the influence of environmental factors on the size and age-specific geographical distribution of the cod spawning stock. Explore the causes for historic changes in spawning stock distribution; 3) Model the effects of spawning stock structure and spatio-temporal factors on recruitment of cod, including the effects of fishing on stock structure, the influence of physical factors on demographic characteristics of the spawning stock, and the spatio-temporal variation in egg production; 4) Explore spatial and temporal structure in the dispersal and survival of cod eggs and larvae. Identify and parameterize physical processes that influence temporal and spatial variability in egg and larval dispersal and advection; 5) Determine the relative contribution of the different spatial and temporal components of the annual egg production to the surviving juvenile population; 6) Hindcast the effective reproductive output of the Icelandic cod stock and reanalyze the stock-recruitment data.


Cod Recruitment Processes – Integrating Stock and Environmental Effects (Icelandic Research Council)

This project is based on the EU-funded project "STEREO" (see above). It has many of the same objectives with, however, an additional emphasis on environmental factors. As such, it includes an intensive field program focusing on the collection of environmental and plankton data and employment of great number of satellite trackers on the main spawning grounds and along the larval drift route west of the country.

RECRUITMENT PROCESSES IN COD AND HADDOCK: DEVELOPING NEW APPROACHES. European Commission: FAIR-CT95-0084 and the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries

This project was a continuation of the program on Cod Reproduction and Recruitment started in 1993. The main focus was on the influence of spawning stock structure on recruitment, including first attempts to estimate the amplitude and spatial distribution of egg production in selected spawning areas.


Condition, growth and survival of cod larvae in Icelandic waters (Icelandic research Council 95193)

1993 - 2001
A Research program on the Reproduction and Recruitment of cod in Icelandic waters was started in 1993. The Program was initiated and funded by the Ministry of Fisheries, The Icelandic Freezing Plants Corporation, Union of Icelandic Fish Products, the Fisheries Investment Fund of Iceland, Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners and the Icelandic Research Council.

Initially the main focus of the program was on the influence of stock structure on recruitment processes in cod. Main objectives involved exploration how the age, size and condition of female spawners affected reproductive potential and successful attempts were made to determine the effects of changing stock structure, including age composition and spawning stock size, on the recruitment of cod in Icelandic waters. Experimental laboratory facilities for rearing of eggs and larvae were designed and constructed and the influence of maternal factors on the size and viability of cod eggs and larvae was studied in a controlled environment. Field work involved continuous sampling of spawning cod during the spawning season in many areas and analysis of the data was used to demonstrate the relationship between spawning time and duration, egg production, egg viability and female age, size and condition.

Studies on the distribution and dispersal of eggs and larvae on the main spawning grounds were initiated in 1995. Annual sampling of eggs and larvae together with information on the physical environment has continued to the present. Laboratory facilities for the exploration of otolith microstructure were established in 1995. Sampling of larvae and pelagic 0-goup juveniles for the estimation of growth rates and temporal and spatial origin of pelagic 0-group juveniles based on back-calculated hatch- and spawning-date distributions, started in 1995 and has continued annually until the present.

Distribution and population dynamics of the Greenland halibut. Initiation of surveys that later developed into the autumn ground fish survey. Changes in stock structure and abundance during high fishing effort. Aging and stock assessment in 1991-1993.

Distribution and abundance of the female lumpsucker. Modeling of the annual, seasonal and daily variation in catch per unit effort in coastal areas around Iceland.

Mortality of Eiders cought by gill-nets employed by the lumpsucker fishery. Mortality estimates based on fisherman's log-books.

Genetic and morphological variation within and between Atlantic salmon populations. Funded by the Icelandic Research Council. Designed and established a laboratory for stock discrimination including facilities for genetic and morphological analysis. Stocks from 32 Icelandic rivers and three fish farms were analyzed. Genetic data was obtained with electrophoresis and the morphological analysis was based on distances within a size-free shape Truss network.

Institute of Freshwater Fisheries and the Marine Research Institute. Morphometrical discrimination between parrs of three Atlantic salmon stocks through metamorphosis. Funded by the Icelandic Science Council. Morphological and meristic comparisons were made between salmon parrs at different developmental stages originating from rivers of different physical characteristics.

Center for Coastal and Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, NJ, USA. Research on reproduction and recruitment mechanism of coastal fishes.

Center for Coastal and Environmental Sciences, NJ, USA. Investigation of Management Alternatives for the Herring River Estuary (Cape Cod National Seashore, USA, National Parks).
Update 28 January 2009