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Working Group on Atlantic Fish Larvae and Eggs Surveys (WGALES; outputs from 2022 meeting)

The objectives of the Working Group on Atlantic Fish Eggs and-Larvae Surveys (WGALES) was to achieve an updated overview on recent findings of ichthyoplankton surveys under-taken for assessment purposes and to discuss upcoming issues such as e.g. increasing amounts of wind farms and other aspects related to egg and larvae, sampling and analyses. Additionally, recent findings in early life history ecology and distribution and survival dynamics in a warming ocean covered aspects particularly related to effects of a changing environment on the phenology and physiology of fish eggs and larvae. To complement understanding of ontogenetic drivers, new studies on maturation, migration and environ-mental cues for fish reproduction focused on developing methods and concepts to analyse fish fecundity, maturation strategies and spawning rates to provide important baselines feeding into the conceptualization and timing of ichthyoplankton surveys.

As an umbrella group for ichthyoplankton surveys and data organization, WGALES together with the ICES data center discussed the status and progress on the ICES Eggs and Larvae database and isolated issues to be addressed.

In order to increase cross- WG collaboration, particularly bridging the work of Working Group on Biological Parameters (WGBIOP), Working Group on SmartDots Governance (WGSMART) and WGALES, focus of the respective group was presented and subjects where input by WGALES is needed were pointed out.

Proceeding with the resolution regarding the implementation of modern ichthyoplankton processing tools, a comprehensive hands-on workshop on optical sample procedures and image data processing was included in the WGALES end-of-term meeting.



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