Essential coastal habitats for fish in the Baltic Sea

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

  • Author: Kraufvelin, Patrik

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Pekcan-Hekim, Zeynep

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Bergström, Ulf

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Florin, Ann-Britt

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Lehikoinen, Annukka

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Mattila, Johanna

    Åbo Akademi University, Finland

  • Author: Arula, Timo

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Briekmane, Laura

    Institute of Food Safety Animal Health and Environment, Latvia

  • Author: Brown, Elliot John

    Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Celmer, Zuzanna

    National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland

  • Author: Dainys, Justas

    Nature Research Centre, Lithuania

  • Author: Jokinen, Henri

    University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Author: Kääriä, Petra

    Helsinki Commission - Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, Finland

  • Author: Kallasvuo, Meri

    Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finland

  • Author: Lappalainen, Antti

    Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finland

  • Author: Lozys, Linas

    Nature Research Centre, Lithuania

  • Author: Møller, Peter

    Fisch und Umwelt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

  • Author: Orio, Alessandro

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Rohtla, Mehis

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Saks, Lauri

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Snickars, Martin

    Åbo Akademi University, Finland

  • Author: Støttrup, Josianne Gatt

    Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Sundblad, Göran

    AquaBiota Water Research, Sweden

  • Author: Taal, Imre

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Ustups, Didzis

    Institute of Food Safety Animal Health and Environment, Latvia

  • Author: Verliin, Aare

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Vetemaa, Markus

    University of Tartu, Estonia

  • Author: Winkler, Helmut

    University of Rostock, Germany

  • Author: Wozniczka, Adam

    National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland

  • Author: Olsson, Jens

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

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Many coastal and offshore fish species are highly dependent on specific habitat types for population maintenance. In the Baltic Sea, shallow productive habitats in the coastal zone such as wetlands, vegetated flads/lagoons and sheltered bays as well as more exposed rocky and sandy areas are utilized by fish across many life history stages including spawning, juvenile development, feeding and migration. Although there is general consensus about the critical importance of these essential fish habitats (EFH) for fish production along the coast, direct quantitative evidence for their specific roles in population growth and maintenance is still scarce. Nevertheless, for some coastal species, indirect evidence exists, and in many cases, sufficient data are also available to carry out further quantitative analyses. As coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea are often found in areas that are highly utilized and valued by humans, they are subjected to many different pressures. While cumulative pressures, such as eutrophication, coastal
construction and development, climate change, invasive species and fisheries, impact fish in coastal areas, the conservation coverage for EFH in these areas remains poor. This is mainly due to the fact that historically, fisheries management and nature conservation are not integrated neither in research nor in management in Baltic Sea countries. Setting joint objectives for fisheries management and nature conservation would hence be pivotal for improved protection of EFH in the Baltic Sea. To properly inform management, improvements in the development of monitoring strategies and mapping methodology for EFH are also needed. Stronger international cooperation between Baltic Sea states will facilitate improved management outcomes across ecologically arbitrary boundaries. This is especially important for successful implementation of international agreements and legislative directives such as the Baltic Sea Action Plan, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, but also for improving the communication of information related to coastal EFH among researchers, stakeholders, managers and decision makers. In this paper, efforts are made to
characterize coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea, their importance and the threats/pressures they face, as well as their current conservation status, while highlighting knowledge gaps and outlining perspectives for future work in an ecosystem-based management framework
Original languageEnglish
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume204
Pages (from-to)14-30
ISSN0272-7714
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

ID: 144815413