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PFA contributes important data to the international triennial mackerel egg survey

23 March 2022

PFA contributes important data to the international triennial mackerel egg survey 


PFA’s assistant scientist Lina de Nijs executed the first phase of a valuable study into the potential fecundity of female mackerel in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Fecundity is the natural capability to produce offspring, measured by the number of eggs per female fish.


Through this research, the PFA is contributing important information to the international triennial mackerel egg survey that is taking place this year from February until August. Under supervision and instruction by scientists from Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) and PFA Chief Science Officer Martin Pastoors, Lina worked onboard a PFA freezer-trawler during two trips. She managed to measure 2,220 mackerel of which 379 could be sampled for gonads because the fish were in the right stage. These samples will later be further analysed in the WMR laboratory.


This type of collaboration between science and the fishing sector provides important data and expands knowledge. 


Lina de Nijs:


“Working on scientific research in a commercial fishing environment was another step in my steep learning curve as a junior fisheries scientist! I thoroughly enjoyed the close collaboration with the crew onboard who were very helpful and supportive. I look forward to learn more about the next steps in this research process.”


Lina’s journey in numbers (infographic):


  • 45 days at sea;
  • 49 hauls from which mackerels were sampled;
  • 2,200 mackerels were examined;
  • 379 samples were taken.



PFA represents the interests of nine European freezer-trawler companies involved in pelagic fishing activities for human consumption.

Learn more about the PFA policy of sustainable and responsible production.

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