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.

OSMOSE - North Sea

A North Sea parameterisation was completed for the spatially explicit food web model OSMOSE, which has a size-based approach. Four different fishing fleets are recognised with their own specifics. This model setup allows for scenario runs with different drivers such as anthropogenic and climate change.


Seasonal and decadal trends in biomass vary between species groups.

The model is based on the 12 most important fish species in the North Sea and uses lower trophic level model output as input. The model results show seasonal changes in biomass as well as decadal trends for forage fish and piscivores. Flatfish show little decadal fluctuations. This is irrespective of the lower trophic level used.

Relevance for Policy:
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management (forthcoming)
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy

Lead Author:

Karen van der Wolfshaar
Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (DLO-IMARES)
Date of research: October 2014

Related articles:

Modelling hotspots of change in the North Sea 

The Baltic ATLANTIS model and global change

Climate change: flatfish and shrimp fisheries 

The drivers of a common sole population 

Zooplankton mortality and fish consumptions 

Changes in the upper trophic level: impact on fish

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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.