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Natale F.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Gibin M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Alessandrini A.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Vespe M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Paulrud A.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Several research initiatives have been undertaken to map fishing effort at high spatial resolution using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). An alternative to the VMS is represented by the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which in the EU became compulsory in May 2014 for all fishing vessels of length above 15 meters. The aim of this paper is to assess the uptake of the AIS in the EU fishing fleet and the feasibility of producing a map of fishing effort with high spatial and temporal resolution at European scale. After analysing a large AIS dataset for the period January-August 2014 and covering most of the EU waters, we show that AIS was adopted by around 75% of EU fishing vessels above 15 meters of length. Using the Swedish fleet as a case study, we developed a method to identify fishing activity based on the analysis of individual vessels' speed profiles and produce a high resolution map of fishing effort based on AIS data. The method was validated using detailed logbook data and proved to be sufficiently accurate and computationally efficient to identify fishing grounds and effort in the case of trawlers, which represent the largest portion of the EU fishing fleet above 15 meters of length. Issues still to be addressed before extending the exercise to the entire EU fleet are the assessment of coverage levels of the AIS data for all EU waters and the identification of fishing activity in the case of vessels other than trawlers. Copyright: © 2015 Natale et al.


Natale F.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Carvalho N.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Paulrud A.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water management
Fisheries Research | Year: 2015

Extending the definition of small scale fisheries is a recurrent issue in policy and research debates. A broader definition of small scale fisheries would need to encompass, in addition to vessel size attributes such as vessel length, variables relating to their local operational range, their social role in coastal communities and the economics of the enterprise. In this study, data mining and geospatial analysis techniques were used to explore the relationship between vessel characteristics and local operational range. The process relies heavily on the availability of detailed logbook data and involves two main steps: (1) clustering vessels on the basis of operational range attributes and (2) finding vessel characteristics that best match the operational range classes through machine learning algorithms. The analysis was carried out using the Swedish fishing fleet as a case study and considers the fishing activity of the entire fleet over the period 2007-2013. Swedish logbook data offers the advantage of providing precise spatial information on the location of the catch. Results clearly identified three operational range clusters: local, medium and long range. When considering engine power and vessel tonnage as explanatory variables, the classification algorithms were able to represent the operational range classes with a success rate of 94%. However, the fact that medium size vessels operate and compete in the same operational range class of small size vessels limits, in practice, the possibility of using vessel characteristics to represent univocally the local operational range characteristics of small scale fisheries, unless very high thresholds for power and tonnage are used. © 2015 The Authors.


PubMed | Swedish Agency for Marine and Water management and European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Several research initiatives have been undertaken to map fishing effort at high spatial resolution using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). An alternative to the VMS is represented by the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which in the EU became compulsory in May 2014 for all fishing vessels of length above 15 meters. The aim of this paper is to assess the uptake of the AIS in the EU fishing fleet and the feasibility of producing a map of fishing effort with high spatial and temporal resolution at European scale. After analysing a large AIS dataset for the period January-August 2014 and covering most of the EU waters, we show that AIS was adopted by around 75% of EU fishing vessels above 15 meters of length. Using the Swedish fleet as a case study, we developed a method to identify fishing activity based on the analysis of individual vessels speed profiles and produce a high resolution map of fishing effort based on AIS data. The method was validated using detailed logbook data and proved to be sufficiently accurate and computationally efficient to identify fishing grounds and effort in the case of trawlers, which represent the largest portion of the EU fishing fleet above 15 meters of length. Issues still to be addressed before extending the exercise to the entire EU fleet are the assessment of coverage levels of the AIS data for all EU waters and the identification of fishing activity in the case of vessels other than trawlers.


Waldo S.,AgriFood Economics Center | Paulrud A.,AgriFood Economics Center | Paulrud A.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2013

Individual transferable quota (ITQ) is a management measure that is widely discussed, not least in the reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy. While the system is expected to reduce overcapacity and improve economic performance, questions are raised concerning the future of small-scale fisheries. This paper uses a model for Swedish fisheries (the Swedish Resource Rent Model for the Commercial Fisheries, SRRMCF) where the economics and fleet structure in a potential Swedish ITQ-system are analysed. The model is an optimization model based on linear programming and data from the European Union's data collection framework. The modelling approach can readily be used by other member states. Three main conclusions can be drawn on how ITQs will affect fisheries: The fishing fleet measured in number of vessels will decrease by approximately 30-50%.Profitability will increase so that the fishing industry will be able to provide competitive wages and make a financial contribution to fisheries management.The system can be designed so that small-scale fisheries are not disadvantaged. © 2012 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.


Waldo S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Paulrud A.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2016

The fishing sector is a candidate for efficient climate policies because it is commonly exempted from greenhouse gas taxes and the fundamental problem of using a common pool resource is far from optimally solved. At the same time, fisheries management has other objectives. This study uses Swedish fisheries to analyse how the fishing sector and its climate impact are affected by regulations aiming at: (1) solving the common pool problem (2) taxing greenhouse gas emissions and (3) maintaining small-scale fisheries. The empirical approach is a linear programming model where the effects of simultaneously using multiple regulations are analyzed. Solving the common pool problem will lead to a 30 % reduction in emissions and substantially increase economic returns. Taxing greenhouse gas emissions will further reduce emissions. Policies for maintaining the small-scale fleet will increase the size of this fleet segment, but at the cost of lower economic returns. However, combining this policy with fuel taxes will reduce the size of the small-scale fleet, thus counteracting the effects of the policy. If taxation induces fuel-saving innovations, it is shown that this will affect not only emissions and fleet structure, but also quota uptake. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Norling P.,Norwegian Institute for Water Research | Norling P.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management | Lindegarth M.,Gothenburg University | Lindegarth S.,Gothenburg University
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2015

Blue mussels Mytilus edulis and the invasive Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas are both ecosystem engineering species which modify the environment, thus having large effects on associated species. With the introduction of the Pacific oyster, a new biogenic structure has been added to subtidal sediment habitats in Scandinavia. By conducting a field experiment, the effects of live and post-mortem shell structures of C. gigas and M. edulis on associated infauna, epibenthic fauna and fish on the Swedish west coast were evaluated. Plots with 5 different treatments (live Pacific oysters, oyster shells, live blue mussels, mussel shells and sand control) were constructed on bare sandy sediment at 2 subtidal localities. Epibenthic macrofauna and fish were sampled with a drop trap, and sediment and infauna samples were collected with sediment cores. Live bivalve treatments had significant effects on organic content of the sediment; however, no treatment effects on infauna were found. In contrast, abundance and biomass of epibenthic fauna increased 4 to 8 times and species richness increased in the presence of the bivalves or their shells, compared to the sand control. Epibenthic fauna abundance and biomass was higher in the oyster shell treatment compared to the live bivalve treatments, which in turn had higher abundance and biomass than the mussel shell treatment. In general, the mussel shell treatment favoured small crustaceans, while the oyster shell and live bivalve treatments favoured fish and larger invertebrate species. Based on these results, we conclude that further establishment of the Pacific oyster in Swedish waters will cause large changes to community structure of benthic macrofauna and fish. © Inter-Research 2015.


Brodin Y.,Swedish Museum of Natural History | Ejdung G.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management | Strandberg J.,Swedish Museum of Natural History | Lyrholm T.,Swedish Museum of Natural History
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2013

As for many other regions, environmental and biodiversity monitoring of the brackish Baltic Sea suffers from low species resolution for several taxa. One such case is the benthic larvae of midges Chironomidae (Diptera), which are estimated to constitute about 30% of the macrozoobenthos species of the Baltic Sea and are important indicators of environmental quality. We assessed the usefulness of COI (cytochrome oxidase I) gene barcoding to improve species resolution and its potential for implementation in monitoring programmes. Neighbour-Joining, Maximum parsimony and Bayesian-inference analyses all provided high congruency with morphological analyses of adult males for almost all 42 species studied. Barcoding was helpful to elucidate some cases of taxonomical difficulties, such as synonyms. In contrast to the high identification accuracy when using our local database, there were a number of cases where matching with GenBank and BOLD provided puzzling results. For reliable species identification at least 15-30 specimens from 5-10 well-distributed sites within the geographical range of the species might be needed in a database to adequately cover the intraspecific variability of chironomids. Implementation of DNA barcoding, as applied here, in monitoring would result in an increase from at present less than 10% to more than 90% successful chironomid species identification of Baltic Sea benthic samples, as it also would for many nearby lakes. Routine monitoring of benthic environmental samples based on Next-Generation sequencing techniques would provide a cost effective way to obtain a taxonomically much more complete assessment of environmental quality and biodiversity, as required by EU directives and national legislation. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Palme A.,University of Stockholm | Palme A.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management | Laikre L.,University of Stockholm | Ryman N.,University of Stockholm
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2013

Detecting population subdivision when apparent barriers to gene flow are lacking is important in evolutionary and conservation biology. Recent research indicates that intraspecific population complexity can be crucial for maintaining a species′ evolutionary potential, productivity, and ecological role. We monitored the genetic relationships at 14 allozyme loci among ~4,000 brown trout (Salmo trutta) collected during 19 years from two small interconnected mountain lakes (0.10 and 0.17 km2, respectively) in central Sweden. There were no allele frequency differences between the lakes. However, heterozygote deficiencies within lakes became obvious after a few years of monitoring. Detailed analyses were then carried out without a priori grouping of samples, revealing unexpected differentiation patterns: (i) the same two genetically distinct (FST ≥ 0.10) populations occur sympatrically at about equal frequencies within both lakes, (ii) the genetic subdivision is not coupled with apparent phenotypical dichotomies, (iii) this cryptic structure remains stable over the two decades monitored, and (iv) the point estimates of effective population size are c. 120 and 190, respectively, indicating that genetic drift is important in this system. A subsample of 382 fish was also analyzed for seven microsatellites. The genetic pattern does not follow that of the allozymes, and in this subsample the presence of multiple populations would have gone undetected if only scoring microsatellites. Sympatric populations may be more common than anticipated, but difficult to detect when individuals cannot be grouped appropriately, or when markers or sample sizes are insufficient to provide adequate statistical power with approaches not requiring prior grouping. © 2013 The Author(s).


Larson F.,Gothenburg University | Larson F.,Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management | Sundback K.,Gothenburg University
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Recovery of microphytobentos (MPB) and benthic processes were followed during 23 d after sediment deposition simulating the effects of 1 wk of nearby dredging or construction work. Cores of natural intact sediment in an outdoor flow-through system were exposed to daily depositions of 1.5 mm fine-grained sediment over 7 d (total load 10.5 mm). Porosity, chlorophyll a (chl a; proxy for MPB biomass), denitrification and sediment-water fluxes of oxygen and inorganic nutrients were measured during day and night on 6 occasions. After deposition stopped, chl a in the uppermost 3 mm of the sediment had decreased to 25% of that in the controls, started to increase linearly, probably due to upward migration of diatoms, but did not converge with the control cores in the course of the experiment. The linear increase of chl a indicated a recovery of algal biomass after ∼50 d. The proportion of large sigmoid diatoms increased in the deposition cores and this change in MPB composition remained over the 23 d. Deposition resulted in higher porosity and increased flaking of the newly established algal mat. Deposition generally increased release or decreased uptake of nutrients, though effects on nitrate flux and denitrification were less clear. Although alga-related functions (oxygen production and nutrient fluxes in light) recovered faster than algal biomass, the faster recovery of the integrated system function in the dark reflected the impact of deposition on MPB. Sediment deposition in microtidal areas may imply disturbances for MPB, threatening the food supply for grazers and deposit feeders, and, in the end, fish that use the shallow areas as nurseries. © 2012 Inter-Research.


PubMed | Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, Technical University of Denmark and National Veterinary Institute
Type: | Journal: Journal of fish diseases | Year: 2016

We report the first description of a new Rhabdoviridae tentatively named eelpout rhabdovirus (EpRV genus Perhabdovirus). This virus was associated with mass mortalities in eelpout (Zoarces viviparous, Linnaeus) along the Swedish Baltic Sea coast line in 2014. Diseased fish showed signs of central nervous system infection, and brain lesions were confirmed by histology. A cytopathogenic effect was observed in cell culture, but ELISAs for the epizootic piscine viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV), infectious pancreas necrosis virus (IPNV), infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV) were negative. Further investigations by chloroform inactivation, indirect fluorescence antibody test and electron microscopy indicated the presence of a rhabdovirus. By deep sequencing of original tissue suspension and infected cell culture supernatant, the full viral genome was assembled and we confirmed the presence of a rhabdovirus with 59.5% nucleotide similarity to the closest relative Siniperca chuatsi rhabdovirus. The full-genome sequence of this new virus, eelpout rhabdovirus (EpRV), has been deposited in GenBank under accession number KR612230. An RT-PCR based on the L-gene sequence confirmed the presence of EpRV in sick/dead eelpout, but the virus was not found in control fish. Additional investigations to characterize the pathogenicity of EpRV are planned.

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