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Is the cod back on the Swedish west coast?

News: Dec 05, 2018


Resent research provide evidence suggesting that local cod stocks are still present at the Swedish Skagerrak coast. This indicates either recolonization or that remnants of previous local cod stocks can be found.

The discovery of locally spawning Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) along the Swedish west coast—although at low biomasses—is an encouraging finding that highlights the needs for endurance in protective measures and of detailed surveys to secure intraspecific biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Dramatic and persistent reductions in Atlantic cod have been common in many coastal areas in the North Atlantic. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the abundance of adult cod on the Swedish west coast have almost disappeared.

To survey the present cod spawning activity and stock composition, the researchers initiated egg trawling over two consecutive years in combination with population genetic analyses in which the origin of the eggs was determined.

Now they have found encouraging evidence of cod spawning at the Swedish Skagerrak coast, suggesting recolonization or that local cod has recovered. It also was found that cod eggs from the coast were similar to local coastal cod but dissimilar to the two major neighbouring cod stocks in the Kattegat and North Sea, even if the patterns of the genetic structure in the inshore areas are difficult to fully disentangle. Atlantic cod in the North Sea-Skagerrak area seem to be a mixture of co-existing forms: local cod completing their entire life cycle in fjords and sheltered areas, and oceanic populations showing homing behaviours.


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Page Manager: Tina Johansen|Last update: 12/5/2018

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