Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Rapid effects of a fishing closure on whitefish (Coregonus maraena) in the northern Baltic Sea

Berkström, Charlotte; Florin, Ann-Britt; Fredriksson, Ronny; Lundström, Karl; Bergström, Ulf;

Abstract

Areas closed to fishing year-round (no-take zones, NTZs) or during spawning time (spawning closures) are used as a management tool to increase declining fish populations. We evaluated the effects of a 147 km2 NTZ and a 3980 km2 spawning closure on whitefish populations in the northern Baltic Sea, and also accounted for fish consumption by seals and cormorants. Fish monitoring with multimesh gillnets in 2011–2016 showed a significant increase in catch per unit effort (CPUE) of mature whitefish (> 30 cm) both in the spawning closure and the NTZ compared with the reference area open to fishing. The rate of increase was significantly higher in the NTZ than in the spawning closure. Our results suggest that NTZs may strengthen coastal fish populations in temperate regions and that also seasonal closures under a critical period of the life cycle may benefit the populations.

Published in

Boreal Environment Research

2021, volume: 26, pages: 89-104

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Stockholm University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources

Associated SLU-program

Coastal and sea areas

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science
Fish and Wildlife Management

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/113375