• Definition, dynamics and stability of métiers in the Irish otter trawl fleet

      Davie, Sarah; Lordan, Colm (Elsevier, 2011)
      The Irish otter trawl fleet operates in a complex multi-species multi-gear fishery, spanning a wide geographic area, and involving around 275 trawlers. Factorial and clustering methods were applied to 2003 fishing trip data to define thirty-three métiers. Definitions were based on six trip characteristics taken from logbooks, namely: fishing gear, mesh size, vessel length, species composition, area, and month. Métiers exploiting demersal species or species groups are characterised by single vessel bottom otter trawls, typically with mesh sizes of 70 mm or more, operating year round. This includes nine Nephrops dominated métiers highlighting the importance of this species to the fleet. Many demersal métiers are characterised by groups of species, such as mixed whitefish or slope species. Métiers exploiting pelagic species are often focussed on single species, and are typically seasonal, mid-water trawling (often paired) with mesh sizes less than 70 mm. Pelagic métiers account for the majority of landings by over an order of magnitude in several cases. Demersal métiers account for the majority of fishing trips and effort, (primarily Nephrops métiers), and vessels (primarily mixed species métiers). The new métier definitions were found to be appropriate remained relevant despite declining fleet landings and effort between 2003 and 2006. Species compositions within these métiers have generally remained similar to the proportions defined in 2003. These robust métier definitions present opportunities to improve fisheries sampling, assessment and management. Although métiers pose complexity challenge for such applications they can be used the building blocks for appropriate management units.
    • The ups and downs of working with industry to collect fishery-dependent data: the Irish experience

      Lordan, Colm; Ó Cuaig, Macdara; Graham, Norman; Rihan, Dominic (Oxford University Press, 2011)
      Working with the fishing industry to collect fishery-dependent data for scientific and advisory purposes is essential in most countries, but despite the many advantages of working with fishers, it is not without challenges. The objectives and the ups and downs of 16 recent projects in Ireland are described, and four case studies are discussed in detail. Some common themes that characterize both successful and unsuccessful experiences are identified. One critical aspect is industry’s sometimes unrealistic time-horizons and expectations when engaging in scientific data collection. Detailed communication of objectives, procedures, results, and relevance not only to industry representatives, but also to vessel owners and crew, is required throughout the life cycle of a project. For some projects, there is a clear need to include incentives in the design, but for others this is less critical. The critical needs for ongoing quality control and assurance, validation of data, and appropriate project design are discussed, along with the link between successful management systems and participatory research. Finally, comment is provided on how the expected reforms of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy will place new demands on joint research.
    • An evaluation of the impact of early infestation with the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis on the subsequent survival of outwardly migrating Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts

      Jackson, D.; Cotter, D.; Ó Maoiléidigh, N.; O'Donohoe, P.; White, J.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; McEvoy, S.; Drumm, A.; et al. (Elsevier, 2011)
      The potential impact of sea lice infestation on outwardly migrating Atlantic salmon smolts has been investigated by treating populations of ranched salmon, prior to release, with a prophylactic sea lice treatment conferring protection from sea lice infestation, for up to 9 weeks. Established populations of ranched Atlantic salmon with well described rates of return were chosen to investigate the potential contribution of early infestation with the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis to mortality in Atlantic salmon. Against a backdrop of a declining trend in survival rates of Atlantic salmon many studies are attempting to elucidate potential causes for this decline. Results from this study over a period of 9 years point to infestation with the salmon louse (L. salmonis) as being a minor component of marine mortality in the stocks studied.
    • Chemical characteristics of water masses in the Rockall Trough

      McGrath, Triona; Nolan, Glenn; McGovern, Evin (Elsevier, 2011)
      Direct observations of physical and chemical data in the Rockall Trough during February of 2008, 2009 and 2010 are presented. Results are compared to a similar WOCE transect, AR24, completed in November/December 1996. Temperature and salinity data have been used to identify the water masses present in the Trough, and have been combined with nutrient (nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silicate) and oxygen data to produce a table outlining the chemical characteristics of each of the water masses. Eastern North Atlantic Water (ENAW) moving north through the Trough gains nutrients from a branch of the North Atlantic Current (NAC). Mediterranean Water (MW) was identified as a warm saline core, with characteristically low oxygen and low preformed nutrients along the Irish continental shelf break near 53°N. Found at a similar density level at the southern entrance to the Trough, Sub Arctic Intermediate Water (SAIW) has relatively high oxygen and preformed nutrients, likely entrained from the subpolar gyre when it was formed. LSW was identified as a prominent water mass between 1500–2000 m deep, with characteristically high oxygen content. Lower silicate, and to a lesser extent preformed nitrate, in 2009 coincide with a freshening of Labrador Sea Water (LSW) relative to other years, and could indicate a stronger influence from the Labrador Current when it was formed. Finally, traces of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) were found as far north as 53°N, indicated by a sharp increase in nutrient concentrations, particularly silicate in the deepest parts of the Trough.
    • Examining changes in Irish fishing practices in response to the cod long-term plan

      Davie, Sarah; Lordan, Colm (Oxford University Press, 2011)
      In 2009, there were marked changes in Irish demersal fishing effort owing to the implementation of a new cod long-term plan (CLTP). This replaced previous top-down cod recovery plans, first implemented in 2002, that set days-at-sea limits for fishing vessels. The new plan specifies a harvest control rule, annual effort ceilings for EU Member States, and rules for adapting fishing effort. It encourages cod avoidance, but leaves Member States to allocate effort between individual vessels. During 2009, effort was allocated through a series of pilot schemes in Ireland. These can be considered as an evolution towards co-management. Industry and state authorities worked closely together to develop strategies for effort management and cod avoidance. The impact of recent effort-management measures on the Irish fleet, fishery, and métiers affected by the CLTP is evaluated. Vessel movements within and between métiers are described and discussed, and unintended impacts resulting from the implementation of management schemes are highlighted. In future, possible fishers' responses to policy initiatives should be considered prior to implementation to minimize potentially adverse consequences.
    • First estimates of age, growth, and maturity of boarfish (Capros aper): a species newly exploited in the Northeast Atlantic

      White, Emma; Minto, Cóilín; Nolan, Conor P.; King, Erna; Mullins, Eugene; Clarke, Maurice (Oxford University Press, 2011)
      Boarfish in the Northeast Atlantic have recently been exploited commercially for fishmeal. It is a sexually dimorphic species with an estimated maximum age of 26 years, late age at maturity (A50 = 5.25 years), relatively fast rate of growth (K = 0.186 year−1), and a small asymptotic length (L∞ = 128.9 mm).
    • Overcoming the “tragedy of the commons” in fishery management

      Kraak, S. B. M. (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), 2011)
      In situations of declining or depleted fish stocks, fishers seem to have fallen prey to the “tragedy of the commons”. This occurs because fishers face the dilemma that, although they understand that limiting their catches would pay off in the form of sustainable future catches, they can never be sure that the catch which they have just sacrificed will not be immediately snapped up by competing fishers. Standard economic theory predicts that, in such dilemmas, individuals are not willing to cooperate and sacrifice catches in the short term, and that, consequently, the resource is overharvested. However, over past decades, a multitude of research endeavours have shown that humans often achieve outcomes that are “better than rational” by building conditions where reciprocity, reputation, and trust help to overcome the temptations of short-term self-interest.
    • Modelling sympatric speciation by means of biologically plausible mechanistic processes as exemplified by threespine stickleback species pairs

      Kraak, Sarah Belle Mathilde; Hart, Paul J. B. (Springer, 2011)
      We investigate the plausibility of sympatric speciation through a modelling study. We built up a series of models with increasing complexity while focussing on questioning the realism of model assumptions by checking them critically against a particular biological system, namely the sympatric benthic and limnetic species of threespine stickleback in British Columbia, Canada. These are morphologically adapted to their feeding habits: each performs better in its respective habitat than do hybrids with intermediate morphology. Ecological character displacement through disruptive selection and competition, and reinforcement through mating preferences may have caused their divergence. Our model assumptions include continuous morphological trait(s) instead of a dimorphic trait, and mating preferences based on the same trait(s) as selected for in food competition. Initially, morphology is intermediate. We apply disruptive selection against intermediates, frequency-dependent resource competition, and one of two alternative mating preference mechanisms. Firstly, preference is based on similarity where mating preference may result from “imprinting” on conspecifics encountered in their preferred foraging habitat. Here, speciation occurs easily—ecological hybrid inferiority is not necessary. Hybrid inferiority reinforces the stringency of assortative mating. Secondly, individual preferences exist for different trait values. Here, speciation occurs when linkage disequilibrium between trait and preference develops, and some hybrid inferiority is required. Finally, if the morphology subject to disruptive selection, frequency-dependent competition, and mate choice, is coded for by two loci, linkage disequilibrium between the two loci is required for speciation. Speciation and reinforcement of stringency of choosiness are possible in this case too, but rarely. Results demonstrate the contingency of speciation, with the same starting point not necessarily producing the same outcome. The study resulted in flagging issues where models often lack in biological realism and issues where more empirical studies could inform on whether assumptions are likely valid.
    • Diatom assemblages and their associated environmental factors in upland peat forest rivers

      O'Driscoll, Connie; de Eyto, Elvira; Rodgers, Michael; O'Connor, Mark; Asam, Zaki-ul-Zaman; Xiao, Liwen (Elsevier, 2012)
      The acid-sensitive upland blanket peat catchments are important habitats for diatom assemblages. In this study, the distribution patterns of epilithic diatom assemblages in the streams of upland forested blanket peat in north-west of Ireland are presented and the associated environmental factors are discussed. A total of 43 sites in 16 rivers were sampled. Multivariate analysis highlighted alkalinity and conductivity as the main physicochemical drivers of riverine diatom assemblages. Contrary to expectations nutrients were not found to have a major influence on the diatoms. A major flood event had a significant impact on the diatom assemblage, and one year after the event, long stalked diatom taxa were still largely absent from the river, indicating that floods could be one of the important factors affecting diatom assemblages. However, the ecological status of the affected sites, as determined by the EQR, did not alter from before to after the flood. The results of this study could be applied to similar acid-sensitive upland peat forest catchments and used as the benchmark to assess the impact of forest operations and peat degradation on ecological status.
    • 21st century fisheries management: a spatio-temporally explicit tariff-based approach combining multiple drivers and incentivising responsible fishing

      Kraak, Sarah B. M.; Reid, David G.; Gerritsen, H.D.; Kelly, Ciarán J.; Fitzpatrick, Mike; Codling, Edward A.; Rogan, Emer (Oxford University Press, 2012)
      Traditionally fisheries management has focused on biomass and mortality, expressed annually and across large management units. However, because fish abundance varies at much smaller spatio-temporal scales, fishing mortality can potentially be controlled more effectively if managed at finer scale. The ecosystem approach requires more indicators at finer scales as well. Incorporating ecosystem targets would need additional management tools with potentially conflicting results. We present a simple, integrated, management approach that provides incentives for “good behaviour”. Fishers would be given a number of fishing-impact credits, called real-time incentives (RTIs), to spend according to spatio-temporally varying tariffs per fishing day. RTI quotas and tariffs could be based on commercial stocks and ecosystem targets. Fishers could choose how to spend their RTIs, e.g. by limited fishing in high-catch or sensitive areas or by fishing longer in lower-catch or less sensitive areas. The RTI system does not prescribe and forbid, but instead allows fishers to fish wherever and whenever they want; ecosystem costs are internalized and fishers have to take them into account in their business decisions. We envisage no need for traditional landings or catch quotas for the fleets while operating under the scheme. The approach could facilitate further devolution of responsibility to industry.
    • Production and Isolation of Azaspiracid-1 and -2 from Azadinium spinosum Culture in Pilot Scale Photobioreactors

      Jauffrais, Thierry; Kilcoyne, Jane; Séchet, Véronique; Herrenknecht, Christine; Truquet, Philippe; Hervé, Fabienne; Bérard, Jean Baptiste; Nulty, Cíara; Taylor, Sarah; Tillmann, Urban; et al. (MPDI Publishing, 2012)
      Azaspiracid (AZA) poisoning has been reported following consumption of contaminated shellfish, and is of human health concern. Hence, it is important to have sustainable amounts of the causative toxins available for toxicological studies and for instrument calibration in monitoring programs, without having to rely on natural toxin events. Continuous pilot scale culturing was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of AZA production using Azadinium spinosum cultures. Algae were harvested using tangential flow filtration or continuous centrifugation. AZAs were extracted using solid phase extraction (SPE) procedures, and subsequently purified. When coupling two stirred photobioreactors in series, cell concentrations reached 190,000 and 210,000 cell•mL−1 at steady state in bioreactors 1 and 2, respectively. The AZA cell quota decreased as the dilution rate increased from 0.15 to 0.3 day−1, with optimum toxin production at 0.25 day−1. After optimization, SPE procedures allowed for the recovery of 79 ± 9% of AZAs. The preparative isolation procedure previously developed for shellfish was optimized for algal extracts, such that only four steps were necessary to obtain purified AZA1 and -2. A purification efficiency of more than 70% was achieved, and isolation from 1200 L of culture yielded 9.3 mg of AZA1 and 2.2 mg of AZA2 of >95% purity. This work demonstrated the feasibility of sustainably producing AZA1 and -2 from A. spinosum cultures.
    • Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs

      Shephard, Samuel; Gerritsen, H.D.; Kaiser, Michel J.; Reid, David G. (PLOS, 2012)
      The life history characteristics of some elasmobranchs make them particularly vulnerable to fishing mortality; about a third of all species are listed by the IUCN as Threatened or Near Threatened. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been suggested as a tool for conservation of elasmobranchs, but they are likely to be effective only if such populations respond to fishing impacts at spatial-scales corresponding to MPA size. Using the example of the Celtic Sea, we modelled elasmobranch biomass (kg h21) in fisheries-independent survey hauls as a function of environmental variables and ‘local’ (within 20 km radius) fishing effort (h y21) recorded from Vessel Monitoring Systems data. Model selection using AIC suggested strongest support for linear mixed effects models in which the variables (i) fishing effort, (ii) geographic location and (iii) demersal fish assemblage had approximately equal importance in explaining elasmobranch biomass. In the eastern Celtic Sea, sampling sites that occurred in the lowest 10% of the observed fishing effort range recorded 10 species of elasmobranch including the critically endangered Dipturus spp. The most intensely fished 10% of sites had only three elasmobranch species, with two IUCN listed as Least Concern. Our results suggest that stable spatial heterogeneity in fishing effort creates de facto refugia for elasmobranchs in the Celtic Sea. However, changes in the present fisheries management regime could impair the refuge effect by changing fisher’s behaviour and displacing effort into these areas.
    • Screen for Footprints of Selection during Domestication/Captive Breeding of Atlantic Salmon

      Vasemägi, Anti; Nilsson, Jan; McGinnity, Philip; Cross, Tom; O'Reilly, Patrick; Glebe, Brian; Peng, Bo; Berg, Paul Ragnar; Primmer, Craig Robert (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012)
      Domesticated animals provide a unique opportunity to identify genomic targets of artificial selection to the captive environment. Here, we screened three independent domesticated/captive Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) strains and their wild progenitor populations in an effort to detect potential signals of domestication selection by typing of 261 SNPs and 70 microsatellite loci. By combining information from four different neutrality tests, in total ten genomic regions showed signs of directional selection based on multiple sources of evidence. Most of the identified candidate regions were rather small ranging from zero to a few centimorgans (cM) in the female Atlantic salmon linkage map. We also evaluated how adaptation from standing variation affects adjacent SNP and microsatellite variation along the chromosomes and, by using forward simulations with strong selection, we were able to generate genetic differentiation patterns comparable to the observed data. This study highlights the significance of standing genetic variation during the early stages of adaptation and represents a useful step towards identifying functional variants involved in domestication of Atlantic salmon.
    • Effects of temperature and salinity on the survival and development of larval and juvenile Palaemon serratus (Decapoda: Palaemonidae) from Irish waters

      Kelly, Eoghan; Tully, Oliver; Browne, Ronan (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
      The combined effects of temperature and salinity on the survival and development of larval and juvenile Palaemon serratus from the west coast of Ireland were investigated. Survival over time was measured at thirty combinations of temperature and salinity ranging from 10–19°C and 9–34‰ in a fully factorial design. Salinity had a stronger influence than temperature on survival at all larval stages except stage V. For juveniles the main effect changed from temperature between 100 and 200 degree days to salinity between 200 and 600 degree days and temperature between 600 and 800 degree days. Estimates of time taken to 50% mortality showed that juveniles tolerated lower salinities for longer periods and exhibited optimal salinity values which were 3% lower than larvae, at temperatures between 10 and 15°C. Larval stage durations were found to be influenced by temperature but not salinity. Comparison with published data suggests that populations of P. serratus have adapted to local conditions of temperature and salinity. The results presented here have practical implications for fisheries assessment and management, as the incorporation of environmental effects into stock–recruitment models can improve their predictive capacity.
    • Mismatch between fish landings and market trends: a western European case study

      Miller, Dana; Clarke, Maurice; Mariani, Stefano (Elsevier, 2012)
      As an island nation, Ireland is connected to and responsible for the seas that surround it. Fishing has historically been one of the major anthropogenic activities linking Irish society to the marine environment. Deriving an approach from historical ecology, we investigated temporal patterns in the diversity of seafood landed, traded and marketed in Ireland by collating long-term datasets acquired from government sources and through conducting contemporary product surveys. Our findings suggest that consumer preferences have not adapted to changes in local resource supply. From the beginning of the 20th century, Irish landings of some of the traditionally most important seafood products have gradually grown, then sharply declined within the most recent 10-20 years, but access to ample supply appears to have been maintained in the Irish marketplace. Our results indicate that this trend has been concealed from consumers through import, aquaculture production and mislabeling. Future intentions of responsible management must incorporate policy implementation and enforcement, consumer education and industry transparency.
    • The rise and fall of autumn-spawning herring (Clupea harengus L.) in the Celtic Sea between 1959 and 2009: Temporal trends in spawning component diversity

      Harma, Clémentine; Brophy, Deirdre; Minto, Cóilín; Clarke, Maurice (Elsevier, 2012)
      Sub-stock components of highly exploited migratory fish species exhibit different life-history traits and can thus show variation in productivity and vulnerability to fishing pressure. Celtic Sea herring comprises both autumn and winter-spawners that are targeted by the same fishery. The current study investigated if the relative abundances of the two components in the Celtic Sea have changed over time, and whether this could explain marked long-term trends in size-at-age. The study utilized a remarkably long time-series of biological data from commercial landings (1959–2009). Based on the maturity state of the gonads at the time of sampling, herring were assigned to seasonal spawning components. Significant temporal variations in spawning component dominance were found, even after potential bias due to fishing history patterns were accounted for. Strong directional changes in the relative proportion of spawning components consisted of autumn spawning herring proportions reaching a peak in the 1990s before drastically declining. Winter spawning herring had lower mean lengths- and weights-at-age than autumn spawning herring. The recent decline in the autumn spawning component did not fully explain the observed decline in size-at-age in the catches, with both spawning components showing similar decreases in mean-size parameters over time. Response of spawning components to environmental changes may have consequences for the fishery, especially in light of the observed influence of temperature on spawning components. Life-cycle diversity in herring stocks may confer resilience to potential climate-induced changes. Therefore, it is suggested that the relative proportions of spawning components should be monitored and diversity should be preserved as part of the management of fisheries for this species, which is characterized by stock complexity.
    • A predictive model for estimating river habitat area using GIS-derived catchment and river variables

      McGinnity, P; de Eyto, E; Gilbey, J; Gargan, P; Roche, W; Stafford, T; McGarrigle, M; Ó Maoiléidigh, N; Mills, P (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2012)
      The implementation of many fisheries management-related activities in fresh water depends on habitat area inventories over extensive geographical scales. While river lengths are readily available, representative widths, necessary for area calculations, are difficult to obtain. As field surveys to collect this information are resource intensive, a predictive model was developed to enable the calculation of river wetted width using GIS-derived values for catchment and river descriptors. A model containing upstream catchment area and the Shreve river drainage network index accounted for 88% of the variation in field measured river wetted width. Comparisons in Irish and Scottish rivers between modelled and measured widths were highly correlated and suggest that the model may be transferable to neighbouring geographic areas. As an example, the model is applied to provide an estimate of the usable fluvial habitat available to Atlantic salmon in Ireland.
    • Comparative effects of the marine algal toxins azaspiracid-1, -2, and -3 on Jurkat T lymphocyte cells

      Twiner, M.; El-Ladki, R.; Kilcoyne, J.; Doucette, G.J. (ACS Publications, 2012)
      Azaspiracids (AZA) are polyether marine toxins of dinoflagellate origin that accumulate in shellfish and represent an emerging human health risk. Although monitored and regulated in many European and Asian countries, there are no monitoring programs or regulatory requirements in the United States for this toxin group. This did not prove to be a problem until June 2009 when AZAs were identified in US seafood for the first time resulting in human intoxications and further expanding their global distribution. Efforts are now underway in several laboratories to better define the effects and mechanism(s) of action for the AZAs. Our investigations have employed Jurkat T lymphocyte cells as an in vitro model to characterize the toxicological effects of AZA1, AZA2, and AZA3. Cytotoxicity experiments employing a metabolically based dye (i.e., MTS) indicated that AZA1, AZA2, and AZA3 each elicited a lethal response that was both concentration- and time-dependent, with EC50 values in the sub- to low nanomolar range. On the basis of EC50 comparisons, the order of potency was as follows: AZA2 > AZA3 > AZA1, with toxic equivalence factors (TEFs) relative to AZA1 of 8.3-fold and 4.5-fold greater for AZA2 and AZA3, respectively. Image analysis of exposed cells using Nomarski differential interference contrast (DIC) imaging and fluorescent imaging of cellular actin indicated that the morphological effects of AZA1 on this cell type are unique relative to the effects of AZA2 and AZA3. Collectively, our data support the growing body of evidence suggesting that natural analogues of AZA are highly potent and that they may have multiple molecular targets.
    • Lessons for fisheries management from the EU cod recovery plan

      Kraak, Sarah B. M.; Bailey, Nick; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Darby, Chris; De Oliveira, José A. A.; Eero, Margit; Graham, Norman; Holmes, Steven; Jakobsen, Tore; Kempf, Alexander; et al. (Elsevier, 2012)
      The performance of the EU long-term management plan for cod stocks, in force since 2009, is analysed focusing on the human and institutional factors. The plan operates through landings quotas (TACs) and effort restrictions following a Harvest Control Rule, and deploys a novel instrument allowing Member States to ‘buy back’ or increase fishing effort for fleet segments engaged in cod-avoidance measures. The stipulated fishing mortality reductions have not been achieved. On the positive side, the ‘buy-back’ instrument has led to increased uptake of selective gear and implementation of permanent and real-time temporary closures. On the negative side, ignoring the dimension of fishers as reactive agents in the design, the impact assessment, and the annual implementation of the measures has contributed to the failure to adequately implement the plan and achieve its objectives. The main problem is that the landings quotas taken in a mixed fishery did not limit catches because fishers were incentivised to continue fishing and discard overquota catch while quota for other species was available. The effort limitations intended to reduce this effect were insufficient to adequately limit fishing mortality in targeted fisheries, although fishers experienced them as prohibiting the full uptake of other quotas. Recommendations for future plans include (i) management through catch rather than landings quotas, (ii) the internalisation of the costs of exceeding quotas, (iii) use of more selective gear types, (iv) the development of appropriate metrics as a basis for regulatory measures and for evaluations, (v) participatory governance, (vi) fishery-based management, (vii) flexibility in fishing strategy at vessel level.
    • Size-selective fishing drives species composition in the Celtic Sea

      Shephard, Samuel; Fung, Tak; Houle, Jennifer E.; Farnsworth, Keith D.; Reid, David G.; Rossberg, Axel G. (Oxford Journals, 2012)
      Fishing alters community size structure by selectively removing larger individual fish and by changing the relative abundance of different-sized species. To assess the relative importance of individual- and species-level effects, two indices of fish community structure were compared, the relative abundance of large fish individuals (large fish indicator, LFI) and the relative abundance of large fish species (large species indicator, LSI). The two indices were strongly correlated for empirical data from the Celtic Sea and for data from simulated model communities, suggesting that much of the variability in the LFI is caused by shifts in the relative abundance of species (LSI). This correlation is explained by the observation that most of the biomass of a given species is spread over few length classes, a range spanning the factor 2 of individual length, such that most species contributed predominantly to either the small or the large component of the LFI. The results suggest that the effects of size-selective fishing in the Celtic Sea are mediated mainly through changes in community composition.