Understanding the predictability of fisheries interactions with non-target species


Interactions with non-target species such as seabirds, turtles, sharks and marine mammals are a global barrier to ecological sustainability in marine wild-capture fisheries. Incidental capture of non-target species (bycatch) remains a threat to many populations of conservation concern, and mitigation of this threat is a focus of industry and management attention. Predicting where and when interactions are likely to occur is useful for targeting management interventions such as increased observer effort, electronic monitoring programs, gear modifications, and protected areas or space-time closures. However, the inherently complex, dynamic and rapidly changing nature of marine systems makes fisheries interactions particularly difficult to predict.

This seminar will discuss current understanding of how physical variability and change influence the likelihood and predictability of fisheries interactions with non-target species. Case studies will address the bio-physical mechanisms the underlie interactions, with particular focus on the importance of dynamic seascape features such as fronts, eddies and filaments; and highlight innovations occurring at the interface between physical oceanography and ecological modelling, such as predictive tools for ‘now-casting’ and forecasting of the distributions of both target and non-target species. Future research directions discussed will consider important advances, constraints and bottlenecks at this evolving frontier of interdisciplinarity.


Dr. Kylie Scales is a quantitative marine ecologist with research interests in the spatial and movement ecology of marine vertebrates, fisheries oceanography, dynamic ocean management and marine climate change. Dr. Scales is Senior Lecturer in Animal Ecology at University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow 2021-23. She was awarded an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship focused on fisheries adaptation to climate change in 2019, and is a key contributor to a CSIRO-led project focused on seasonal to decadal forecasting of tuna and billfish distributions funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). Dr. Scales previously worked as an Assistant Project Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Centre (SWFSC) in Monterey, California, and was awarded a PhD from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, in 2015.


This seminar will be held using the video conferencing software Zoom. If you would like the link, please email sees.seminars@uq.edu.au