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European Commission Proposes Baltic Sea Fishing Opportunities For 2018

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European Commission Proposes Baltic Sea Fishing Opportunities For 2018

European Commission Proposes Baltic Sea Fishing Opportunities For 2018
September 05
09:36 2017

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2018. In particular, the Commission proposes to increase catches for Central Herring, Sprat and the Main Basin Salmon stocks, and to maintain the number of catches for the important stock of Western Baltic Cod. For the remaining stocks the Commission proposes reducing catches. This year’s proposal also includes a ban on Baltic Eel fisheries, not traditionally a part of the annual allowable catch proposals but a necessary step due to alarming scientific evidence and historically low levels.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, says: “We are proposing a balanced package that will ensure sustainable fisheries in the Baltic Sea. The good news is that important quotas for Baltic herring and salmon can be increased. Responsible management measures by Member States and the fishing industry are paying off. Now we must learn from these success stories and act urgently for those stocks that are still in a worrying state, like the European eel.”

The proposed total allowable catches (TAC) for herring, cod, sprat and salmon stocks are based on scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted last year by Member States and the European Parliament.

Efforts by stakeholders in recent years have already succeeded in rebuilding important stocks in the Baltic. Between 2012 and 2016, for example, the overall biomass of pelagic stocks increased by 50%. But further action remains necessary to ensure all stocks are exploited at sustainable levels.

European Ministers for Fisheries will now examine the Commission proposal, with the aim of adopting it during the Fisheries Council of 9-10 October.

The proposal is part of the European Union’s approach to adjust the levels of fishing to long-term sustainability targets, or maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2020 as agreed by Member States and the European Parliament in the Common Fisheries Policy. The Commission’s proposal is also in line with the policy intentions expressed in the Commission’s Communication on Fishing Opportunities for 2018.

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