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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
    Format: text
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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
    Publication Date: 2019-01-21
    Description: The eastern Baltic cod stock has recently started to recover, after two decades of severe depletion, however with unexpected side effects. The stock has not re-occupied its former wide distribution range, but remains concentrated in a limited area in the southern Baltic Sea. The biomass of forage fish, i.e., sprat and herring, is historic low in this area, which in combination with increasing cod stock results in locally high predation mortality of forage fish and cannibalism of cod. In line with low prey availability, body weight and nutritional condition of cod drastically declined. In the southern Baltic Sea, cod competes with pelagic fisheries for the limited resources of sprat and herring, while the largest biomass of these species is currently found outside the distribution range of cod. Accounting for spatial overlap between species is crucial in developing ecosystem based fisheries management to enhance the recovery of predator stocks.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    TV2 Bornholm
    In:  TV2 Bornholm, 11.2014. [Interview/Performance on television, radio, blog]
    Publication Date: 2015-02-12
    Type: Interview/Performance on television, radio, blog , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-01-21
    Description: In 2007 the alien invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi A. Agassiz 1865 was recorded for the first time in the Bornholm Basin, an area which serves as important spawning ground for Baltic fish stocks. Since M. leidyi is capable of preying upon early life stages of fish and further might act as food competitor for fish larvae, it is of major concern to investigate the potential threat that this non-indigenous species poses to the pelagic ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. The present study investigates the temporal and spatial overlap of M. leidyi with eggs and larvae of Baltic cod (Gadus morhua L.) and sprat (Sprattus sprattus L.) in order to assess the potential impact of this new invader on two of the most important Baltic fish stocks. Results show variable inter-seasonal distribution and overlap dynamics and thus different seasonal threat-scenarios for the early life stages of cod and sprat. The spatial overlap between M. leidyi and ichthyoplankton was low for most of the period observed, and we conclude that M. leidyi presently does not have a strong impact. However, we detected situations with high overlaps, e.g. for sprat larvae and cod eggs in spring. As the population dynamics of M. leidyi in the central Baltic are not yet fully understood, a future population explosion of the alien ctenophore with possible effects on fish recruitment cannot be ruled out. Furthermore, a possible shift in peak spawning of cod to the early season, when ctenophore abundances were relatively high, might increase the impact of M. leidyi on cod.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2015-06-09
    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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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-09-29
    Description: Nearshore 0-group western Baltic cod are frequently caught as bycatch in the commercial pound net fishery. Pound net fishermen from the Danish Isle of Funen and Lolland and the German Isle of Fehmarn have recorded their catches of small cod between September and December 2008. Abundance patterns were analysed, particularly concerning the influence of abiotic factors (hydrography, meteorology) and the differences between sampling sites. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) differed by site and location, whereas CPUE were highest at Lolland. Correlation between catch and wind/currents were generally weak. However, wind directions and current speeds seem to affect the catch rates. Finally an algorithm was developed to calculate a recruitment index for western Baltic cod recruitment success based on previous analyses.
    Keywords: Fisheries
    Repository Name: Aquatic Commons
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: application/pdf
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