Perch - Perca fluviatilis 




Summary of issues specific to the Baltic region
Genetic differences exist between perch in northern and central parts of the Baltic Sea. Perch populations north of Åland also seem to have less genetic diversity than populations in the central Baltic Sea.   The relatively small genetic patch size indicate that management on local scales is preferable. 

Current management regulations
The species is recognized for its importance for coastal fisheries (Swedish Board of Fisheries, 2009) and is a popular recreational game fish. P. fluviatilis is also commonly used as an indicator species in environmental monitoring programmes due to a short pelagic larval phase and a stationary behaviour in later stages. 

National or international quotas do not regulate commercial and recreational landings of Perca fluviatilis in the Baltic Sea.

Gaps between management and scientific evidence
More genetic information is required for a comprehensive management.  

If regulations will be undertaken in the future, the fine-scaled genetic structure discerned in the study by Olsen J. et al 2011,  shows that P. fluviatilis in the Baltic Sea is suitable for local management. From a conservation genetic perspective, the scale for local management should be c. 100 km. In addition, the location of important spawning grounds should be considered when defining the boundaries for areas suitable for local management. The deviating patterns of the Gulf of Bothnia and the central Baltic Sea further imply that a management strategy considering regional differences in the genetic population structure would be beneficial. 


Key publications

Olsson J, Mo k, Florin AB, Aho T, Ryman N. Genetic population structure of Perca fluviatilis along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea. Journal of Fish Biology (2011) 79(1) 122-137. PubMed

More information about perch at IUCN  - International Union for Conservation of Nature Resources


CONTRIBUTORS (January 2012)
Linda Laikre and Lovisa Wennerström, Stockholm University, Sweden 

Responsible editor: Linda Laikre, Stockholm University, Sweden
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