Starving Baltic Sea cod produce fewer eggs
During the past two decades, eastern Baltic cod has suffered from the disappearance of larger individuals, a decrease in the mean length at sexual maturity and a drastic decrease in individual body condition, raising concerns among fisheries science and managers.
This study aims to improve the understanding of the possible effects that changes in size composition and body condition may have on the reproductive potential of the stock. Outcomes shows that the current individual potential fecundity of this cod stock is positively correlated with individual length and nutritional status.
Therefore, present results suggest that the current low condition and small size have a negative impact on egg production. Overlooking these specific biological features may lead to an overestimation of the stock reproductive potential, possibly masking the need for stricter management.