Sustainable management of human activities affecting Atlantic marine ecosystems is critical to maintain its health and to support the blue economy of the bordering countries.

TRIATLAS will contribute to this by delivering knowledge of the current state and future changes of the Atlantic marine ecosystems. We achieve this through a basin-wide approach that integrates research from the North and South, and that closes critical knowledge gaps in the Tropical and South Atlantic that impede an understanding of the entire basin.

  • 33 partners from 13 countries
  • Project duration: 2019-2023

 We bring together an interdisciplinary team of marine ecologists, physical oceanographers, climate researchers, and social scientists from 33 different institutions in Europe, Africa, and South America, together with industrial and regional stakeholders. We will enhance knowledge of the marine ecosystems in key areas of the Atlantic using existing and pivotal new physical, biological, and societal observations.

 Earth system, ecological, and socio-economic models and observations will be used to assess the cumulative impact of various pressures (climatic, pollution, and fishing) driving fluctuations in the marine ecosystem, and the potential for tipping point behavior and regime shifts.

We will develop the first predictions of the marine-ecosystem for the next 40 years for the whole Atlantic, by combining state- of-the-art climate prediction and ecosystem models, with Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, and by conducting socio- economic vulnerability assessments services, with stakeholder engagement. TRIATLAS will enhance capacity in marine ecosystems, oceanography, and climate research in countries bordering the South and Tropical Atlantic Ocean.

 There will be close cooperation and alignment with relevant European Commission services and the South-South Framework for Scientific and Technical Cooperation, as well as other relevant initiatives in the field. We will contribute to upscale cooperation around the Atlantic.

WP3 – Small pelagics, mesopelagic fauna and apex predators

We will study the abundance, diversity and vertical and horizontal distribution of small pelagic and mesopelagic fauna including their relevance for fisheries by means of historical trawling and fisheries data, shallow and open-ocean hydroacoustic data as well as shelf and deep-sea trawling down to 1000 m. Biomass size spectra and export to apex predators will be investigated, referring to migratory species such as tuna, marine mammals and avifauna, for the latter obtained by biologging experiments. Isotope composition and trait-based community analysis will reveal food web structure.

Work package leader: Werner Ekau, ZMT

Work package co-leader: José H. Muelbert

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817578