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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Trade-offs among spatio-temporal management actions for a mixed-stock fishery revealed by Bayesian decision analysis

Whitlock, Rebecca; Pakarinen, T.; Palm, Stefan; Koljonen, M. L.; Östergren, Johan; Dannewitz, Johan


Management and conservation of populations that are harvested simultaneously present a unique set of challenges. Failure to account for differences in productivity and spatio-temporal abundance patterns can lead to over-exploitation of depleted populations and/or loss of potential yield from healthy ones. Mixed-stock fisheries (where a stock may comprise one or more populations of reared or wild origin) harvest multiple stocks, often in unknown proportions, and lack of tools for estimation of stock-specific harvest rates can hamper status evaluations and attainment of management goals. We present a method for evaluating stock-specific impacts of alternative harvest strategies, using coastal trap net fisheries for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the Baltic Sea as a case study. Our results demonstrate a large variation among stocks in coastal mixed fishery harvest rates, as well as large differences in harvest rates relative to stock-specific maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and recovery levels. Bayesian decision analysis showed that spatio-temporal management actions, such as delayed fishery opening and closed areas may be effective in improving probabilities of meeting management objectives for Baltic salmon. However, stocks did not respond uniformly to different management actions, highlighting the potential for trade-offs in reaching stock-specific targets that must be considered by managers.


Atlantic salmon; Bayesian decision analysis; genetic stock identification; mixed-stock fisheries; spatio-temporal management

Published in

ICES Journal of Marine Science
2021, Volume: 78, number: 10, pages: 3625-3638