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The University of Southampton

SOES3017 Marine Fisheries Ecology

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe ecological theory underpinning modern marine fisheries assessment and management.
  • Appreciate how ecology and fishery management can act to provide sustainable resources.
  • Conduct laboratory and computer-based practical skills associated with fish ecology research and management
  • Conduct temporal and spatial analyses of fisheries data using R.
  • Conduct and analyse data from a fishery stock survey in the Solent.
  • Statistical programming
  • Boat-based survey techniques.


The module is given by members of the School of Ocean and Earth Science. Lectures focus on fisheries ecology and general principles of marine ecology that apply to fisheries management, focussing on fin fish and crustaean fisheries Data analysis practical workshops are focussed around the North Sea as a case study area providing an in-depth view of this regionally and globally important area. Assessed work will develop skills relevant to inshore fishery survey and report writing. Practical workshops are not assessed directly but form background for exam questions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal lectures: The lecture slots (24hr) are the principle mechanism for delivery of factual content, and are used to provide introduction to central topics, to explain theoretical underpinnings of practical management and assessment tools, and to outline the state of the literature. The emphasis of the lectures is on conveying how ecological theory contributes to practical fisheries management, particularly in the context of ecosystem based fisheries management. The practical slots (36 hrs) are used to provide training in practical (transferrable) skills. A boat-based fisheries survey provides field experience, experience in survey design, statistical handling of survey data and report writing. Throughout the course practical slots are used as computer-based workshops providing training in a range of data analysis methods relevant to fisheries. Workshops include an introduction to ecosystem models (Ecopath), analysis of large fisheries datasets to compute community ecosystem indicators, spatial habitat mapping and geolocation. All workshops are conducted using R, providing statistical, data handling and coding skills. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs. All lecture notes are provided on Blackboard as are a range of relevant material such as downloaded documents and NOL focused reading lists. Formal advice on using online bibliographic databases will be given prior to starting your written report work.

Practical classes and workshops35
Independent Study91
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Data Analysis 50%
Presentation 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: SOES1007 OR SOES2011

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