Objectives of the BONUS INSPIRE Project

The BONUS INSPIRE Project is designed to substantially advance our knowledge on commercial fish species in the Baltic (cod, herring, sprat and flounder). These species form more than 95% of the commercial catches, and represent key elements in the functioning of the Baltic Sea ecosystem(s).

Tne BONUS INSPIRE Project will fill in critical gaps in knowledge that currently exist concerning

  1. the mechanisms of changes in spatial distributions of different life-history stages of fish (due to various drivers such as climate, fishing and species interactions).
  2. the impact of such changes on the structure and function of the Baltic ecosystem(s).
  3. the sensitivity and robustness of analytical fish stock assessment, particularly for flatfish.

To accomplish these goals, the BONUS INSPIRE Project will answer the following questions:

  1. What habitat (both pelagic and benthic) conditions characterize the spatial distributions of cod, herring, sprat and flounder?
  2. To what extent do fishing and species interaction affect the local and basin-scale distribution of exploited stocks?
  3. What drives spatial connectivity and migrations of different fish species/populations?
  4. How does stock structure and separation of natural populations impact stock assessment outcomes?

Scientific and technological objectives

The scientific & technological objectives of the BONUS INSPIRE Project are:

  1. To quantify processes generating heterogeneity in spatial distributions of cod, herring, sprat and flounder. This means to quantify habitat associations of the focal species at different life stages.
  2. To quantify and map potential hazards to the connectivity between identified key habitats, and assess the impact of anthropogenic and climatic environmental changes on habitat connectivity.
  3. To quantify the population dynamics and interactions of the focal species in a spatially explicit context.
  4. To develop spatially explicit advice for ecosystem-based fisheries management of Baltic cod, herring, sprat and flounder, accounting for the spatial heterogeneity in fish distributions.


27 MARCH 2023