Managing the Baltic Sea Cod (Gadus morhua): Stable Catches in an Unstable Environment

Managing the Baltic Sea Cod (Gadus morhua): Stable Catches in an Unstable Environment

Olle Hjerne and Sture Hansson

Managing the Baltic Sea Cod (Gadus morhua): Stable Catches in an Unstable EnvironmentThis is part of Ecosystem Approaches for Fisheries Management
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Description

Overcapacity is one of the most serious problems in the world fisheries, frequently resulting in overfishing (FAO 1995). The risk of attaining an overcapacity is particularly large in fisheries for fluctuating species (Ludwig et al. 1993). Constant harvest rate strategies, with catches proportional to the target species abundance, stimulate investments when stock sizes are large which can result in overcapacity. Constant catch strategies, on the other hand, lack this incentive. Therefore we explored the possibility of a management strategy based on constant catches by modeling the eastern Baltic Sea cod (Gadus morhua) population. The eastern Baltic cod stock is naturally fluctuating due to highly varying spawning conditions in the brackish Baltic Sea (Ojaveer et al. 1981, Bagge et al. 1994, Nissling 1994).

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