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Past and Current Trends of Coastal Predatory Fish in the Baltic Sea with a Focus on Perch, Pike, and Pikeperch

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Coastal Research Skolgatan 6, 74242 Öregrund, Sweden
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract

Coastal predatory fish are of key importance for the provisioning of ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea. Worldwide, however, there has been a general and sharp decline in predatory fish populations, in turn threatening the viability and function of marine ecosystems. On the basis of the literature, the past (data until the 2000s) and current (data until early and mid 2010s) trends in abundance of coastal predatory fish in the Baltic Sea are reviewed in this paper. Potentially important impacting factors behind the temporal development of the populations and measures to strengthen and restore them are also discussed. Available data from coastal fish monitoring programs suggest a stable or increasing abundance of coastal predatory fish as a functional group and for the species perch in the majority of areas assessed in the Baltic Sea. For pike and pikeperch, data to support assessments is scarce, but suggest substantial declines in the abundance of both species in most assessed areas. The impacting factors behind these patterns vary between species and areas, but include climate, habitat exploitation, fishing, and species-interactions in the coastal food web. Measures to restore and support coastal predatory fish communities should follow an ecosystem-based approach to management and include efforts to regulate fisheries sectors in combination with habitat protection and restoration. View Full-Text
Keywords: status assessment; HELCOM; impacts; measures status assessment; HELCOM; impacts; measures
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Olsson, J. Past and Current Trends of Coastal Predatory Fish in the Baltic Sea with a Focus on Perch, Pike, and Pikeperch. Fishes 2019, 4, 7.

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