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The development of fisheries at Bornholm, Denmark (Baltic Sea) during 1880s-1914
Bager, M.; Karnøe Søndergaard, M.; MacKenzie, B.R. (2007). The development of fisheries at Bornholm, Denmark (Baltic Sea) during 1880s-1914. Fish. Res. 87(2-3): 146-154. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2007.08.001
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836; e-ISSN 1872-6763, more
Also appears in:
Ojaveer, H.; MacKenzie, B.R. (Ed.) (2007). History of marine animal populations and their exploitation in northern Europe. Fisheries Research, 87(2-3). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 100-261 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Bornholm; Baltic sea; herring; cod; salmon; fisheries economy;historical ecology

Authors  Top 
  • Bager, M.
  • Karnøe Søndergaard, M.
  • MacKenzie, B.R., more

    For centuries the abundance of fish in the Baltic Sea has had an important role in the economy of Bornholm, Denmark. This study examines the development of Bornholm fisheries between approximately 1880s and 1914 on the basis of the first officially recorded Danish fisheries data. Several species were caught, but prior to 1914 especially herring, salmon and cod were economically most important. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the catch composition changed fundamentally due to complex interactions between biological, technological and economical factors. During the late 19th century the catches of herring increased, while the catches of salmon and cod decreased. This development coincided with the introduction of new technologies and fishing practices, including motorization of fishing vessels and the exploitation of herring in previously unexploited areas (i.e., expansion of fishing areas). In addition, the salmon fishery diminished after the introduction of driftnets, which caught large numbers of small salmon. The high catches of small salmon, in combination with other factors, probably contributed to the decline in catches of larger salmon. Each of the fisheries for the three species required different types of vessels and gear, and when catches began to drop in the salmon fishery, Bornholm fishermen were faced with two options. They could either specialise in the growing herring fishery, thereby hoping to maintain their income level, or they could pursue a strategy of risk minimization, by acquiring an income outside the fishing industry, while continuing to work part-time in the salmon and cod fisheries. This dual tendency was intensified further as marine engines and new types of vessels were introduced, raising the costs of fishing.

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