The Department of Aquatic Resources is currently evaluating the effects on fish stocks in a number of protected areas that have recently been implemented in Swedish waters. Besides following the development in specific areas, the research aims to develop general guidelines on how to design protected areas to gain both ecosystems and the fisheries.
Implementing protected areas where fishing is prohibited is an important and debated instrument to manage fisheries and protect sensitive aquatic habitats. There are several different types of protected areas. No-take areas, seasonal closures and areas where a particular method of fishing is prohibited are some common examples.
Previous experiences of the impact of protected areas have shown that they often provide both more and larger fish and that they also may have a positive effect on fish stocks (and the fisheries) in the surrounding areas. On governmental orders six marine protected areas with no-take zone have been established in Swedish waters, three on the west coast and three in the Baltic Sea. The largest no-take zone in freshwater is in lake Vättern.
Links to specific case-studies
• Gotska Sandön
• Södra Kattegatt
• Whitefish in Bothnian bay
• Lake Vättern