Published: 2014-04-22

ICES Science Fund grants Maciej Tomczak support to reconstruct Baltic flounder stock biomass

BNI researcher and food web expert Maciej Tomczak, has been granted support from the ICES Science Fund. The project, "100 years of Baltic Sea changes", will reconstruct the Baltic flounder stock biomass since 1906 with the aim of understanding the collapse of the stock and explain factors influencing its dynamics.

Increase and collapse of the flounder stocks

Flounder has, from both an ecological and economic perspective, been an important species for Baltic Sea fisheries during the last centuries.

Historically, catches reached a maximum in a very short time with approximately 60 000 tons caught in the 1930s, but rapidly collapsed in the beginning of the 1940s. Catches then fluctuated, but stayed at a relatively low level in comparison with the 1930's levels.

The reasons behind this rapid increase and collapse are unknown. Was is due to an environmental factor or a human impact?

Answering an ecological puzzle using catch data

The researchers will now try to answer the ecological puzzle of the flounder stocks and their dynamics. Their first step is to reconstruct Baltic flounder stock biomass dynamics in the light of environmental conidtions.

To achieve this, historical catch data (from 1906) and environmental conditions characteristics will be compiled and analysed. Long term datasets are considered  very useful in increasing our knowledge of stock and ecosystem dynamics. They usually contain different combinations of natural conditions and human pressures, which give a lot of information to help predict the biomass and recruitment fluctuations.

ICES Science fund

The ICES Science Fund supports innovative projects developed in collaboration with academic and government institutions from ICES member countries.

The lead scientist within the project is Anna Luzenczyk at the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Poland. Maciej Tomczak, Baltic Nest Institute, is co-scientist.

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Web editor: Marmar Nekoro

Updated: 2014-04-23
Baltic Nest Institute Sweden
Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, +46-8-16 37 18
Baltic Nest Institute Denmark
Aarhus University, Fredriksborgsvej 399
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark, +45 4630 1200
Baltic Nest Institute Finland
Finnish Environment Institute, P.O. Box 140
FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland, + 358 20 610 123