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Sustainability perspectives on contemporary fisheries. Where have all the fishes gone?

This online course is aimed for those of you who want to learn more about fish and fisheries. During lectures given in the evening, you will learn about how to combine lakes and seas full of life with sustainable fisheries. The course provides a broad overview of current and future challenges for sustainable fisheries.

Fishes play important roles in ecosystems by structuring them and by transferring nutrients up and down in the food webs. They are also important to humans as a food source and income. There is a current concern regarding fish stock depletion, and scientists as well as policymakers around the world are working towards sustainable fisheries goals.

At this course you will meet lecturers with different specialties regarding fish and fisheries, such as marine biologists, limnologists and evolutionary ecologists. You will also meet experts on the fishing industry and sustainable fisheries. You will learn how fish stocks are managed today, and how they could be managed in the future. The course will give you basic understanding of the influence of fisheries on ecosystems, and of the function and significance of fisheries for human societies, in Sweden and globally.


MX0143 Sustainability perspectives on contemporary fisheries. Where have all the fishes gone?, 7.5 Credits

Hållbarhetsperspektiv på nutida fiske. Vart har alla fiskarna tagit vägen?


Environmental Science

Education cycle

Bachelor’s level


Title Credits Code
Single module 7.5 0101

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirementsBachelor’s level (G1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge corresponding to basic eligibility for higher education


The aim of the course is to provide a broad overview around current and future challenges for a sustainable fishery. After finishing the course, the student should:

• Describe the significance of fish in the global food system

• Describe an overall status for the fish stocks based on a number of global and national examples

• Account for basic characteristics of Swedish and international fisheries management

• Discuss different aspects of sustainability (environmental, social, economic) and different sustainability challenges that the fisheries management faces today and will face in the future

• Describe a number of new possible directions for increased sustainability in fisheries.


The course gives an overview of the state of the fish and its significance as food and other ecosystem services, based on national and international examples. Current fisheries policies and management, as well as a number of sustainability challenges that fisheries management face, are described. The three pillars of sustainability, namely environmental, economic and social aspects, are accounted for. A number of new directions which can make future fisheries more sustainable are discussed.

Tuition is mainly performed as lectures from scientists and different stakeholders, combined with discussion groups. There can also be individual tasks, or tasks performed as group work, including presentations to the other students. A written assignment and presentation of the assignment is compulsary.

All teaching will take place online, since the course is given as a distance course fully online.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed examination and approved written assignment and approved presentation of the assignment.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

The course is student run and is a part of CEMUS (Centre for Environment and Development Studies) which is a collaboration with Uppsala University (

The study pace is 25% over one term with the predominating part of the curriculumn during evenings.

Responsible department

Department of Aquatic Resources

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)

Grading criteria

There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Litterature list

Introduction, where have all the fishes gone? Jonas Hentati-Sundberg

Sustainable fishing

National Geographic Society

Cooperatives, concessions, and co-management on the Pacific coast of Mexico

McCay, B. J., Micheli, F., Ponce-Díaz, G., Murray, G., Shester, G., Ramirez-Sanchez, S., & Weisman, W.

Incentives, social–ecological feedbacks and European fisheries

Österblom, H., Sissenwine, M., Symes, D., Kadin, M., Daw, T., & Folke, C.

Marine protected areas. Stefan Skoglund

The impact of marine reserves: do reserves work and does reserve size matter?

Halpern, B. S.

Transitions toward co-management: the process of marine resource management devolution in three east African countries

Cinner, J.E., Daw, T.M., McClanahan, T.R., Muthiga, N., Abunge, C., Hamed, S., Mwaka, B., Rabearisoa, A., Wamukota, A., Fisher, E., Jiddawi N.

Fish as a food resource. Malin Jonell

Will fish be part of future healthy and sustainable diets?

Bogard, J. R., Farmery, A. K., Little, D. C., Fulton, E. A., & Cook, M.

Bycatches and developing equipment. Sara Königsson

Competition for the fish–fish extraction from the Baltic Sea by humans, aquatic mammals, and birds

Hansson, S., Bergström, U., Bonsdorff, E., Härkönen, T., Jepsen, T., Kautsky, L., Lundström, K., Lunneryd, S-G., Ovegård, M., Salmi, J., Sendek, D., & Vetemaa, M.

Low impact and fuel efficient fishing—Looking beyond the horizon

Suuronen, P., Chopin, F., Glass, C., Løkkeborg, S., Matsushita, Y., Queirolo, D., & Rihan, D.

Recreational fishing. Göran Sundblad

The role of recreational fishing in global fish crises

Cooke, S. J., & Cowx, I. G.

Recreational sea fishing in Europe in a global context—Participation rates, fishing effort, expenditure, and implications for monitoring and assessment

Hyder, K., Weltersbach, M. S., Armstrong, M., Ferter, K., Townhill, B., Ahvonen, A., et al. & Borch, T.

Governing the recreational dimension of global fisheries

Arlinghaus, R., Abbott, J.K., Fenichel, E.P., Carpenter, S.R., Hunt, L.M., Alós, J., Klefoth, T., Cooke, S.J., Hilborn, R., Jensen, O.P., Wilberg, M.J., Post, J.R., Manfredo, M.J.


Catch me if you can

Evolutionary induced effects of fishing. Shaun Killen

A physiological perspective on fisheries-induced evolution

Hollins, J., Thambithurai, D., Koeck, B., Crespel, A., Bailey, D. M., Cooke, S. J., Lindström, J., Parsons, K. J., & Killen, S. S.

Shoal size as a key determinant of vulnerability to capture under a simulated fishery scenario

Thambithurai, D., Hollins, J., Van Leeuwen, T., Rácz, A., Lindström, J., Parsons, K., & Killen, S. S.

Current research: management based on ecosystems. Andreas Bryhn

Key principles of marine ecosystem-based management

Long, R. D., Charles, A., & Stephenson, R. L.

Ecosystem-based fisheries management: Perception on definitions, implementations, and aspirations.

Trochta, J. T., Pons, M., Rudd, M. B., Krigbaum, M., Tanz, A., & Hilborn, R.

Freshwater fisheries. Katarina Magnusson

  • literature to be announced

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19030 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level (G1N)
Subject: Environmental Science
Course code: MX0143 Application code: SLU-10229 Location: Uppsala Distance course: Yes Language: English Responsible department: Department of Aquatic Resources Pace: 25%