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Institute of

OF Baltic Sea Fisheries


Adaptation of the Western Baltic Coastal Fishery to Climate Change

Adaptation of the Western Baltic Coastal Fishery to Climate Change

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.

Background and Objective

Many target species undergo dramatic changes in their productivity and biogeography, mainly related to ocean warming. However, knowledge on the impact and threats on fish biodiversity in the Western Baltic Sea and the adaptive capacity of local fisheries with respect to future climate change is lacking.

The main goal of the project balt_ADAPT is to provide new scientific knowledge on the vulnerability of the Western Baltic fish community to climate change, developing tools for an ecosystem-based management and for the adaptation of the Western Baltic Sea fisheries. These tools will support policy makers in achieving a sustainable use of the fisheries resources under the effects of future climate change.


As a first step of the project, "Climate Vulnerability Assessments" are implemented by assessing the dimension of climate-induced changes in the marine environment and the sensitivity and response of the fish community to climate-related environmental changes. In a second step, the adaptive capacity of the coastal fisheries is examined.

An indicator-based valuation system for biodiversity and the Baltic food web is developed, which will be used to evaluate the status of the ecosystem. Moreover, this indicator-based system will be used for the implementation of an ecosystem-based management in the Western Baltic Sea, followed by an assessment of management strategies and a summary on the results of climate adaptation scenarios.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


11.2020 - 10.2023

More Information

Project status: ongoing


  1. 0

    Moyano M, Illing B, Akimova A, Alter K, Bartolino V, Börner G, Clemmesen C, Finke A, Gröhsler T, Kotterba P, Livdane L, Mittermayer F, Moll D, Nordheim L von, Peck M, Schaber M, Polte P (2022) Caught in the middle: bottom-up and top-down processes impacting recruitment in a small pelagic fish. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries, DOI:10.1007/s11160-022-09739-2

  2. 1

    Polte P, Gröhsler T, Kotterba P, Nordheim L von, Moll D, Santos J, Rodriguez-Tress P, Zablotski Y, Zimmermann C (2021) Reduced reproductive success of Western Baltic herring (Clupea harengus) as a response to warming winters. Front Mar Sci 8:589242, DOI:10.3389/fmars.2021.589242

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