Incorporating age-class and sex into Sub-Antarctic fish community assembly analyses

Supervisory Team:

Nicole Hill

Joel Williams

Cara Miller

Brief project description:

The Kerguelen Plateau is a unique and isolated outcropping in the Southern Indian Ocean that supports a diversity of life and productive demersal fisheries. Recent work has utilised an extensive trawl dataset and novel statistical analyses to quantify the distribution of demersal fish assemblages across the plateau, providing insights on community structure and maps for evaluation of spatial management (Hill et al. 2017). This project aims to extend this work by considering age-class and sex information for target and by-catch species (e.g. Patagonian toothfish mackerel icefish, unicorn icefish, grey rockcod, macrouids, and skates and rays). This will provide a finer scale and more nuanced picture of the distribution and structure of fish assemblages in this region. The implication of this new understanding and associated maps will be considered within the context of the fishery and associated management frameworks.

Hill, N. A., et al. (2017). "Model-based mapping of assemblages for ecology and conservation management: a case study of demersal fish on the Kerguelen Plateau." Diversity and Distributions 23(10): 1216-1230.

Skills students will develop during this research project:

  • Advanced statistical modelling using R
  • Exploration of biological communities and related ecological application theories
  • Application of findings within a relevant fisheries management framework
Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
December 1, 2022