Egg and larval fish studies from a bottom-up versus top down perspective
Fishing mortality is driven by human food demand that has pushed fisheries activities. Fish and their products are a main source of protein nutrition in human diet. The average consumption of animal protein stems from 15 % on seafood, but some countries (e.g. islands or west African countries) rely to over 50 % on fish protein (Smith et al., 2010). While humans in the past thought that fish is an infinite resource some severe fish stock declines became apparent leaing to collapses all over the world, e.g. to name only some, Californian sardine (Sardinops sagax Jenyns, 1842), Peruvian anchovy (Engraulis ringens Jenyns, 1842) (Ludwig et al., 1993) or the Newfoundland cod (Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758) (Mason, 2002). While humans understood that a sustainable management of seafood is needed, management measures were developed including quotas, independent assessment of fish stocks and moratoriums of collapsed stocks. As it is becoming more and more evident that early life stages are one of the main drivers of stock fluctuations, management plans began to integrate early life stages (ELS) of fish into stock assessment.