Journal Article

The Barents Sea capelin–a review of trophic interrelations and fisheries

Nikolai G. Ushakov and Dmitry V. Prozorkevich

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue 5, pages 1046-1052
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
The Barents Sea capelin–a review of trophic interrelations and fisheries

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Barents Sea capelin, Mallotus villosus (Müller), are preyed upon by many fish, marine mammals, and birds, and are also targeted by a fishery. The Barents Sea is inhabited by other abundant plankton-eaters, such as polar cod (Boreogadus saida), and herring (Clupea harengus), as well as by juvenile demersal fish. The status of the capelin population therefore depends on the abundance and age structure of its spawning stock, the abundance of predators and competitors for food, the strength of year-classes, and the intensity of fishing. Capelin biomass dropped sharply as a result of increased predation and food competition in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, and the heavy fishing mortality then forced the spawning stock below its minimum allowable level and contributed to the rapid decline. Management of the capelin fishery should take into account the complex of interactions between species to keep a natural balance in the Barents Sea ecosystem. Exploitation of the capelin stock should be effected with due regard to the necessity to keep the spawning-stock biomass sufficiently large as well as to maintain an adequate food supply for other species.

Keywords: capelin; competitors; ecosystem; fishing; interactions; management; predators

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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