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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Variability and connectivity of plaice populations from the Eastern North Sea to the Western Baltic Sea, and implications for assessment and management

Ulrich, Clara; Boje, Jesper; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Gatti, Paul; Le Bras, Quentin; Andersen, Michael; Hemmer-Hansen, Jakob; Hintzen, Niels T.; Jacobsen, Jonathan B.; Jonsson, Patrik; Miller, David C. M.; Nielsen, Einar Eg; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan; Sköld, Mattias; Svedäng, Henrik; Wennhage, Håkan


An essential prerequisite of sustainable fisheries is the match between biologically relevant processes and management action. Various populations may however co-occur on fishing grounds, although they might not belong to the same stock, leading to poor performance of stock assessment and management. Plaice in Kattegat and Skagerrak have traditionally been considered as one stock unit. Current understanding indicates that several plaice components may exist in the transition area between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. A comprehensive review of all available biological knowledge on plaice in this area is performed, including published and unpublished literature together with the analyses of commercial and survey data and historical tagging data. The results suggest that plaice in Skagerrak is closely associated with plaice in the North Sea, although local populations are present in the area Plaice in Kattegat, the Belts Sea and the Sound can be considered a stock unit, as is plaice in the Baltic Sea. The analyses revealed great heterogeneity in the dynamics and productivity of the various local components, and suggested for specific action to maintain biodiversity. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Plaice; Skagerrak; Kattegat; Stock identity; Connectivity; Assessment

Published in

Journal of Sea Research
2013, Volume: 84, pages: 40-48