Cod Recovers in Öresund

27 December, 2022

Cod stocks are close to collapse in several Danish fishing waters, but in the Öresund the species seems to be recovering and this year there are record numbers of cod fry. This is thanks to the introduction of both a trawl ban and restrictions on all cod fishing.

The decline in the cod stock has been so marked in the past that this year, for the first time, a total ban was imposed on catching cod during the spawning period from 15 January to 30 March. The ban applied to all Danish waters including the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. During the rest of the year, anglers were only allowed to catch one cod per day.

The measures paid off, especially for cod fry and small cod in Öresund. There has been an “explosive” development of the stock, according to the Øresund Aquarium at the University of Copenhagen.

– In the last 25 years, I have never seen so many cod fry in Öresund as this year, says Jens Peder Jeppesen, marine biologist and head of the Øresund Aquarium, in a press release.

The strait between Skåne and Zealand is today the last and only sea area in inland Danish waters with a healthy and strong cod stock. For 2022, the fishing restrictions have also applied to Öresund. This meant, among other things, that the large spawning cod there was protected for the first time. They were allowed to spawn undisturbed, had good access to food and hiding places and were not at risk of being caught.

The presence of several large spawning cod in Öresund was already confirmed in June by the Danish institute DTU Aqua.

Text: Jan Samuelsson/TT
Photo: K.Nyberg / Øresundsakvariet

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