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Risk of collapse in the eastern Baltic cod fishery

  • Niclas Jonzén
  • M Cardinale
  • Anna Gårdmark
  • F Arrhenius
  • Per Lundberg
Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 225-233
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Marine Ecology - Progress Series
Volym: 240
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Inter-Research


The eastern Baltic cod fishery, as many fisheries worldwide, is experiencing a major crisis. The combination of current environmental conditions, fishing mortality rates, and stock size indicates that this fishery is not sustainable. In order to rebuild the population and sustain the fishery in the future, it is essential to define a biologically appropriate exploitation level. In this paper, we take a decision-theoretical approach and use risk analysis to compare different management actions in terms of fishing mortality rates, and predict stock size in a short, medium and long-term perspective. We consider alternative hypotheses about the stock biomass in 1999 and analyse the risk of stock decline below three thresholds: quasi-extinction (Bext, defined by us), the safe biological limit, and the precautionary approach limit as defined by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Results show that the current fishing mortality implies a tremendous risk of driving the Baltic cod stock below Bext (1000 t) within 10 yr. This result is robust to alternative assumptions about model structure as well as to the magnitude of environmental stochasticity. Hence, we consider a substantial reduction of the fishing mortality to be the only way of avoiding the far-reaching ecological and

socio-economic consequences of continued exploitation at current levels.


  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 1616-1599

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