Maurolicus. Illustration: Douglas C. Speirs

Work package 5: Estimating mesopelagic resources and their resilience to harvesting and environmental change

This research topic will assess the biomass and key demographic parameters for target mesopelagic fish species. The topic makes up work package 5 of the MEESO project.


This work package will use data outputs from fishing technology development (work package 3) and the field campaign (work package 4), together with existing datasets, to deliver new improved estimates of biomass and key demographic parameters for target mesopelagic fish species.

We will use a suite of population and ecosystem models, selected to address the specific objectives below and explore the resilience of mesopelagic fish species to future harvesting and climate change scenarios. The harvesting scenarios will be refined in parallel with the development of the management tools and governance in work package 6 and work package 7, and the outputs of the assessments and ecosystem modelling will likewise feed into those work packages.

Specific objectives

  • Compile a dataset of key demographic parameters to be used to parameterise the assessment and scenario models.

  • Produce new stock biomass, mortality, recruitment, and F for target species using a parsimonious length-based model suitable for assessing data-limited stocks (S6 model).

  • Parameterise the StrathSPACE spatially explicit single-species models for target mesopelagic fish species in the North Atlantic and use them to test the population sensitivity to harvesting and climate change scenarios.

  • Parameterise the NORWECOM.E2E model in order to explore the food-web consequences, including those on vertical carbon flux, of exploiting mesopelagic fish stocks under harvesting and climate change scenarios in the Nordic Seas.

  • Estimate biomass and dynamics of mesopelagic functional groups defined in SEAPODYM at a global scale.

  • Quantify the role of migrant mesopelagics in the biological carbon pump under current conditions and under projected IPCC scenarios using 1D-version PICES-SEAPODYM coupling carbon cycle and mesopelagic dynamics.

Learn more

Learn about the tasks of work package 5




Participants of work package 5: 

  • University of Strathclyde
  • Collecte Localisation Satellites SA
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Institute for Marine Research
  • IMAR – Instituto do Mar
  • Marine Institute
  • Fundacion AZTI – AZTI Fundazioa
  • World Maritime University 
  • Marine and Freshwater Research Institute

Learn more about MEESO project partners


Work package 5 is led by University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom.

Contact: Douglas C. Speirs,
23 JUNE 2024