Marine Research Findings of the VECTORS Project

This website provides access to the research results of the VECTORS project, which can be used to support marine management decisions, policies and governance as well as future research and investment. VECTORS was a large scale project that brought together more than 200 expert researchers from 16 different countries. It examined the significant changes taking place in European seas, their causes, and the impacts they will have on society.

Impact of environmental changes on cluepoid fish - the example of North Sea herring

This study contributes to investigate changes in the productivity of lower trophic levels as drivers of ecosystem change. In particular we investigated whether environmental changes, i.e. changes in temperature and plankton, can be related to the recent failure in recruitment of North Sea herring.


Changes in temperature and in zooplankton functional groups that have occurred around the main North Sea spawning and nursery grounds, can be related with the poor recruitment of North Sea herring recorded since the early 2000s.

The analysis of records of North Sea herring recruits, different zooplankton functional groups and Sea Surface Temperature (SST), showed that the recent failure in recruitment was synchronous with significant increase in SST and changes in different zooplankton functional groups. The latter includes in particular, a rise in zooplankton competitors/predators of herring larvae and the relative decrease in their plankton preys.

Relevance for Policy:
  • Common Fisheries Policy
Further information:

Deliverable 4.2.1: Synthesis report of the VECTORS findings that are relevant to the issues of the North Sea Regional Sea

Licandro P., Nicolas D, Rochette S, Ibanez F & others. Linking the impact of environmental changes on cluepoid fish through the zooplankton. The example of North Sea herring (in preparation).

Lead Author:

Priscilla Licandro
Agrocampus Ouest (AGRO)
Date of research: December 2014

Related articles:

Cod, recruitment, temperature and zooplankton

The drivers of a common sole population 

Processes impacting overwintering larval survival 

Baltic cod recruitment and predation

Changes in the upper trophic level: impact on fish

Early life stage survival of Baltic cod

|< <  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...  > >|

Print this page

The content of this website may be subject to copyright, if you wish to use any of the information or figures please contact the attributed author(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 266445
© Vectors 2015. Coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory.