The Baltic Sea comprises a heterogeneous oceanographic environment influencing the spatial and temporal potential for reproductive success of cod (Gadus morhua) and sprat (Sprattus sprattus) in the different spawning basins. Hence, to quantify stock and recruitment dynamics, it is necessary to resolve species-specific regional reproductive success in relation to size, structure, and distribution of the spawning stock. Furthermore, as species and fisheries interactions vary between areas, it is necessary to include these interactions on an area-specific basis. Therefore, area-disaggregated multispecies virtual population analyses (MSVPA) were performed for interacting species cod, herring (Clupea harengus), and sprat in the different subdivisions of the Central Baltic. The MSVPA runs revealed distinct spatial trends in population abundance, spawning biomass, recruitment, and predation-induced mortality. Results, when evaluated with respect to trends in population sizes from research surveys, were similar for the cod and sprat stocks but different for herring. Horizontal distributions from MSVPA runs and research surveys indicate that cod and sprat undergo migrations between basins during different life stages. This is an observation potentially influencing estimates for the different stock components but not affecting the overall stock sizes.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|