EU Agriculture & Fisheries Council - Baltic Sea agenda point
Sunset in the Baltic Sea
Brussels, Belgium - Today Fisheries Ministers at the Council reached a political agreement on fishing opportunities for 2013 in the Baltic Sea. The objective was to set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for Member States for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2013.
Scientific advice shows that the number of stocks managed at Maximum Sustainable Yield (Fmsy) level in the Baltic Sea is increasing. WWF commends that Member States showed the resolve to move even closer to sustainability by adopting some TACs that are close or at the same level as scientific advice.
Unfortunately in the case of Baltic salmon, the Council agreed on the TAC higher than advised by the scientists. The vulnerable Baltic salmon stocks needs protection, since the salmon management plan is not yet in place. Problems of illegal fishing and high levels of bycatch are still threatening the stocks. Scientific (ICES*, STECF**) advice was set to a maximum of 54,000 individual salmon to be fished in the Baltic Sea for 2013. Unfortunately the Council followed the Commission recommendation to allow 108,762 salmon to be fished instead.
Quote from Sarunas Zableckis, European Marine & Fisheries Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office:
“WWF commends the European Council in setting the Baltic TACs at or close to the scientific advice but regrets that for the vulnerable and data deficient species such as the Baltic salmon, or plaice, the ICES advice was not followed.”
* International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
** Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF)
For further information or interview requests:
Alexandra Bennett, Communications Director, WWF European Policy Office
Mobile: +32 477 393 400
Sarunas Zableckis, European Marine & Fisheries Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 740 09 36