Scientists and resource managers set out to learn more about the cod at Greenland


A group of scientists and resource managers from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Greenland are meeting over the days 22-24 August 2017 to discuss their experiences with managing cod across the countries.

Scientific research at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources has shown that the cod population in Greenland is composed of cod spawned in different waters around Greenland – and even Iceland. As a result you get so-called mixed fishery, especially in inshore areas at Greenland, and all of the other countries participating in the workshop face similar challenges in the management of cod. Therefore, among many other things, the workshop has been prepared for letting the countries exchange their experiences with handling mixed populations, including both the studies of the populations as well as the management based upon the studies.

The cods that are caught along Greenland’s shores are not necessarily “native” cods. They may have been spawned in East Greenlandic, West Greenlandic or Icelandic waters, and at some point they will swim back to that same area to spawn. Distinguishing between these cods is very difficult with the naked eye, thus complicating the scientific analyses and thereby the management.

"If we imagine an area with cod in the shape of a pie, how large are the slices representing cod from each of the possible spawning grounds? It is a difficult question to answer, because it is not so easy to determine from which stock a caught cod originates, unless we use DNA analyses", explains senior scientist Rasmus Hedeholm from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

Rasmus Hedeholm also explains that DNA analysis would be a costly affair as the main tool of mixed fisheries advice. Therefore it is important for the scientists at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources to learn about other countries’ experiences with such biological challenges and tackling the management of mixed populations.

The workshop about mixed fisheries management has been organised by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and is externally financed by the Nordic Council’s Working Group for fisheries in the Nordic countries.

For further information, please contact:

Senior scientist at the department for Fish and Shellfish, Rasmus Hedeholm, at +299 361200 or

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Photo: Grønlands Naturinstitut