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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 689:109-126 (2022)  -  DOI:

New perspectives on Eastern Baltic cod movement patterns from historical and contemporary tagging data

Monica Mion1,*, Christopher A. Griffiths1,2,3, Valerio Bartolino1, Stefanie Haase4, Annelie Hilvarsson1, Karin Hüssy5, Maria Krüger-Johnsen5, Uwe Krumme4, Regitze Benedicte Carlstedt Lundgreen5, Johan Lövgren1, Kate McQueen4,6, Maris Plikshs7, Krzysztof Radtke8, Jari Raitaniemi9, Michele Casini1,10

1Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources, Turistgatan 5, 45330 Lysekil, Sweden
2University of Sheffield, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
3Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, UK
4Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, Alter Hafen Süd 2, 18069 Rostock, Germany
5Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Kemitorvet, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
6Institute of Marine Research, PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway
7Fish Resource Research Department, Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment, 3 Lejupes Street, 1076 Riga, Latvia
8National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Ul. Kołłątaja 1, 81-332 Gdynia, Poland
9Natural Resources Institute Finland, Luke, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4 A, 20520 Turku, Finland
10University of Bologna, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Via Selmi 3, 40126 Bologna, Italy
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the movement patterns and area utilisation of commercially important fish stocks is critical to management. The Eastern Baltic cod Gadus morhua, one of the most commercially and ecologically important stocks in the Baltic Sea, is currently one of the most severely impacted fish stocks in Europe. During the last 2 decades, this stock has experienced drastic decreases in population size, distributional range, individual growth and body condition, all of which may have affected the movements between different areas of the Baltic Sea. In this study, we investigated the seasonal movement patterns of Eastern Baltic cod by re-analysing historical tagging data collected by the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea (1955-1988) and compared historical patterns with contemporary data from a recent international tagging experiment (2016-2019). Our re-analyses of historical data showed the presence of different movement behaviours, i.e. resident or seasonally migratory, with larger distances moved by cod released in the northern and central Baltic areas compared to cod released in the southern Baltic areas. Furthermore, trends from the recent tagging experiment indicate a persistent resident strategy in the southern Baltic area. These findings present additional information on general movement patterns and area utilisation of Eastern Baltic cod that could inform future management actions and aid stock recovery.

KEY WORDS: Baltic Sea · Gadus morhua · Fish movement · Mark-recapture · Historical data · Home range · Kernel density estimation · Generalized additive model

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Cite this article as: Mion M, Griffiths CA, Bartolino V, Haase S and others (2022) New perspectives on Eastern Baltic cod movement patterns from historical and contemporary tagging data. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 689:109-126.

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