Process-based model for direct and indirect effects of hydrographic conditions on Central Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) egg mortality


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A process-oriented model for the mortality of eggs of cod Gadus morhua in the Central Baltic Sea is developed, based on a synthesis of existing knowledge of the effects of salinity, oxygen and predation by sprat Sprattus sprattus. The models show the importance of the vertical and temporal overlap between eggs and predations. Effects related to the changing buoyancy of the eggs due to age and size of the mother fish, batch number and stock structure are not of major importance for the egg survival of this stock. It is demonstrated that under the present high sprat predation pressure, the observed delay in spawning time has increased egg survival.