Fehmarn Belt science provision project: Fehmarn Belt fish and fisheries and related environmental investigations (38669)


Objectives and Background
The purpose of the project was to investigatemain exploited fish stock and fisheries dynamics in relation to the marineenvironment with focus on the Fehmarn Belt area in the Western Baltic Sea, andto provide science and research based investigations and results, as well asreports and scientific peer reviewed journal papers on this. The work wasassociated to the scientific baseline investigations (2009-13) and impactassessment of the projection of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link between Denmark andGermany involving  a science cooperationbetween DTU Aqua, Thünen-Institute and Femern Bælt A/S in order to generateknowledge on potential impacts of establishment of the fixed link. Focus was onthe most important commercial fisheries and fish stocks in the area (cod,herring, and sprat, but also flatfish and eels).
Tasks and Deliverables
The work covered WP0: Prospec­ting, planning and development of the investigations, producingoutline and main con­tents of the science provision contract and coordinationof tasks hereunder with DTU Aqua as inter­national project coordinator;  WP1: Review of  know­led­ge: Review, provision of data, andanalyses of selected historical data on fish stock and fisheries dynamics; WP2:Exten­sion of existing, standard research surveys and linking to standardsurvey time series to detect potential effects on important fish stocks; WP3: Evaluationof potential integrated effects on important fish stocks and fishe­ries; WP4:Evaluation of potential effects of change and variability in hydrograp­hi­calfeatures and conditions on recruitment for important fish stocks (cod, herring,sprat);  WP5: Evaluation ofherring occurrences and migra­tions as well as separation of spring and autumnspawning herring stock components in the area.
WP1 included provision of state of the art knowledgefrom historical surveys and review of quality of survey indices, commercialfisheries data, and information on recruitment dynamics with emphasis on fluctuationsin distribution and productivity with respect to environmental andanthropogenic drivers of change including species interactions and fisheries. 
WP 2 included extension of existing standard surveys in the near field area andanalyses of both the standard and extended time series with respect tovariability in distribution, density and abundance patterns of relevant stocks,as well developing advanced scientific survey evaluation models and methods fordoing this. 
WP 3 analyzed stock and fisheries dynamics by use and developmentof complex multi-fleet-multi-stock bio-economic management evaluation modelsperforming analyses on a very high spatial and temporal resolution scale usingintegrated fisheries, stock and survey data. The models evaluated differentmanagement options and scenarios relevant for the establishment of the fixedlink. 
WP4 evaluated variability in recruitment and important spawning areas accordingto hydrographic features and in relation to impact of the fixed link amongother by use and further development of complex hydro-dynamic models. 
WP 5evaluated herring stock occurrence and migration patterns in the Baltic areasby use of genetic identity markers, otolith micro-structures and informationfrom fisheries and research surveys in order to evaluate impact of the fixedlink. 
The project has besides a long row of project reports produced around 30scientific peer reviewed journal papers where DTU Aqua are first author on morethan half and co-author on more than 20 of the papers. 
The project was coordinated by DTU Aqua.
The project was funded by the 3 partners with external Funding from Femern Bælt A/S.
Effective start/end date01/01/200931/12/2013


  • Research area: Fisheries Management --- Research area: Fish Biology --- Research area: Marine Living Resources --- Research area: Population Genetics