Impact of the environmental changes in the northeastern Baltic on the Estonian fishery in the 1990s
The duration of ice-coverage is one of the key environmental factors directly affecting the northeastern Baltic fisheries. The 1990s can be characterized as years of relatively warm winters and reduced ice-coverage. As a result, the open sea trawl fishery became possible year round, except in the most eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and close to the coast. The increased possibilities for the winter trawl fishery encouraged Estonian fishermen to employ bigger open sea trawlers. At the same time, substantial declines in demersal fish stocks occurred, in part due to environmental processes. This included reduced inflow of saline water from the North Sea that resulted in reduced salinity and oxygen levels in the northeastern Baltic and contributed to the collapse of bottom trawling for cod and flounder. These resulted in significant changes in the exploitation pattern on the main fish stocks of herring, sprat, cod. and flounder with important socio-economical implications for Estonia.
Article from Marine Science Symposia Vol. 219 - "Hydrobiological variability in the ICES Area, 1990-1999", symposium held in Edinburgh, 8-10 August 2001. To access the remaining articles please click on the keyword "MSS Vol. 219".