A study on cod egg mortality was carried out in the Bornholm Basin (southern central Baltic Sea) toward the end of July 1996. An initial egg aggregation marked by a satellite-tracked drifter buoy was sampled repeatedly over an 11-day period; profiles of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen were concurrently recorded. Three replicate estimates of mortality were obtained for each pair of subsequent developmental stages from newly spawned eggs to early larvae. A consistent pattern of stage-specific mortality coincided well with previous experimental observations. Average daily mortality rates were 7.2% (eggs IA/IB), 38.7% (eggs (IB/II), 25.6% (eggs II/III), 40.0% (eggs III/IV), and 42.3% (eggs IV/early larvae). The cumulative mortality until hatch amounted to 99.9%. Results from hydrodynamic modelling, however, indicated that the drifter's trajectory was influenced by wind stress. Hence, the mortality rates might be biased despite the short sampling intervals; a modification of the sampling design is recommended for future studies.