This core indicator evaluates the abundance of typical species of fish, such as perch and flounder, in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea, to assess environmental status. As a rule, Good Environmental Status (GES) is achieved when the abundance is above a set site and species specific boundary. The current evaluation assesses status during the period 2009-2013.
Key message figure 1: Status assessment results based evaluation of the indicator
'abundance of key coastal fish species'.
The assessment is carried out using Scale 3 HELCOM assessment units (defined in the HELCOM Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Annex 4). Click to enlarge.
GES is achieved in 29 out of a total of 49 monitoring
locations and in 16 out of the 24 coastal HELCOM assessment units that were assessed. Generally, GES is more often reached in
areas in the northern and eastern parts of the Baltic Sea where perch is
the key species. In the western and southern areas where flounder is
the key species, the environmental status is more often sub-GES.
The level of confidence of the assessment
differs across areas, and is higher in areas with the longest data
series dating back to the late 1990s. The monitoring areas in the
northern and eastern parts of the Baltic Sea, where the environmental status is
better, are generally considered as reference areas for environmental
monitoring with low human impact, whereas the southern areas are
generally more impacted.
indicator is applicable in the coastal waters of all the countries bordering the Baltic Sea.
Coastal fish communities are of high ecological
and socio-economic importance in the Baltic Sea, both for ecosystem functioning
and for the recreational and small-scale coastal commercial fishery. As such,
the state of coastal fish communities generally reflects the ecological state
in coastal ecosystems.
Changes in the long-term development of the
abundance of coastal fish species mainly reflect effects of increased water
temperature and eutrophication in coastal areas and/or changes in the level of
human exploitation or predation pressure.
BSAP segment and objectives
Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals
Thriving and balanced communitites of plants and animals
Viable population of species
1.2. Population size (abundance biomass)
D3 Commercial fish and shellfish
3.2 Reproductive capacity of the stock
D4 Food webs
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups and species
HELCOM (2015) Abundance of coastal fish key species. HELCOM core indicator report. Online. [Date Viewed], [Web link].
Core indicator report – web-based version October 2015 (pdf)
Extended core indicator report – outcome of CORESET II project (pdf)