Variations in coastal fish species composition captured by traps in Romsdalsfjord, Western Norway


1 Department of Marine Science and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, 03080, Alicante, Spain

2 Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway

3 Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway


Fish traps are widely used in Norwegian fjords, especially those designed for monitoring salmonid populations in the marine environment, although many other marine fish species are also captured. The composition and spatio-temporal variations of fish species captured by fish traps were monitored in five different coastal locations throughout the Romsdalsfjord region, Western Norway, from May to August during the three consecutive years (2011–2013). Twenty-three fish species were captured by traps in coastal waters, both resident and migratory fishes. The most common fish and with greater catchability were saithe (Pollachis virens) and sea trout (Salmo trutta), followed by cod (Gadus morhua), pollack (P. pollachius), herring (Clupea harengus) and mackerels (Trachurus trachurus and Scomber scombrus). However, the captured assemblage presented great spatial and seasonal variations, in terms of mean daily catch, probably associated with hydrographical conditions and migrational patterns. Information obtained in this study will help us to better understand the compositions and dynamic of coastal fish populations inhabiting Norwegian coastal waters. In addition, traps are highly recommended as a management tool for fish research (e.g. fish-tagging experiments, mark and recapture) and conservation purposes (coastal use and fisheries studies).