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Journal Articles Journal of Great Lakes Research Year : 2021

Lamprey fisheries: History, trends and management

Kimmo Aronsuu
  • Function : Author
Jane Kitson
  • Function : Author
Martyn Lucas
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Ben Potaka
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Sam Tamarapa
  • Function : Author
Tao Zhang


Three anadromous lamprey species support important commercial fisheries in the northern hemisphere, sea lamprey in the Iberian Peninsula and France, European river lamprey in the Baltic Sea countries and Russia, and Arctic lamprey in Russia. Pacific lamprey, Caspian lamprey, Korean lamprey and pouched lamprey are harvested for subsistence and local commerce on the Pacific coast of North America, and in Russia, China and Oceania, respectively. Habitat loss caused by human activities in rivers have reduced lamprey populations and collapsed most commercial fisheries worldwide. Overfishing is a concern because traditional fishing gears (e.g., pots, fyke nets) target lampreys during their upstream migration, usually in physical bottlenecks, which can result in exceedingly high fishing mortality. The reduction in catches has inflated lamprey prices and encouraged illegal fishing in certain countries (e.g., Portugal, Russia). The success of management actions for lamprey fisheries could be at risk due to knowledge gaps that still exist regarding stock structure, estimates of stage-specific mortality, distribution at sea, preferred hosts, and climate change impacts to the distribution and availability of adequate hosts. There is an urgent need for good-quality data from reported commercial landings and also from monitoring studies regarding the efficacy of mitigation and restoration efforts (e.g., habitat restoration, fishing regulations, artificial rearing and stocking). Involving the general public and stakeholders in the management and conservation of lampreys through outreach actions is crucial to promote the protection of the ecological and cultural values of lampreys and the understanding of their vulnerability. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Association for Great Lakes Research.
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Dates and versions

hal-03283049 , version 1 (05-12-2023)



Pedro Almeida, Hiroaki Arakawa, Kimmo Aronsuu, Cindy Baker, Stevie-Rae Blair, et al.. Lamprey fisheries: History, trends and management. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 2021, 47 (Supplement 1), pp.S159-S185. ⟨10.1016/j.jglr.2021.06.006⟩. ⟨hal-03283049⟩
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