Cod Enhancement Studies in Norway — Background and Results with Emphasis on Releases in the Period 1983–1990
Abstract:In 1864, G. O. Sars raised the question whether Atlantic cod production could be increased by release of artificially hatched cod. Sars' suggestion of developing methods for hatching cod eggs was pursued by Captain G. M. Dannevig, who founded the Flødevigen Hatchery in 1882, where production began in 1884. For almost a century, billions of artificially produced yolk-sac larvae were released along the Norwegian Skagerrak coast, but no evidence of any beneficial results was ever obtained, partly because little effort was made to evaluate the impact of the releases. The possibility of enhancing cod stocks received new encouragement in 1980s after a breakthrough in cod production in a seawater pond and with the establishment of several ranching projects. In 1990 this research was further scaled up when the Norwegian government initiated a nationwide enhancement program for finfish and invertebrates, including Atlantic cod and other promising species. My paper surveys the principal published results of the cod enhancement program in Norway, with emphasis on results from releases in the period 1983-1990. The program will terminate and be assessed at the end of 1997. Several of the main projects are still running, and the final evaluation of the potential for cod stock enhancement will therefore have to wait for at least another year.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1998
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