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Baltic Salmon and Trout Assessment Working Group (WGBAST)

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posted on 15.09.2021, 00:00 by ICESICES
The Baltic Salmon and Trout Assessment Working Group [WGBAST] was mandated to assess the status of salmon in Gulf of Bothnia and Main Basin (subdivisions 22–31), Gulf of Finland (Subdivision 32) and sea trout in subdivisions 22–32, and to propose consequent management advices for fisheries in 2022. Salmon in subdivision 22–31 were assessed using Bayesian meth-odology with a stock projection model (data up to 2020) for evaluating impacts of different catch options on the wild river stocks.Section 2 of the report covers catches and other data on salmon in the sea, and summarizes in-formation affecting the fisheries and management of salmon. Section 3 reviews data from salmon spawning rivers, stocking statistics and health issues. Status of salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea is evaluated in Section 4. The same section also covers methodological issues of assessment as well as sampling protocols and data needs for assessment. Section 5 presents data and assessed stock status for sea trout.• Total salmon catches have decreased continuously since the 1990s. The fishery related mortality for salmon in 2020 (including estimates of unreported, misreported and dis-carded catches and recently revised estimates for recreational trolling) was similar com-pared to 2019. This is mainly due to significant decrease of misreporting in the open sea fishery. Reported efforts in commercial salmon fisheries have also remained on a low level.• The level of estimated misreporting of salmon as sea trout remained on a very low level just as in 2019.• The share of recreational catches of Baltic salmon in sea and rivers has increased over time, and at present they represent about half of the total fishing mortality. In particular, the offshore trolling fishery for salmon has developed rapidly since the 1990s and early 2000s. According to updated estimates, the total landed (retained) catch from recreational trolling has in recent years ranged from about 15 000 to 25 000 salmon per year.• Since the 1990s, production of wild salmon smolts has gradually increased in the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland. For most rivers in Gulf of Bothnia smolt production is pre-dicted to increase slightly in 2021. Long-term trends for smolt production in southern Main Basin rivers have remained stable or slightly decreasing.• The current (2020) total wild production in all Baltic Sea rivers is about 2.7 million smolts, corresponding to about 71% of overall potential smolt production capacity. In addition, about 4.7 million hatchery reared smolts were released into the Baltic Sea in 2020.• Out of 17 analytically assessed wild salmon stocks, 7 have reached MSY level with very high certainty, especially in the northern Baltic Sea.• In the Gulf of Finland, wild Estonian rivers show recovery. As assessed previously, most weak stocks are located in the Main Basin. Several of the rivers in this area are far below a good state and have showed a negative development in recent years.• The exploitation rate of Baltic salmon in the commercial sea fisheries has been reduced to such a low level that most stocks (for which analytical projections are currently avail-able) are predicted to maintain present status or recover at current levels of fishing pres-sure and natural mortality. However, due to local environmental issues, many weak stocks are not expected to recover without longer term stock-specific rebuilding measures, including fisheries restrictions in estuaries and rivers, habitat restoration and removal of potential migration obstacles. In particular, nearly all Main Basin stocks re-quire such measures.

History

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • FRSG

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative

WGBAST

Series

ICES Scientific Reports

Volume

3

Issue

26

Contributors (Editors)

Martin Kesle

Contributors (Authors)

Victoria Amosova; Jānis Bajinskis; Rafal Bernas; Elin Dahlgren; Johan Dannewitz; Piotr Debowski; Anders Kagervall; Martin Kesler; Marja-Liisa Koljonen; Antanas Kontautas; Tuomas Leinonen; Adam Lejk; Katarina Magnusson; Samu Mäntyniemi; Katarzyna Nadolna-Altyn; Tapani Pakarinen; Stefan Palm; Stig Pedersen; Atso Romakkaniemi; Harry Vincent Strehlow; Stefan Stridsman; Susanne Tärnlund; Sergey Titov; Rūdolfs Tutiņš; Rebecca Whitlock; Simon Weltersbach

ISSN

2618-1371

Recommended citation

ICES. 2021. Baltic Salmon and Trout Assessment Working Group (WGBAST). ICES Scientific Reports. 3:26. 331 pp. https://doi.org/10.17895/ices.pub.7925

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