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Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) fisheries in the late 17th century
Gaumiga, R.; Karlsons, G.; Uzars, D.; Ojaveer, H. (2007). Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) fisheries in the late 17th century, in: Ojaveer, H. et al. (Ed.) History of marine animal populations and their exploitation in northern Europe. Fisheries Research, Spec. Issue 87(2-3): pp. 120-125
In: Ojaveer, H.; MacKenzie, B.R. (Ed.) (2007). History of marine animal populations and their exploitation in northern Europe. Fisheries Research, Spec. Issue 87(2-3). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 100-261 pp., more
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Catch per unit effort; Flounder; Landing statistics; Clupea harengus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Zoarces viviparus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Gaumiga, R.
  • Karlsons, G.
  • Uzars, D.
  • Ojaveer, H., more

Abstract
    During the late 17th century (1675-1696), which represents part of the coldest period of the Little Ice Age (known also as the Late Maunder Minimum), fishing took place at more than 20 localities along the coast of the Gulf of Riga. Tax records of the Riga Treasury College indicate that herring (Clupea harengus membras), flounder (Platichthys flesus) and eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) were the major target species at this time. The mean annual catch estimated as landing to market of these three major species was 122 tonnes (range 44-230), with an average herring contribution of 73%. Fish catches fluctuated substantially both at temporal (seasonal, annual) and spatial (sub-regional) scales. We suggest that the herring fishery was affected by climatic conditions: during the period of very severe winters (i.e., 1685-1696) landings peaked in the warm summer months and were significantly lower compared to the earlier period of generally higher climate variability and less severe winters (1675-1683). Socio-economic drivers were presumably responsible for the dynamics of the flounder and eelpout fisheries.

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