International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
BalticSeaEcoregion_FisheriesOverviews_2018.pdf (1.9 MB)

Baltic Sea Ecoregion - Fisheries overview

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posted on 2023-08-22, 08:24 authored by ICESICES

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The commercial fisheries in the Baltic Sea target only a few stocks. The pelagic fisheries, which account for the largest catches (by weight) in the region, are the mid-water trawl fisheries for sprat and herring. The most important demersal fisheries are the bottom-trawl fisheries for cod and flatfish. The demersal fisheries are concentrated in the south and west of the Baltic Sea, while the pelagic fisheries are more widespread. Basin-wide, commercial fishing effort has declined in recent years. Recreational fisheries in the Baltic catch a diversity of species, with cod and salmon accounting for the largest number of landings. Most of the Baltic Sea fish stocks with reference points are fished at or below FMSY. Multispecies analysis indicates that there is a trade-off between fishing cod or herring and sprat in the central Baltic Sea. Patterns of seabed habitat disturbance reflect the distribution of bottom-trawl fishing effort. A large and, for some species, probably unsustainable bycatch of seabirds (greater scaup, common guillemot, and long-tailed duck) occurs at times in the gillnet fisheries; these fisheries also catch individuals of the critically endangered Baltic Proper harbour porpoise.


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

  • ACOM


ICES Advice: Fisheries overviews

Recommended citation

ICES. 2018. Baltic Sea Ecoregion - Fisheries overview. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2018. ICES Advice 2018.

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