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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

The Baltic Sea: Estimates of total fisheries removals 1950-2007

Zeller, D.; Rossing, P.; Harper, S.; Persson, L.; Booth, S.; Pauly, D.


The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) reports to the general public fisheries 'landings' not 'total removals' for north-east Atlantic waters. Thus, public data do not include all anthropogenic removals, including discards. We reconstructed total removals for the nine countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) fishing in the Baltic Sea by estimating their unreported removals. Estimated total removals of 53.5 million tonnes are 30% higher than the 41.3 million tonnes ICES reports publicly for 1950-2007. During 2000-2007, total removals are 35% higher than reported data suggest. The major components of unreported removals since 2000 were unreported landings, discards and recreational removals. Unreported landings were dominated by Poland (47%), Sweden (12%), Denmark (10%) and Latvia (8%), while discarding was dominated by Poland (21%), Denmark (19%), Finland (15%) and Sweden (14%). Finland (32%) and Sweden (30%) contributed the most to recreational removals. While ICES includes some estimates of unreported landings and discards in their stock assessment process, the lack of comprehensive and transparent public reporting on a society-owned resource presents a hindrance to accountability and ecosystem-based management. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Catch reconstruction; IUU catches; Accountability

Published in

Fisheries Research
2011, Volume: 108, number: 2-3, pages: 356-363

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Natural Sciences not elsewhere specified
    Fish and Wildlife Management

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