Browsing by Subject "akvaattiset tieteet / kalataloustiede"

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  • Romakkaniemi, Atso (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Wild salmon stocks in the northern Baltic rivers became endangered in the second half of the 20th century, mainly due to recruitment overfishing. As a result, supplementary stocking was widely practised, and supplementation of the Tornionjoki salmon stock took place over a 25 year period until 2002. The stock has been closely monitored by electrofishing, smolt trapping, mark-recapture studies, catch samples and catch surveys. Background information on hatchery-reared stocked juveniles was also collected for this study. Bayesian statistics was applied to the data as this method offers the possibility of bringing prior information into the analysis and an advanced ability for incorporating uncertainty, and also provides probabilities for a multitude of hypotheses. Substantial divergences between reared and wild Tornionjoki salmon were identified in both demographic and phenological characteristics. The divergences tended to be larger the longer the duration spent in hatchery and the more favourable the hatchery conditions were for fast growth. Differences in environment likely induced most of the divergences, but selection of brood fish might have resulted in genotypic divergence in maturation age of reared salmon. Survival of stocked 1-year old juveniles to smolt varied from about 10% to about 25%. Stocking on the lower reach of the river seemed to decrease survival, and the negative effect of stocking volume on survival raises the concern of possible similar effects on the extant wild population. Post-smolt survival of wild Tornionjoki smolts was on average two times higher than that of smolts stocked as parr and 2.5 times higher than that of stocked smolts. Smolts of different groups showed synchronous variation and similar long-term survival trends. Both groups of reared salmon were more vulnerable to offshore driftnet and coastal trapnet fishing than wild salmon. Average survival from smolt to spawners of wild salmon was 2.8 times higher than that of salmon stocked as parr and 3.3 times higher than that of salmon stocked as smolts. Wild salmon and salmon stocked as parr were found to have similar lifetime survival rates, while stocked smolts have a lifetime survival rate over 4 times higher than the two other groups. If eggs are collected from the wild brood fish, stocking parr would therefore not be a sensible option. Stocking smolts instead would create a net benefit in terms of the number of spawners, but this strategy has serious drawbacks and risks associated with the larger phenotypic and demographic divergences from wild salmon. Supplementation was shown not to be the key factor behind the recovery of the Tornionjoki and other northern Baltic salmon stocks. Instead, a combination of restrictions in the sea fishery and simultaneous occurrence of favourable natural conditions for survival were the main reasons for the revival in the 1990 s. This study questions the effectiveness of supplementation as a conservation management tool. The benefits of supplementation seem at best limited. Relatively high occurrences of reared fish in catches may generate false optimism concerning the effects of supplementation. Supplementation may lead to genetic risks due to problems in brood fish collection and artificial rearing with relaxed natural selection and domestication. Appropriate management of fisheries is the main alternative to supplementation, without which all other efforts for long-term maintenance of a healthy fish resource fail.