MEPS 431:293-297 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09205

COMMENT
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: management of Baltic cod stock requires an ecosystem approach

Christian Möllmann1,*, Thorsten Blenckner2, Michele Casini3, Anna Gårdmark4, Martin Lindegren5

1Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg, Grosse Elbstrasse 133, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
2Baltic Nest Institute, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
3Swedish Board of Fisheries, Institute of Marine Research, PO Box 4, 453 21 Lysekil, Sweden
4Institute of Coastal Research, Swedish Board of Fisheries, Skolgatan 6, 74242O Öregrund, Sweden
5National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Charlottenlund Slot, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

ABSTRACT: In a recent ‘As We See It’ article, Cardinale & Svedäng (2011; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 425:297–301) used the example of the Eastern Baltic (EB) cod stock to argue that the concept of ecosystem regime shifts, especially the potential existence of alternative stable states (or dynamic regimes), blurs the fact that human exploitation (i.e. fishing) is the strongest impact on marine ecosystems. They further concluded that single-species approaches to resource management are functioning and that ecosystem-based approaches are not necessary. We (1) argue that the recent increase in the EB cod stock is inherently uncertain, (2) discuss the critique of the regime shift concept, and (3)  describe why the EB cod stock dynamics demonstrates the need for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.


KEY WORDS: Baltic cod · Climate · Ecosystem approach · Regime shifts · Hysteresis · Uncertainty


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Cite this article as: Möllmann C, Blenckner T, Casini M, Gårdmark A, Lindegren M (2011) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: management of Baltic cod stock requires an ecosystem approach. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 431:293-297. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09205

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