Research scientist: ethology applied to fish / fishing gear interactions

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    03/10/2019 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Not funded by an EU programme
    France, PLOUZANE
    IFREMER - Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER

The Research unit STH (Science et Technologie Halieutiques), based both in Brest and Lorient, focuses on three themes:

  • Commercial fish species biology and ecology
  • Fishing gears/ecosystem interactions
  • Assessment methods and management strategy evaluation for ecosystem based management.

The job will be based in the Lorient lab. Knowledge and experience in fishing gear development/improvement, innovative underwater visualisation equipment, and image analysis tools make it a favourable environment to develop research on fish/fishing gear interactions.

General areas of responsibility (principal missions)

The successful applicant will develop research aiming at understanding species responses to various stimuli (behaviour in the presence of natural/physical/chemical attractants or repellents) and assessing individual and collective skills during the capture/avoidance processes. Understanding those processes will then allow assessing gear selectivity for single species or across species and modelling gear/species interactions, and potentially forecasting capturability for commercial or scientific fishing gears. Capturability is an essential parameter in stock assessment model, as a link between fish real abundance in the environment and the catch in fishing operations. More generally, these research contribute to reducing the impact of fishing on ecosystem through changes in fishing techniques.

Principal activities

The successful applicant will develop and lead research actions aiming at understanding fish/fishing gear interactions:

  • She/he gets involved in or propose national/international research projects;
  • She/he undertakes combined experimental/modelling approaches to better understand attraction, capture and avoidance processes for different fishing gears (trawls, seines, bow nets), different species (demersal and pelagic fish, cephalopods), including intra and interspecies interactions.
  • For experimental work, she/he will benefit from R&D actions in the lab: (1) the design, development and utilisation of at sea observing and measurement systems (fixed/towed, video/acoustic, eg EROC/VECOC, acoustic monitoring receivers…); (2) the development of tools for automated image analysis.
  • Together with other members of the team, she/he contributes to the development of modelling frameworks to simulate the interactions between fishing gears (existing codes) and fish;
  • She/he analyses and interprets the data collected and simulations performed;
  • She/he publishes research results and presents findings to scientific and non-scientific audiences.

Collaborative work environment

Internal collaborative relationship: MARBEC, EMH, HMMN, RDT

External collaborative relationship: ICES WGFTFB, Fisheries and marine ecology labs in Europe, société française d’étude du comportement animal (SECA)

Required knowledge, skills, and characteristics

  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Ethology, Social ecology
  • Experimental approaches
  • Statistics, data processing and modelling of complex systems
  • Knowledge in marine ecology and fisheries sciences (appreciated)
  • Human qualities:
  • Team working

Required education and experience

PhD in ethology, social ecology, marine ecology, fisheries science

Specific working conditions

Work at sea

Work trip (domestic and abroad)


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