Jennifer Houle continues her involvement in the Beaufort group as a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, after completing her Beaufort-funded PhD at Queen’s. She will apply a size-based modelling approach to developing an understanding of fisheries management issues, including indicator performance (in collaboration with the IndiSeas group), and marine mammal–fisheries interactions.


Congratulations to Dr Jenifer Houle on gaining her PhD at QUB. "Size-structured modelling tools for an Ecosytem Approach to Fisheries Management".

Congratulations to Dr Tak Fung on gaining his PhD at QUB. "Sustainable Fisheries and the Diversity of Marine Communities - A Theoretical Investigation".   Tak is now working for the National University of Singapore.

Cian Luck successfully completed his MSc in 2013 and has now taken up a position with the British Antarctic Survey, based on their field research station on Bird Island, South Georgia where he is working on Antarctic fur seals.


Susie Brown and Emer Rogan participated in a workshop organised by the Countryside Council for Wales, showcasing approaches to mapping sensitivity of seabirds and marine mammals to fisheries. “Ecological risk assessment for the effects of fishing on cetaceans in Irish waters” oral presentation. (Scottish Natural Heritage Offices, Perth Scotland, March 2013).

A number of new publications from the team are now available on the Outputs Page. Fung's paper on size structure recovery is in press with Marine Ecology Progress Series and Duggan's paper on functional stakeholder clusters is available online from Marine Policy.



Jennifer Houle and Keith Farnsworth attended the ICES/PICES Symposium on Forage Fish Interactions in Nantes, France. Jennifer Houle gave a poster presentation entitled "Management trade-offs emerging from forage and predator fishery interactions">


Tak Fung and Deirdre Duggan attended the ICES Annual Science Conference in Bergen, Norway. Both gave oral presentations on their current PhD research and received strong feedback. Both were funded by the Marine Institutes Networking and Travel grant.


Updates to Outputs Page reflect recent success in publications and presentations / networking at the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh during May.


New connections with external research activities

Queen's University Marine Ecosystem Modelling group has teamed up with the Marine Institute to form part of the EU Framework 7 funded project: "Maximising yield of fisheries while balancing ecosystem, economic and social concerns (MYFISH)". The aim is to develop multi-objective system-level maximum sustainable yield concepts and indicators for EU waters under the call "Beyond MSY".

Project Abstract:
"The MSY concept was included as a principle in the 2009 Green Paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in accordance with the global imperative to manage fish stocks according to the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). This implies a commitment to direct management of fish stocks towards achieving MSY by 2015. Attaining this goal is complicated by the lack of common agreement on the interpretation of "sustainability" and "yield" and by the effects that achieving MSY for one stock may have on other stocks and broader ecosystem, economic, or social aspects. MYFISH will provide definitions of MSY variants which maximize other measures of “yield” than biomass and which account for the fact that single species rarely exist in isolation. Further, MYFISH will redefine the term “sustainable” to signify that Good Environmental Status (MSFD) is achieved and economically and socially unacceptable situations are avoided, all with acceptable levels of risk. In short, MYFISH aims at integrating the MSY concept with the overarching principals of the CFP: the precautionary and the ecosystem approach. MYFISH will achieve this objective through addressing fisheries in all RAC areas and integrating stakeholders (the fishing industry, NGOs and managers) throughout the project. Existing ecosystem and fisheries models will be modified to perform maximization of stakeholder approved yield measures while ensuring acceptable impact levels on ecosystem, economic and social aspects. Implementation plans are proposed and social aspects addressed through active involvement of stakeholders. Finally, effects of changes in environment, economy and society on MSY variants are considered, aiming at procedures rendering the MSY approach robust to such changes. The expertise of 26 partners from relevant disciplines including fisheries, ecosystem, economic and social science are involved in all aspects of the project. Global experience is engaged from North America and the South Pacific."

Jennifer Houle (QUB) has joined the INDISEAS (indicators for the seas) consortium to help develop and test the performance of community-level indicies of 'good ecological status in world ecosystems. This collaboration is based on her Beaufort work building a community-level test-bed for fisheries indicators, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.

World Fisheries Congress (Edinburgh 2012)

Many of us are taking part in this global congress on fisheries.
Prof. Dave Reid and Dr Keith Farnsworth will serve as Session Chairs.



New Beaufort Senior Research Fellowship available at Queens University Belfast.

Developing marine community models for sustainable management of marine fisheries in Western Europe

Applications are now closed for a three and a half year Senior Research Fellowship in mathematical/computational marine ecology in support of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, funded by the Government of Ireland, based at Queen's University Belfast, School of Biological Sciences.

Closing date: Monday the 16th of Januray 2012. It is anticipated that interviews for the position will be held week commencing 30th January 2012.

Position Description


The trip to the ICES ASC in Gdansk was a success for all those involved. We all received positive feedback about our work with encouraging advice and ideas of what to do next. New connections were made with people working on similar fields in different institutes, with the possibility of collaborations in the future. The City of Gdansk was an excellent host for the conference and we all look forward to attending the next conference in Bergen, Norway.

Submissions have also been made to the 6th World Fisheries Congress that will take place in Edinburgh in May 2012. Keith Farnsworth will be a convener for the subsession "Understanding and mitigating the impact of fishing on ecosystem functioning through coordinated ecosystem/food web modelling",which is part of the main theme "Science to underpin sustainable fisheries".

See World Fisheries Congress for more details.

Susie Brown participated in the annual meeting of the ICES Working Group of Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour. “Ecosystem Risk Assessments for Fisheries” oral presentation (Reykjavik, May 2011).



Other members of the Beaufort Research team have also been accepted for the ICES Conference in Poland.

Gema Hernandez-Milian: Poster - Theme I
Michelle Cronin: Presentation - Theme I
Dave Reid: Presentation - Theme M
Tak Fung: Presentation - Theme N
Jennifer Houle: Two Presentations - Theme N
Axel Rossberg: Presentation - Theme N
Mike Fitzpatrick: Presentation - Theme P
Deirdre Duggan: Poster - Theme P

See ICES ASC Themes for more details.


Abstracts have been accepted for the ICES conference in September to be held in Gdansk, Poland. Jennifer Houle and Axel Rossberg will have oral presentations, Deirdre Duggan will have a poster presentation and Tak Fung will have both an oral and poster presentation.

16/05/11 - 19/05/11:

Deirdre Duggan and Jennifer Houle attended the MBA conference in Belfast. Deirdre gave a poster presentation and Jennifer gave an oral presentation.

13/04/11 - 20/04/11:

Axel Rossberg and Tak Fung attend the ICES WGECO (Working Group on the Ecosystem Effects of Fishing Activities) workshop help in Copenhagen, Denmark. At this workshop they presented their modelling work on the Large Fish Indicator (LFI). A report detailing the outcomes of this workshop will be available in about a months time on the ICES website.

21/03/11 - 25/03/11:

Jennifer Houle travelled to Denmark for a research visit to Ken H. Andersen at DTU Aqua, Charlottenlund, Denmark to investigate 'Does industrial fishing reverberate in the marine community size-structure for generations to come?". The research was funded by a European Science Foundation (ESF) short visit grant for the activity entitled 'Body-size and Ecosystem Dynamics: Integrating pure and applied approaches from aquatic and terrestrial ecology to support an ecosystem approach (SIZEMIC)'.


Beaufort EAFM Stakeholders' Forum goes live!

Beaufort Plenary

January 19-20th research seminars announced.

Stakeholder Engagement

This new website launched!


Stakeholder Engagement

Deirdre Duggan starts PhD studies in Knowledge Engineering to support stakeholder engagement for EAFM (supervised by Keith Farnsworth and Dave Reid).

Ecological Modelling

All of us (Keith Farnsworth, Axel Rossberg, Tak Fung and Jennifer Houle) attend the ICES Science Conference in Nantes, with talks and posters (see Outputs page). Four papers by Rossberg et. al. are published (see Outputs page).

Seabird work

24 Atlantic puffins were tagged on Skellig Michael in August 2010 with geolocators. These birds will be recaptured hopefully at the beginning of the 2011 breeding season and the tags retrieved. They will provide novel information on the foraging range and distribution of the puffins over the Winter period and along with diet studies contribute to our understanding of the interactions with this species and fisheries operating in the southwest of Ireland. There are plans afoot to tag Northern gannets with telemetry devices during the Summer 2011 to determine foraging locations and habitat utilisation of gannets, and identify possible interactions with fisheries operating off the southwest coast. Concurrent diet data will also be gathered through collection of regurgitates and Stable Isotope Analysis to determine the importance of fisheries discards in diet and chick provisioning.

Seal work

Female grey seals tagged by the Beaufort team on the Blasket Islands in SW Ireland travelled as far as NW Scotland. Efforts will resume this Spring to capture and tag male grey seals to provide, for the first time in Irish waters, critical information on the species habitat use and foraging distribution. This information, along with diet studies will allow us to study seal/fisheries overlap and competition for resources. seal tagging

A briefing note on ‘Seals and Fish Stocks in Irish waters’ was presented to the European Parliament in Brussels in November 2010 by Michelle Cronin at a workshop on the Interactions between seals and fish stocks (see Outputs page).