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Fisheries management

Photo:Ulf Manhammar/AzotePhoto: Ulf Manhammar/Azote

Managing mixed stocks of fish as if they were one single genetic population will risk overfishing of small stocks. Examples include eradication of small local fjord stocks of cod along the Swedish west coast managed as part of the large North Sea stock, as well as overharvesting salmon from small populations when fishing on mixed stocks in the Baltic Sea.

Analysing the genetic diversity structure is the most and usually the only accurate method to identify and discriminate between fish stocks. Harvested and fished stocks are under risk of temporal changes and need continuous monitoring.

General recommendations

  • Before any species of fish, shellfish and algae are harvested a comprehensive genetic mapping of the level of diversity and genetic structure should be performed.
  • Regular monitoring will be needed in all fisheries but is of particular concern in mixed stock fisheries.

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