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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-07
    Description: Highlights: • Designing spawning closures requires consideration of the mechanisms through which the closures can affect the fish stocks. • Small area closures may have unintended negative effects to the stocks due to fishing effort reallocation. • Closures covering most of the stock distribution are more robust to gaps in biological knowledge than small area closures. Abstract: Fisheries management measures often include spatio-temporal closures during the spawning period of the fish with an overarching aim of improving the stock status. The different mechanisms how a spawning closure potentially can influence the stock are often not explicitly considered when designing such closures. In this paper, we review and synthesize the available data and knowledge on potential effects of the implemented spawning closures on cod in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic cod example represents a relatively data rich case, which allows demonstrating how a closure might affect different parameters of stock status via different mechanisms, including potential unintended negative effects. We conclude that designing relatively small area closures appropriately is highly complex and data demanding, and may involve tradeoffs between positive and negative impacts on the stock. Seasonal closures covering most of the stock distribution during the spawning time are more robust to data limitations, and less likely to be counterproductive if suboptimally designed.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-15
    Description: Genetic data have great potential for improving fisheries management by identifying the fundamental management units—that is, the biological populations—and their mixing. However, so far, the number of practical cases of marine fisheries management using genetics has been limited. Here, we used Atlantic cod in the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the applicability of genetics to a complex management scenario involving mixing of two genetically divergent populations. Specifically, we addressed several assumptions used in the current assessment of the two populations. Through analysis of 483 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the Atlantic cod genome, we confirmed that a model of mechanical mixing, rather than hybridization and introgression, best explained the pattern of genetic differentiation. Thus, the fishery is best monitored as a mixed-stock fishery. Next, we developed a targeted panel of 39 SNPs with high statistical power for identifying population of origin and analyzed more than 2,000 tissue samples collected between 2011 and 2015 as well as 260 otoliths collected in 2003/2004. These data provided high spatial resolution and allowed us to investigate geographical trends in mixing, to compare patterns for different life stages and to investigate temporal trends in mixing. We found similar geographical trends for the two time points represented by tissue and otolith samples and that a recently implemented geographical management separation of the two populations provided a relatively close match to their distributions. In contrast to the current assumption, we found that patterns of mixing differed between juveniles and adults, a signal likely linked to the different reproductive dynamics of the two populations. Collectively, our data confirm that genetics is an operational tool for complex fisheries management applications. We recommend focussing on developing population assessment models and fisheries management frameworks to capitalize fully on the additional information offered by genetically assisted fisheries monitoring.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald; Lehmann, Andreas; Petereit, Christoph; Nissling, Anders; Ustups, Didzis; Bergström, Ulf; Hüssy, Karin (2016): Spawning areas of eastern Baltic cod revisited: Using hydrodynamic modelling to reveal spawning habitat suitability, egg survival probability, and connectivity patterns. Progress in Oceanography, 143, 13-25, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2016.02.004
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: The files contain the data according to the figures in the publication.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 84.0 kBytes
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  • 4
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald; von Dewitz, Burkhard; Lehmann, Andreas; Bergström, Ulf; Hüssy, Karin (2017): Spatio-temporal dynamics of cod nursery areas in the Baltic Sea. Progress in Oceanography, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2017.05.007
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: In this study the drift of eastern Baltic cod larvae and juveniles spawned within the historical eastern Baltic cod spawning grounds was investigated by detailed drift model simulations for the years 1971 to 2010, to examine the spatio-temporal dynamics of environmental suitability in the nursery areas of juvenile cod settlement. The results of the long-term model scenario runs, where juvenile cod were treated as simulated passively drifting particles, enabled us to find strong indications for long-term variations of settlement and potentially the reproduction success of the historically important eastern Baltic cod nursery grounds. Only low proportions of juveniles hatched in the Arkona Basin and in the Gotland Basin were able to settle in their respective spawning ground. Ocean currents were either unfavorable for the juveniles to reach suitable habitats or transported the juveniles to nursery grounds of neighboring subdivisions. Juveniles which hatched in the Bornholm Basin were most widely dispersed and showed the highest settlement probability, while the second highest settlement probability and horizontal dispersal was observed for juveniles originating from the Gdansk Deep. In a long-term perspective, wind-driven transport of larvae/juveniles positively affected the settlement success predominately in the Bornholm Basin and in the Bay of Gdansk. The Bornholm Basin has the potential to contribute on average 54 % and the Bay of Gdansk 11% to the production of juveniles in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, transport of juveniles surviving to the age of settlement with origin in the Bornholm Basin contributed on average 13 and 11% to the total settlement in the Arkona Basin and in the Gdansk Deep, respectively. The time-series of the simulated occupied juvenile cod habitat in the Bornholm Basin and in the Gdansk Deep showed a similar declining trend as the Fulton's K condition factor of demersal 1-group cod, which may confirm the importance of oxygen-dependent habitat availability and its effect on density dependence as a process relevant for recruitment success.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 8 datasets
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-06
    Description: Oxygen minimum zones are increasing, yet the effects of these zones on the genetic composition of marine fish stocks has been neglected. We assessed the combined effects of stock size and structure, and the prevailing oxygen situation, on Eastern Baltic cod (ICES SD25) genetic diversity. For this purpose, we used an integrative long-term otolith sample and data series (1995-2013) to (1) calculate the approximate number of females with surviving eggs in a given year, i.e., contributing to reproduction (n F), and (2) the annually resolved cohort mean allelic richness as proxy of genetic diversity, based on 12 microsatellite markers. Cohort mean allelic richness showed strong year-to-year fluctuations though no permanent decline. Importantly, it was highly correlated with n F, but with an unexpected 1.5 year time lag that may be an artefact of Eastern Baltic cod ageing problems. Our findings indicated that environmental pressure can effect rapid alterations in exploited fish stock genetic composition, and pointed to the importance of large females for Eastern Baltic cod reproduction during stagnation periods. Considering the importance of standing genetic variation for the evolutionary potential of populations, this is relevant for projections of the future state of cod stocks under global change.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Identification of essential fish habitats (EFH), such as spawning habitats, is important for nature conservation, sustainable fisheries management and marine spatial planning. Two sympatric flounder (Platichthys flesus) ecotypes are present in the Baltic Sea, pelagic and demersal spawning flounder, both displaying ecological and physiological adaptations to the low-salinity environment of this young inland sea. In this study we have addressed three main research questions: 1) What environmental conditions characterize the spatial distribution and abundance of adult flounder during the spawning season? 2) What are the main factors defining the habitats of the two flounder ecotypes during the spawning season? 3) Where are the potential spawning areas of flounder? We modelled catch per unit of effort (CPUE) of flounder from gillnet surveys conducted over the southern and central Baltic Sea in the spring of 2014 and 2015 using generalized additive models. A general model included all the stations fished during the survey while two other models, one for the demersal and one for the pelagic spawning flounder, included only the stations where each flounder ecotype should dominate. The general model captured distinct ecotype-specific signals as it identified dual salinity and water depth responses. The model for the demersal spawning flounder revealed a negative relation with the abundance of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and a positive relation with Secchi depth and cod abundance. Vegetation and substrate did not play an important role in the choice of habitat for the demersal ecotype. The model for the pelagic spawning flounder showed a negative relation with temperature and bottom current and a positive relation with salinity. Spatial predictions of potential spawning areas of flounder showed a decrease in habitat availability for the pelagic spawning flounder over the last 20 years in the central part of the Baltic Sea, which may explain part of the observed changes in populations' biomass. We conclude that spatiotemporal modelling of habitat availability can improve our understanding of fish stock dynamics and may provide necessary biological knowledge for the development of marine spatial plans.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2016-09-05
    Description: Today, it appears safe to say that in principle we know enough to improve management actions, but that existing and new knowledge is not applied to the extent needed. Adaptive policy and ecosystem-based management are considered ways forward for the future. To put things simple: this will require including more of what we know in policy and management and continuously reviewing and updating practices. The BONUS programme with projects bringing into contact integrative teams spanning broad areas of expertise from fundamental science to modellers and policy experts, but also ICES with its integrative working groups, foster a much needed basis for such adaptive management. They point the way towards a more generalised integration of the scientific, conservation, resource management and policy domains. These efforts are much needed and, if continued and expanded, will take us closer to a sustainable future for the Baltic Sea. In this article we give concrete examples based on research by three BONUS projects on how scientific information is integrated into adaptive fisheries management.
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-08-07
    Description: The eastern Baltic (EB) cod (Gadus morhua) stock was depleted and overexploited for decades until the mid-2000s, when fishing mortality rapidly declined and biomass started to increase, as shown by stock assessments. These positive developments were partly assigned to effective management measures, and the EB cod was considered one of the most successful stock recoveries in recent times. In contrast to this optimistic view, the analytical stock assessment failed in 2014, leaving the present stock status unclear. Deteriorated quality of some basic input data for stock assessment in combination with changes in environmental and ecological conditions has led to an unusual situation for cod in the Baltic Sea, which poses new challenges for stock assessment and management advice. A number of adverse developments such as low nutritional condition and disappearance of larger individuals indicate that the stock is in distress. In this study, we (i) summarize the knowledge of recent changes in cod biology and ecosystem conditions, (ii) describe the subsequent challenges for stock assessment, and (iii) highlight the key questions where answers are urgently needed to understand the present stock status and provide scientifically solid support for cod management in the Baltic Sea.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: The Eastern Baltic cod abundance started rapidly to increase in the mid-2000s as evidenced by analytical stock assessments, due to increased recruitment and declining fishing mortality. Since 2014, the analytical stock assessment is not available, leaving the present stock status unclear and casting doubts about the magnitude of the recent increase in recruitment. Earlier studies identified main factors impacting on cod reproductive success to be related to the loss of two out of three spawning areas in the 1980s caused by lack of major Baltic inflows with a concurrent reduction in salinity and oxygen. Other important factors include prey availability for first-feeding larvae, egg predation by sprat and herring and cannibalism on juveniles, all in one way or the other related to the prevailing hydrographic conditions. These factors cannot explain increased reproductive success in the last decade, as the period was characterized by an absence of large-scale Baltic inflows since 2003 and persistent anoxic conditions in the bottom water of the deep Baltic basins. This questions the perception of the increased recruitment in later years and challenges our present understanding of cod recruitment dynamics in the Baltic Sea. In this contribution, we review evidence from the recent literature supplemented by information from latest research cruises to elucidate whether cod reproductive success indeed has increased during the last decade, and we suggest the key processes responsible for the recent dynamics in cod recruitment and outline directions for future research.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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    Format: archive
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