International Symposium on “Small Pelagic Fish: New Frontiers in Science for Sustainable Management” in Lisbon


The most important fish species used for production of fishmeal and fish oil in Europe are “Small Pelagic Fish” e.g. capelin, sandeel, blue whiting, sprat and Norway pout. All fisheries are strictly regulated and catch limitations are always based on scientific advice from ICES.

From 7 to 11 November 2022 an international symposium on “Small Pelagic Fish: New Frontiers in Science for Sustainable Management” will take place in Lisbon, Portugal. It will highlight the state-of-the-art in topics related to the ecology and sustainable management of SPF. The symposium complements collaborative research conducted by the joint ICES/PICES Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish and is relevant to the goals of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, particularly “to bolster scientific research for a sustainably harvested ocean ensuring the provision of food supply.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Small pelagic fish (SPF) account for more than 30% by weight of the total landings of marine capture fisheries around the world. SPF populations of both marine and inland ecosystems are crucial for ensuring global food security.​ SPF also play an important role in the transfer of energy in food ​webs through mid-trophic levels, so understanding processes affecting the dynamics of their populations, their role in marine ecosystems and how these shape robust management practices continue to be a high priority.

During the last four decades, coordinated, global research efforts have targeted these and other topics, yielding important comparative analyses and highlighting key gaps in our knowledge. For example, global analyses revealed oscillations in the productivity of SPF populations linked to climate variability on various (seasonal to multi-decadal) scales that have resulted in dramatic consequences for ecological and human communities. The exchange of information and ideas drawn from comparing populations across the globe can be particularly insightful as we seek to improve management strategies.

For more information and registration to the Symposium click here