This core indicator evaluates the abundance of typical
species of fish, such as perch and flounder, in the coastal areas of the Baltic
Sea, to assess environmental status. As a rule, good status is achieved when
the abundance is above a set site and species-specific threshold value.
The current evaluation assesses status during the period 2011-2015.
Key message figure 1: Status assessment results based evaluation of the indicator
'abundance of key coastal fish species'.
The assessment is carried out using Scale 3 HELCOM assessment units (defined in the HELCOM Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Annex 4). Click to enlarge.
Good status is achieved in in 13 out of the 21 coastal
HELCOM assessment units that were assessed (24 of 43 monitoring locations).
Generally, good status is more often reached in areas in the northern and
eastern parts of the Baltic Sea where perch is the key species (good status is
achieved in 20 of 25 monitoring areas). In the western and southern areas where
flounder is the key species, the status is more often not good (good status in four
of 18 monitoring areas).
The level of confidence of the assessment differs across
areas and regions as a result of differences in monitoring methodology as well
as in some countries poor temporal and spatial coverage of monitoring. The
methodological confidence is high in all areas and the confidence in the
accuracy of the assessment is high in majority of the assessment units. The
confidence in the temporal coverage is high in all areas except Latvian,
Lithuanian and Danish coastal areas, and the confidence in spatial representability
is highest in the Finnish and Danish areas but poorer in other countries.
The indicator is operational in the coastal waters
of most countries bordering the Baltic Sea. For the time being, it
is not applicable in some areas where coastal fish monitoring data are scarce
and further studies as well as time series are needed to yield a reliable
assessment of these areas. In the future, in line with increasing knowledge,
the indicator might undergo further development.
Coastal fish communities are of high ecological and
socio-economic importance in the Baltic Sea, both for ecosystem functioning and
for the recreational and small-scale coastal commercial fishery. As such, the
state of coastal fish communities generally reflects the ecological state in
Changes in the long-term development of the abundance of
coastal fish species mainly reflect effects of changes in the level of
human exploitation (fishing and habitat degradation), natural predation
pressure, increased water temperature and altered hydrographical conditions, and
eutrophication in coastal areas.
BSAP segment and objectives
Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals
Thriving and balanced communitites of plants and animals
Viable population of species
D1C2 The population abundance of
the species is not adversely affected due to anthropogenic pressures, such that
its long-term viability is ensured
Commercial fish and shellfish
The spawning stock biomass of populations of commercially-exploited species are
above biomass levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield
HELCOM (2017) Abundance of coastal fish key species. HELCOM
core indicator report. Online. [Date Viewed], [Web link].
II component - Core indicator report – web-based version July 2017 (pdf)