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Human impacts on fisheries resources and abundance in the Danish Wadden Sea, c1520 to the present
Holm, P. (2005). Human impacts on fisheries resources and abundance in the Danish Wadden Sea, c1520 to the present. Helgol. Mar. Res. 59(1): 39-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-004-0205-3
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Wadden Sea; Denmark; ecosystem; history; fisheries

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Abstract
    For the past 30 years, the Danish Wadden Sea area has been protected by fishery and hunting regulations, pollution controls and settlement restrictions. Nevertheless, todays Wadden Sea is a depleted ecosystem when we compare it with past abundance and diversity of marine animal populations. This review indicates that the abundance of finfishes has undergone a long-term decline since the seventeenth century. The review also indicates a trajectory of ecological decline since the early twentieth century that seems to be related to: (1) fishing extractions which focused on undersized fish throughout the first half of the twentieth century; (2) habitat destruction, which was most marked in the first half of the twentieth century; and (3) pollution, which was worst in the third quarter of the twentieth century. Historical investigation reveals that we need to fundamentally revise present-day baselines about the potential species richness and abundance of the Wadden Sea.

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