Three options for rebuilding the cod stock in the eastern Baltic Sea

Froese, Rainer and Quaas, Martin (2011) Three options for rebuilding the cod stock in the eastern Baltic Sea Marine Ecology Progress Series, 434 . pp. 197-200. DOI 10.3354/meps09247.

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The cod Gadus morhua stock in the eastern Baltic Sea has seen a recent miraculous
recovery, mainly due to a drastic decrease in fishing mortality (F). Here we explore 3 options for
rebuilding the stock to the size (biomass that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, or Bmsy)
that is required by international law and that can support high long-term yields. The first option
implements a fishing mortality of F = 0.3, as is aimed for under the current European Commission
management plan. The second option implements in addition the current constraint of a maximum
annual increase of 15% in total allowable catches until a catch corresponding to F = 0.3 is reached.
The third option freezes the 2010 catch for 2 yr before allowing a linear increase with spawning stock
biomass towards 90% of the maximum sustainable yield. We show that the first option provides the
highest catches for the first 3 yr, but fails to rebuild the biomass to the level of Bmsy. The second option
rebuilds the biomass above Bmsy only temporarily and results in the lowest catches over a 10 yr period.
The third option rebuilds the biomass above Bmsy and provides high catches and the highest profit
within 10 yr. Within a decade, all 3 options provide several-fold higher biomasses, catches, and profits
compared to the current situation, underlining the benefits that can be obtained from proper fisheries
management. In comparison, the so-called precautionary management approach (F = 0.6) implemented
until 2006 would perform worse in every respect.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ichthyology; Cod: Maximum sustainable yield; Eastern Baltic Sea; Stock recovery; Profitable fisheries
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps09247
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2011 12:38
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2013 10:02

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