Swedish Baltic Sea fisheries during 1868-1913: Spatio-temporal dynamics of catch and
By Henn Ojaveer, Kenneth Awebro, Hrefna M. Karlsdottir, Brian R. MacKenzie
Fisheries Research, Volume 87, Issues 2-3, History of marine animal populations and their exploitation in northern Europe, November 2007, Pages 137-145, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2007.07.010.
The current paper summarizes catch and effort data for Swedish fisheries in the Baltic Sea prior to the standardized recording of fish catches, evaluates spatial and temporal variations and gives interpretations of selected findings. Long-term datasets (1868-1913) of species having different environmental preferences (and of different origin) - marine, migratory and freshwater - are presented for several Swedish counties extending from the Bothnian Bay to the Bornholm Basin. Herring (Clupea harengus membras) was the most important commercial fish-based on landings and also on the amount of historical records available. In addition, herring landings have undoubtedly fluctuated the most. Other commercially important fish were cod (Gadus morhua), salmon and trout (Salmo spp.), flounder (Platichthys flesus), eel (Anguilla anguilla) and whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus). Different species exhibited different patterns of catch dynamics. In general, the 1880s and the 1890s can be characterized as `good fishing years' for the Swedish Baltic fisheries: catches of herring and cod were high while fishing effort indices were relatively stable. Sprat was not represented in the catch data and may have been recorded as herring. For several species, regions and time periods, catch-effort relationship exhibited clear coupling. However, in several cases, insufficient or lack of effort-related information hampered data interpretations. In summary, the Swedish fisheries during the late 19th century generally exploited the same species as presently (including a dominance by clupeids), but the relative contributions of individual species have changed.
Keywords: Fisheries history; Baltic Sea; Catch and effort data time-series; Swedish counties; Marine; Migratory and freshwater fish