IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reference points for optimal fish stock management : A lesson to be learned from the Northeast Arctic cod stock


  • Nakken, Odd
  • Sandberg, Per
  • Steinshamn, Stein Ivar


In the North Atlantic the Icelandic, the North Sea, and the Newfoundland cod stocks are currently overexploited. Overexploitation also characterised the Northeast Arctic cod stock, but effective management measures introduced in 1990 and the years thereafter have brought this stock within safe biological limits. The Northeast Arctic cod stock is transboundary and shared between Norway and Russia. As guidelines for a sound management strategy of this cod stock in the future, reference points for management are discussed. As a point of departure, a management strategy which fulfils the objectives for fishery policy stated by Norway is analysed. These objectives, focusing on sustainable harvesting, increased profitability and the role of the fishery as employer of labour in rural districts are fundamental in most of the world's fishery nations. The "optimal" strategy is defined as the one which fulfils these in the best way possible. The natural variations are discussed and the biological and economic yield's dependence upon the rate of exploitation are analysed. The analysis shows that the size of the spawning stock should be no less than 500 000 tonnes and that highest yield is obtained through a rate of exploitation of around 17-30% (equivalent to a fishing mortality of about 0.20-0.40). A spawning stock size of 500 000 tonnes should therefore serve as a "limit reference point" and a fishing mortality of about 0.20-0.40 should serve as a "target reference point" in the management of Northeast Arctic cod. The method described may be applied to other demersal stocks to help establish target and limit reference points in order to conduct a sound management.

Suggested Citation

  • Nakken, Odd & Sandberg, Per & Steinshamn, Stein Ivar, 1996. "Reference points for optimal fish stock management : A lesson to be learned from the Northeast Arctic cod stock," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 447-462, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:20:y:1996:i:6:p:447-462

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hueting, Roefie & Reijnders, Lucas, 2004. "Broad sustainability contra sustainability: the proper construction of sustainability indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 249-260, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:20:y:1996:i:6:p:447-462. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.