Local fishermen and scientists working together to jointly develop a selective fishery for whitefish.

Fishermen’s knowledge of fish behaviour and distribution will inform the development of the new fishery. The fishery will ultimately be co-managed by a group including representatives from all fisheries stakeholders, local and regional authorities, environment groups and researchers.


To read a quick one page summary of the case study, its aims and achievements please click here.


Our Progress So Far

“This project is the best to take place in Lake Vättern over the last 30 years” – Johnny Ståhl, a fisherman involved in our case study.

At the beginning of the project, scientists joined fishers at sea, on the harbor and in their kitchens to discuss potential research topics of mutual interest.

The fishers then suggested a range of research ideas for the GAP2 case study. Fishers voted to choose the selective fishery for whitefish as the subject of the forthcoming project.

Whitefish was previously an important stock for local fishers. But the associated by-catch of threatened species has resulted in such severe regulation that it is no longer profitable.

Next, the fishermen designed their own data survey, which they now complete at sea. Through completing these surveys, the fishers are collecting valuable data about commercial stocks, the by-catch of other species and the marine environment. Scientists regularly accompany fishermen when conducting these surveys and help them collect subsamples of scales, otoliths and DNA. This information will be used to build a picture of the target species’ behaviour, distribution genetics and morphology.

We then hold workshop where scientists summarize the results and fishermen help analyse the data, discussing changes in the study’s design, and topics that could be investigated in more detail.

So far, the results have been very positive, showing the importance of how fishermen are approached and involved. More on our progress can be read below.

36 Months On: Progress review from the Swedish case study

An update on the on-going work of the GAP2 case study at Lake Vattern, in Sweden, covering developments over the last twelve months.

Mar 2014
Fishery co-management; a sustainable way to develop fisheries?

"Fishery co-management; a sustainable way to develop fisheries? A multi-disciplinary assessment of the fisheries in Lake Vättern, Sweden" is a new piece of research, conducted and published by Master's student Audrey van Mastrigt.

Feb 2014
24 Months On: Progress Update of the Swedish case study

Novel traps and new species! Alfred Sandström updates on the Swedish case study and their efforts developing a selective fishery in Lake Vättern.

May 2013
Swedish Fishermen Prove Selective Gear Works

Over the past two months, Swedish fishermen have been trialing a new type of selective fishing gear on the icy waters of Lake Vättern. The results are now in!

Dec 2012
18 Months On: Progress Update from Swedish Case Study

An update on the Swedish Case Study, investigating the joint management of a selective whitefish fishery, 18 months into the GAP2 project.

Oct 2012
One Year On: Progress Update on Swedish Case Study

An update on the Swedish case study, investigating the joint management of a whitefish fishery, one year into the GAP2 project.

Jun 2012
Field Work Peak Activity Coming

Field work collaboration began in August with peak activity planned October and December, when the fishing season for the target species ends.

Oct 2011
Meetings, Field Sampling Trips

“More than half of the Lake Vattern fishermen offered to take active part in the project, each bringing new ideas regarding preferred sampling design and fish behavior” The first period of the project has been focussed on communicating with fishermen …

Oct 2011

Next Steps

October 2012. The next six months is the main fishing season for whitefish. Accordingly, we anticipate an intense period work, involving sampling and data collection, new fishing gear trials, writing and analysis, and participation in the EIFAAC international symposium “Towards responsible future in inland fisheries ” (Finland, late October 2012).

People Involved

Alfred Sandström

Scientist at the Institute for Freshwater Research at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • PhD in Marine Ecology from Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • Alfred was born in Umeå in Northern Sweden.
  • Email:

Malin Setzer

Case study partner

  • Malin is an active coordinator for the Fisheries Co-management Group of Lake Vättern, working as part of the County Administrative Board Jönköping.
  • She holds a PhD in Theoretical Biology from Linköping University, Sweden and has previously worked as a governmental administrator addressing a range of fisheries issues.
  • Email:

Stakeholder Participants

  • Lake Vättern Fisheries Co-management Group
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