Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Seals, birds and humans compete for fish in the Baltic Sea

Leave a Comment

Posted: 13 Nov 2017 07:47 AM PST  read full ScienceDaily article here

In Sweden and in other parts of Europe there are concerns that seals and birds compete with humans for fish resources. For the Baltic Sea, an international study now shows that this competition is a reality.

For some unknown reason, there has been such a dramatic reduction in eel that they are now considered critically endangered. Eel fishing has been drastically reduced and complete bans are being discussed. In this case as well, it is worth noting that the eel consumption by cormorants is at the same level as human fishing.

…the scientists conclude that the impacts of seals and birds (primarily cormorants) on fish stocks should be considered in future management plans. Both reductions in fishing quotas and wildlife predation rates should be considered when fish stocks decrease so precipitously.

Sture Hansson et al. Competition for the fish – fish extraction from the Baltic Sea by humans, aquatic mammals, and birds. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2017 DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsx207the increased populations of seals and fish-eating birds in the Baltic have resulted in a sometimes contentious debate over the effects of these animals on the fish stocks.

View all articles

Comments are closed