Population dynamics of sea bass in the Belgian part of the North Sea - Part 2

Project Details


Main research question/goal
How big is the sea bass population in the Belgian Part of the North Sea? What migration pattern does sea bass exhibit? What is the composition (age distribution and age/length relation) of this population? What is the carrying capacity of the North Sea area for sea bass? Project "Zeebaars2", a continuation of an earlier project, collects biological data and uses tagging of individual fish to evaluate whether a sustainable commercial sea bass fishery can be developed.

Research approach
We investigate if a sea bass population has become established in the port of Zeebrugge. If so, what is its impact outside the port area, such as in wrecks and around the windmill parks in the Belgian Part of the North Sea. In this project a large number of sea bass are caught in the port, tagged after taking length & weight, and released. If a tagged sea bass is caught, the fishermen can sent the information on tag number, length, weight and location to ILVO. In this way, ILVO obtains valuable on the life history of the sea bass and based on these data, growth rate, migration and distribution patterns according to age and season can be calculated.

Sea bass in the Belgian Part of the North Sea can be of interest for commercial fishing with passive fishing gear, such as the fishing rod. No management plan for this species has yet been established because of the lack of scientifically based information. This research project meets an important knowledge gap and should be seen as a predecessor to a plan for sustainable fishing for bass. We also expect clarity on whether sea bass species can be used as target species in  "Free Framing at Sea" model.
Effective start/end date1/01/14 → …