Catch from test fishing including common roach and European perch. Photo: David Andersson.
Coastal fish communities are important components of the Baltic Sea ecosystems, and many species of coastal fish are also of a high socio-economic value for coastal societies, small scale coastal fisheries and recreational fishing. The status of coastal fish communities serves as an indicator of coastal ecosystem health, reflecting pressures like eutrophication, hazardous substances, fishing and degradation of coastal habitats. The structure of coastal fish communities is also dependent on the impact of climate change, and species of coastal fish might also modify other ecosystem components through ecological interactions. Given the dramatic changes in Baltic Sea ecosystems and coastal fish communities during the last decades, attention and focus should be devoted to this component of the ecosystem.
In the Baltic Sea Action Plan, the HELCOM Contracting Parties have agreed that coastal fish constitute an imperative part of the Baltic Sea total biodiversity and have a structuring role in coastal food webs. Furthermore, coastal fisheries are of great importance to society from both a socio-economic and a cultural point of view. The Contracting Parties furthermore acknowledge that a substantial part of the coastal fish community of the Baltic Sea consists of freshwater species, only managed at a national level.
The FISH-PRO II project is aimed to further develop the assessment and monitoring methodologies and to support ecosystem-based management of coastal fish communities.
Jens Olsson Project Manager
Swedish University of Agricultural SciencesDepartment of Aquatic Resources (SLU-Aqua)Institute of Coastal ResearchSweden
email@example.comTel: +46 104784144