Every fish is important

                 It is an unfortunate fact that many species of fish have been prosecuted to near total depletion. Fortunately, sustainability and stock recovery have risen significantly in importance to many fisheries managers in recent years. This is leading to the recovery of many fish stocks including the Baltic cod. However, these rebounding populations have to cope with ecosystems that have been significantly changed by humans in other ways. In the case of the Baltic cod, their prey, sprat and herring, have also been depleted. As a result, there is not enough forage fish to sustain the rising population of cod. This is leading to extensive malnutrition and cannibalism within the cod population. Scientists are now attempting to incorporate this new idea of relative species distributions into their management and recovery plans. Hopefully this case will raise awareness and provide helpful insights for other stock recovery efforts. It is important to realize that ecosystems are multidimensional and we can not expect to change only one thing at a time.

Unhealthy Cod

5 thoughts on “Every fish is important”

  1. Wow! That is amazing how thin that fish is! It will be interesting to see if the cod stock plummets after this, or if they can modify their habitats and expand the amount of area they inhabit to continue to exist in large numbers. The article says that this is currently the only area that these cod eggs can survive in. Maybe once they hatch and grow, they can move into another body of water? Or maybe the stock of the sprat and herring will increase and be able to sustain the population? I’m definitely curious to see what will happen in years to come!

  2. Wow! It’s amazing how thin that fish is! It will be interesting to see if the stock plummets after this or if the cod can remain at higher numbers. The article said that this is currently the only area where the cod eggs can survive, but maybe the fish can learn to move out of the vicinity once they hatch and grow. Or maybe the populations of sprat and herring will begin to increase and they will have a sufficient food source again. It is definitely something I will be curious to hear about in years to come.

  3. is that the only area that cod are starving and eating eachother? if so couldent they consider just moving the population to a productive enviroment that can support them?

  4. I know cod stocks in New England have had a similar problem. The ecosystem has adapted to the lower numbers of cod and they just are not recovering.

    As far as range changes, I really do not know much about it. I would imagine that they are fairly well adapted to their current location. It would probably take human transplantation to introduce them elsewhere. If this happened they might be an invasive species.

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