Pew deems some Council’s 2018 Baltic catch limits ‘unjustified’
2017-10-12 18:05:44   copyfrom:    hits:

Baltic Sea fisheries (Photo: Ministry of Fisheries Latvia)EUROPEAN UNIONTuesday, October 10, 2017,22:40 (GMT + 9)Th

Baltic Sea fisheries. (Photo: Ministry of Fisheries Latvia)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 22:40 (GMT + 9)


The Council of Ministers has agreed on next year's total allowable catches (TACs) and national quotas for the ten commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.

The Council claims this agreement is in line with the Commission proposal based on International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) scientific advice but The Pew Charitable Trusts warns that, once more, some of the limits set are higher than scientific advice, with no justification for those disparities.

Ministers decided on a roll-over for Western cod and an increase in catches for central herring (+20 per cent) and sprat (+1 per cent) but the NGO Pew considers there is no justification provided for this disparity.

On the other hand, the decision for the remaining stocks includes a reduction for Riga herring (-7 per cent), salmon in the Gulf of Finland (-5 per cent), main basin salmon (-5 per cent), Eastern cod (-8 per cent), Bothnian herring (-40 per cent), Western herring (-39 per cent) and plaice (-10 per cent).

Siim Kiisler, minister of environment of the Republic of Estonia and president of the Council stated Ministers have respected the Common fisheries policy objectives, the Baltic plan provisions and scientific advice. In addition, he highlighted the final agreement economic and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.

However, Andrew Clayton, project director at Pew argues ministers must do much better in December when catch limits for the rest of the EU’s stocks are set.

“Important cod and plaice stocks in the Baltic will now be put under even more pressure in 2018, with fishermen missing out on the economic gains that stem from stock recovery,” warned Clayton.

In addition to setting TACs and national quotas on some species, the Council confirmed the extension to 2018 of those management measures currently in place to improve the state of the stock Baltic cod (bag limitations in recreational fisheries and closure periods, with derogations for small coastal fisheries).

Ministers also decided to postpone discussions on measures on marine eel fisheries to a later stage to discuss a pan-European strategy to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the stock.

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