What fish is fished where?


Analysis of fisheries data in the Baltic coastal waters of Schleswig-Holstein

Commercial fisheries off the coasts of Schleswig-Holstein are important and productive, but they need also to respect protected species (e.g., harbour porpoise and sea birds) as well as habitats (reefs and sandbanks).

To evaluate the potential for any conflicts between protection and commercial use, we investigated the small scale distribution of effort and landings of the fisheries.

Background and Objective

The Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas (MELUR) of the federal State Schleswig-Holstein commissioned the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries to analyse, how fishing effort and landings were distributed spatially in the coastal waters for the years 2010 to 2012. MELUR intends to use this analysis to evaluate the potential for conflicts between fisheries and species and habitats that are to be protected under the EU’s Habitats and Birds Directives.


We identified and verified all available data about fishing effort and landings for different types of fishing gears in the years 2010 to 2012. Data were analysed under three aspects:

  • How is fishing effort spatially distributed in coastal waters of Schleswig-Holstein? What gears are used in what months and with what intensity?
  • How many fish is landed, differentiated by species, month and gear types?
  • How many fishing vessels were active in the coastal waters? This analysis was done separately for three different vessel length classes:
    • < 8 meter: without logbook obligation;
    • > 8 meter and < 15 meter: logbook, but without VMS (vessel monitoring system);
    • >= 15 meter: VMS data available.


Fisheries in coastal waters of Schleswig-Holstein can be separated in those using active and those using passive gears. For fisheries using active gears and longer than 15 meter, available VMS data were combined with logbook data to analyse distribution patterns on a relatively fine spatial scale (3x3 nautical miles). Although passive fisheries operate on much smaller spatial scales, it was not possible to carry out analyses, because without VMS data the only spatial information about the position of catches being available were the ICES rectangles (30x30 nm).

Vessels smaller than 8 meters are mainly operated by part-time fisheries using passive gears (nets) that don’t need to fill out logbooks. Therefore, we are not able to deliver scientifically sound results about their fishing effort patterns on fine geographic scales. However, this information is crucial for the development of effective management measures to protect habitats and minimize the bycatch of protected species.

The results were presented in a report to MELUR.


Involved Thünen-Partners


12.2012 - 6.2013

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished


hits: 1

  1. Dorrien C von, Krumme U, Grieger C, Miethe T, Stötera S (2013) Analye fischereilicher Daten in den schleswig-holsteinischen Küstengewässern der Ostsee. Hamburg: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 72 p
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