This indicator evaluates the status of the Baltic Sea area
based on salmon smolt production in rivers flowing into the sea, also making
use of additional supporting data on numbers of adult spawners. Determination
of whether Good Environmental Status (GES) is reached is based on a comparison
of estimated smolt production with an estimated potential smolt production
capacity. The evaluation results presented are mainly based on data from 2014.
Key message figure 1: Status assessment results based evaluation of the indicator
'abundance of salmon spawners and smolt'.
The assessment is carried out using Scale 2 HELCOM assessment units (defined in the HELCOM Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Annex 4). Click to enlarge.
In the Bothnian Bay and The Quark
areas, smolt production has increased in recent years due to higher numbers
of adult spawners ascending the rivers as a result of stricter management
measures. GES is achieved in three out of 15 rivers associated with these
assessment units, and it is probable that it will be achieved in 1-3 more
rivers within the next few years. In the Bothnian Sea area, smolt production is
low although showing slight signs of increase. In the Gulf of Finland, smolt
production is low but has recently shown signs of improvement and three
Estonian rivers are evaluated as having achieved GES, based on expert judgment.
Smolt production in rivers flowing into the Baltic Proper is low and does not
show any signs of improvement.
The level of confidence of the evaluation is moderate.
indicator is applicable in all the countries bordering the Baltic Sea, except Denmark and Germany.
Salmon is a long-distance migratory large predatory fish
species in the Baltic Sea marine ecosystem. Salmon abundance is mainly affected
by commercial fishing at sea and by barriers in rivers to reproduction areas.
This indicator has a linkage to the number of adult spawners ascending the
rivers and, hence, indirectly to the commercial and recreational fishing
pressure at the sea and in the river. The indicator also reflects the state of
the ecosystem as smolt production is dependent on river connectivity
(effect of dams) and the quality of spawning habitats.
BSAP segment and objectives
MSFD descriptor and criteria
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
Viable populations of species
1.2. Population size (abundance, biomass)
4.1 Productivity of key species or trophic groups (productivity)4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups and species
4.1 Productivity of key species or trophic groups (productivity)
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups and species
D3 Commercial fish and shellfish
3.2 Reproductive capacity of the stock
HELCOM (2015) Abundance of salmon spawners and smolt. 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)