During the last 15 years, I have conducted pioneering research in fisheries biology. The overall aim of these multidisciplinary investigations is to improve our understanding of the links between fishing activities, the marine environment and the quantity and quality of marine resources. My research incorporates several scientific disciplines that play a key role in the integrated management of fishery resources and marine ecosystems.
1) FISH HEALTH AND FISHERIES. I have published a number of papers on fish health and its influence on fish life history traits, such as reproduction and growth. Using various health indicators, these studies have, for the first time, led to practical proposals whereby fish health indicators can be used to improve stock assessment and fisheries management. The importance of this research extends to issues of seafood quality and safety, by improving our understanding of the risks and benefits of seafood consumption.
2) IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON MARINE RESOURCES. I was among the first to analyze the influence of environmental factors and climate change on exploited marine resources in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean using time series analyses (Box–Jenkins models), with new research evaluating the impact of river runoff, wind mixing, climatic indices and sea warming on the productivity of marine exploited species, in the context of an ecosystem approach to fisheries.
3) IMPORTANCE OF HABITAT CONSERVATION TO MARINE RESOURCES. I have studied the influence of habitat features and habitat protection on the condition and reproductive potential of exploited species. For the first time in such studies, I used variations in fish condition in order to identify Essential Fish Habitats and to evaluate the impact of habitat protection on the overall health of marine species.
4) IMPACT OF FISHERIES ON COASTAL MARINE RESOURCES. Much of my research has focused on the impact of two fishing practices that have been poorly studied: artisanal fishing and recreational fishing. My studies have looked into both the biological and socioeconomic factors of these practices and were among the first to study their impact on the reproductive potential of vulnerable species, many of which are endangered. Such studies are essential within the framework of integrated coastal zone management.