06/05/2015 15:26

For more details, please, contact Dra. Grau (






General guidelines of the fellow

About the employer:

Tutor: Dra. Amalia Grau

Supervisors:  Dra. Amalia Grau and Dr. Miquel Palmer

Location: LIMIA (Laboratori d’Investigacions Marines i Aqüicultura; Govern de les Illes Balears) but the student will spend part of the time at IMEDEA (Institut Mediterràni d’estudis Avançats, Consejo Superior de Investigacions Científicas – Universitat de les Illes Balears).


IMEDEA (Fish ecology grup):



Context: The fellowship will be under the umbrella of the MINOUW EU Project ("Science, Technology, and Society Initiative to minimize Unwanted Catches in European Fisheries")

Project abstract:

The complexity of the problem of banning discards and bringing all unwanted catches to land makes it necessary to follow a multi-actor approach, whereby scientists, fisheries technologists, fish producers and NGOs work collaboratively to provide the scientific and technical basis to achieve the gradual elimination of discards in European marine fisheries. The project’s overall objective is to minimize unwanted catches by incentivizing the adoption of fishing technologies and practices that reduce pre-harvest mortality and post-harvest discards, while avoiding damage to sensitive marine species and habitats. The general approach is based on technical/technological and socioeconomic solutions on a case-by-case analysis of the main types of European fisheries. The project will analyze existing and potential discard-mitigating innovative technologies in workshop roundtables with participation of fishers, technologists and scientists. The technologies selected will be tested in field trials to experimentally assess their efficiency: among other, improved pre-catch identification with observational technologies and pre-harvest loss reduction by gear modification and switching to light impact gear. The results will be analyzed in terms of technological advances, marketability and cost-benefit analysis. Other actions included in the project are social and economic instruments to incentivize selective fishing and discourage discarding practices, such as eco-labelling, fisheries certification and promoting awareness among industry and consumers, and mathematical modelling of ecosystem effects of unwanted catches reduction.


The fellow should contribute to some of the objectives/workpackages/tasks in which the LIMIA/IMEDEA are involved. Specifically, it is expected that the fellow will spend a relevant part of the time as on-board observer (may cover night-time, fishing journey duration is always less than one day) and as first-sale market observer (night-time).


The applicant will develop her/his Ph project in either of these broad perspectives:

1) Fleet perspective: Unwanted catches from the small scale fishery at the Balearic Islands: Description; Factors affecting magnitude and composition; Fishery segmentation; Understanding spatial distribution of effort; Understanding of the fishery dynamics at the seasonal and decadal scales and how this dynamic affects unwanted catches; Mitigation of unwanted catches (identifying and testing solutions).

2) Species-specific perspective: Fishing mortality related with unwanted catches: Estimation; Understanding fishing-induced selectivity and fishing-induced phenotypic changes at fish (individual) level; Outcomes on population dynamics; Outcomes on fisher’s profits; Identifying strategies for minimizing unwanted catches without decreasing profit.


The specific PhD program will be detailed during the first year of the fellow duration and it will depend on the MINOUW project development and needs, and on the applicant skills and interests.


Depending on the specific project, additional skills (or willingness to acquire them) will be need:

1) Proactive interacting (e.g., interviewing, promoting participation) with fishery stakeholders (fishers and managers).

2) Fish-related lab work  

3) Fish- and Fishery-related field work

4) Data management, data mining and data analysis