(Luxembourg, October 15th): After full day of Fisheries Council negotiations, the EU ministers agreed on total allowable catches (TACs) for Baltic Sea fish stocks for 2019. Five out of ten catch limits have been set exceeding the scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) including for: Eastern Baltic cod, Western Baltic herring, Central Baltic herring, Salmon in Main Baltic Basin and Gulf of Finland Salmon. This exhibits the continued unwillingness by Member States to meet their commitments to end overfishing by 2020 under the Common Fisheries Policy. In addition, fisheries ministers exceeded the recommendations advised by the environmental community on the Western Baltic cod as well as the most cautious fishing levels suggested by ICES.
“Once again we are reminded that the Member States are turning a blind eye to their legal commitment and choose to continue to overfish Baltic fish stocks, increasing pressure on vulnerable and depleted Baltic cod stocks.” says Ottilia Thoreson, Director of WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme. “In addition, the fisheries ministers decided to remove some of the existing conservation measures for the Western Baltic cod like time closure, which may pose additional threat on this fragile stock.”
When both science and legal requirements are ignored, the decision makers are gambling with the future of Baltic Sea fish stocks, fishermen and coastal communities.
For more information, contact:
Ottilia Thoreson, Director, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme
Tel: +46-73 27 45 867
Link to EU Commission’s Information & PR: