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Institute of

OF Baltic Sea Fisheries

Ongoing projects

What kind of fishing experience do you want?

Fishing for salmon in the Baltic Sea is not only a popular recreational activity, but also an important industry. By improving the protection of weak salmon populations in the Baltic Sea, it was decided in 2022 to limit the harvest of salmon to fish without adipose fin (stocked fish). At the same time, a bag limit of one salmon per day per angler was introduced. But what do anglers think of these new regulations and which fishing experience would they prefer?

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What kind of fishing experience do you want?

Acoustic telemetry on cod and flatfish in the Bay of Lübeck

How exactly do cod and flatfish live and survive in the brackish water environment of the Baltic Sea? We equip fish with transmitters so that they can tell us about their lives - and we better understand how they behave under changing environmental conditions.

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Acoustic telemetry on cod and flatfish in the Bay of Lübeck

Processing of German fisheries data for use in stock assessment of commercially used stocks in the Baltic Sea

Stock assessment involves fisheries data from all countries around the Baltic Sea. To ensure that the different national fisheries data can be smoothly merged into one single data set, sophisticated preliminary work from each fishery research institute is required – also from us.

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Processing of German fisheries data for use in stock assessment of commercially used stocks in the Baltic Sea

Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

In "CoastalFutures", we elaborate science-based concepts for sustainable management of coasts, marine ecosystems and their resources. We develop an innovative model system to test future use scenarios and support analyses of possible management options.

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Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

OTC-Smart Fishing - Sensorsystem für smarte Fischernetze

OTC-smartFishing entwickelt die Grundlagen für ein robustes Unterwasser- Kamerasystems mit KI-gestützter Bilderkennung für den Einsatz in der kommerziellen Fischerei und der Fischereiforschung. Damit wird es mittelfristig möglich zielgenau Meeresorganismen zu fangen - in der Fischerei und Fischerei-/Meeresforschung. Darüber hinaus ermöglicht dieses System eine ressourcenschonende, minimal-invasive Untersuchung der Fischfauna als Grundlage für eine nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung der Meere. Das Projekt ist Teil des Clusterprojekts des Ocean Technology Campus Rostock.

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OTC-Smart Fishing - Sensorsystem für smarte Fischernetze

Think Tank Coastal Fisheries 2045

What are the perspectives for German coastal fisheries in long-terms? This central question arises, when facing the crisis of German fisheries in the Baltic Sea or considering the current developments of Marine Spatial Planning and other issues in the North Sea.

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Think Tank Coastal Fisheries 2045

Structural Change Coastal Fisheries

Coastal fisheries change. Reduced catch opportunities put enormous economic pressure on the fishers. Thereby, fisheries are not exclusively a business. Fisheries is a centuries old cultural practice, which characterises coastal communities until now.

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Coastal use and climate change (SpaCePartiE)

Subproject 5 in SpaCeParti aims to investigate the spatial dynamics of herring spawning and its effects on recruitment using modern approaches from population genetics (GEOMAR) and otolith chemistry (Thünen). The analyzes focus on identifying population genetics of consecutive spawning cohorts, determining homing behavior and spawning locations of seasonally earlier or later emerging spawning components. In addition, the contribution of different spawning areas to the dynamics of adult populations is quantified. The results of the spatial patterns in the herring spawning process will be ...

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Coastal use and climate change (SpaCePartiE)

Does the efficiency of PAL to reduce harbor porpoise bycatch persist?

This project investigates whether the effect of PAL devices, which fishers in Schleswig-Holstein have been voluntarily attaching to their set nets since 2017 to avoid harbor porpoise bycatch, persists over long periods of time.

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Does the efficiency of PAL to reduce harbor porpoise bycatch persist?

Adaptation of the Western Baltic Coastal Fishery to Climate Change (balt_ADAPT)

The cumulative impacts of climate change, together with the prevailing fishing pressure, pose a threat to the coastal fisheries resources of the Western Baltic Sea.

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Fish stocks online (Fischbestände Online): Sustainable fish purchasing - but how?

Media and sourcing guides provide contradicting information on the condition of fish stocks. Can a fish dealer still offer North Sea cod without bad conscience? What about the state of herring in the Baltic Sea? Is there any sustainably harvested hake stock available?

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Fish stocks online (Fischbestände Online): Sustainable fish purchasing - but how?

Herring recruitment

To ensure an sustainable management of fish resources, natural mortality of a species' offspring (recruits) has to be incorporated into stock assessment methods.In the Data Collection Framework the Rügen Herring Larvae Survey monitors herring recruitment and with  the annual recruitment index provides an important forecast instrument for stock dynamics of Western Baltic herring. Additionally, the survey represents an essential base line to investigate the drivers and stressors of natural mortality reflected in the recruitment index every year.

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Herring recruitment

Coordination of data collection from commerical fisheries in the Baltic Sea

The Thünen institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries does not only data about fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, but is also involved in international cooperation, e.g. with the EU and other Baltic Sea countries.

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Coordination of data collection from commerical fisheries in the Baltic Sea

From a fish sample to stock assessment

Population models want to be fed with numbers of fish caught. However, at the landing site the fisher only report the landed weight, not the numbers of landed fish. Our expertise is to convert landing weights of the fisheries into numbers of herring or cod to provide the stock assessment models with the appropriate data feed.

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From a fish sample to stock assessment

Coastal fish monitoring in the Baltic Sea waters of Schleswig-Holstein (northern Germany)

In this project (KüFi2) a standardized coastal fish monitoring is developed for the coastal Baltic Sea areas of Schleswig-Holstein considering the guidelines of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

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Coastal fish monitoring in the Baltic Sea waters of Schleswig-Holstein (northern Germany)

Improving selectivity of trawls

Development of improved fishing methods, by means of increased gear selectivity.

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Improving selectivity of trawls

Age validation studies on wild fish: basis for accurate age determination

We would like to know the age of a fish as precisely and accurately as possible. Since fish do not swim around with an identification card, we have to interpret the ring structures in their ear stones (otoliths). To verify the relationship between the lighter and darker rings in the otoliths of fish and the true fish age, we carry out age validation experiments on wild fish.

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Age validation studies on wild fish: basis for accurate age determination

What is the catch of gillnet fishermen?

The gillnet fishery is a central pillar of the German fisheries in the Baltic Sea. We regularly sample the catches and by-catches on board of gillnetters.

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What is the catch of gillnet fishermen?

Impact of Natura 2000 management measures

Fisheries in marine protected areas should be specially regulated. We analyse the impact of these planned measures on fisheries.

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Fisheries research surveys: Monitoring of fish communities

Eine Seefahrt, die ist lustig… A research vessel cruise is mainly hard work onboard at sea, according to a fixed station grid and a tight schedule, under almost any weather condition. Specialized knowledge, routine and perseverance are required here.

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Fisheries research surveys: Monitoring of fish communities

HyFiVe - Hydrography on Fishing Vessels

In cooperation with the Leibnitz Institute for Baltic Sea Research and Hensel Elektronik GmbH, we are working on the development of an innovative system for use on fishing vessels for the autonomous acquisition, transmission and evaluation of hydrographic measurement data for interdisciplinary research.

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HyFiVe - Hydrography on Fishing Vessels

Improved calculations with fish data

A fish species forms different populations in its distribution area. These populations are called "stocks" in fisheries biology. The fish stocks of a species differ considerably in part because they are adapted to the particular environmental conditions of the marine area in which they live. We have more information for one stock and less for another, and stocks can have different levels of productivity. To account for these differences, we try to adapt population models to individual stocks in order to improve catch predictions.

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Improved calculations with fish data

Stella2

Wie können Beifänge von Meeressäugetieren und Seevögeln vermieden werden? Diese Frage soll im Rahmen eines vom Bundesamt für Naturschutz finanzierten Forschungsprojekts des Thünen-Instituts für Ostseefischerei in Zusammenarbeit mit dem NABU beantwortet werden.

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Stella2

Fishes of the Baltic Sea - counted once yearly

What is the status of a commercially used fish stock in the Baltic Sea – and how does it develop? Given that most stocks are “shared stocks”, this question is raised annually and can only be answered in cooperation with other Baltic Sea countries. The answer is highly important for both fishing industry and anglers, and conservationist.

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Fishes of the Baltic Sea - counted once yearly

Science onboard of German fishing vessels: Catch sampling in the Baltic Sea

Sampling the commercial fisheries of the Baltic Sea is one of our main tasks. For this purpose, our scientific observers regularly go to sea with fishermen to measure the catch on board. On land, we process unsorted catch samples from the fisheries to collect biological parameters like maturity and age.

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Science onboard of German fishing vessels: Catch sampling in the Baltic Sea

Red List Fish

As a contribution to the protection of fish species in German waters of the Baltic Sea, we assess with scientific methods whether fish speces are decllining so that they are threatened by extinction.

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Red List Fish

Baltic Sea Fisheries: A bank for our data

During our surveys and other investigations we collect a variety of data. To save these data so that we can find and work with them, we need a database, which is not available in a shop. Therefore the Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, in collaboration with the two other Fisheries Institutes in the Thünen Institute, develops a database that fits our needs.

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Baltic Sea Fisheries: A bank for our data

Recreational fishing in Germany

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Recreational fishing in Germany

When is Good Environmental Status achieved?

To measure, if and when the targets of the EU's Marine Strategie Framework Directive (MSFD) are achieved, we need a variety of indicators. We are developing them in national and international working groups.

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When is Good Environmental Status achieved?

German marine angling program

Next to the commercial fishery the recreational fishery plays an important role concerning the removal of biomass from fish stocks. For certain species recreational fishery catches can have a significant share of the total landings. In addition to its importance for the scientific stock assessment recreational fishery has particular commercial relevance.

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German marine angling program

German marine angling program

Next to the commercial fishery the recreational fishery plays an important role concerning the removal of biomass from fish stocks. For certain species recreational fishery catches can have a significant share of the total landings. In addition to its importance for the scientific stock assessment recreational fishery has particular commercial relevance.

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German marine angling program

How big is the bycatch?

We want to get better data, how many harbour porpoises, sea birds and protected fish species are bycaught in German Baltic Sea fisheries, especially in gill net fisheries.

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How big is the bycatch?

Cephalopod in a fisheries context

Squids, cuttlefishes and octopuses belong to the class of cephalopods and built together with snails and mussles the animal phylum: Mollusca. The outer shell, typical of most mussels and snails, is reduced or even absent in most species of cephalopods. The term cephalopoda comes from the Greek kephalos = head and podos = foot.

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Cephalopod in a fisheries context

Recreational fishery on salmon and sea trout

In the past, the impact of recreational fisheries (particular angling) on European marine fish stocks has often been neglected. Recent studies revealed that recreational catches can have a substantial magnitude compared to commercial catches for some European marine and diadromous fish stocks. In Germany, this seems particularly relevant for Atlantic salmon and sea trout in the Baltic Sea.

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Recreational fishery on salmon and sea trout

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