EU Fisheries Council, 24-25 October 2006 - The EU should not lose faith in cod
At the EU Fisheries Council of 24-25 October in Luxembourg, European Fisheries Ministers will decide on the fishing quotas in the Baltic Sea for 2007, with a multi-annual management plan for cod.
WWF calls on the European Fisheries Ministers to adopt responsible quotas and align their decisions regarding the management plan with scientific advice. This is the only way to achieve the recovery of cod stocks and the sustainability of this important fishery, now about to crash.
At present the Commission proposal constitutes a clear concession to short term political interest over sound science and the potential is high for the Member States to follow that path. At risk is nothing less than the commercial collapse of the Baltic cod fishery.
“The bad management of cod stocks cannot continue. WWF strongly recommends an immediate closure of all cod fisheries in the Eastern Baltic until a recovery plan is in place and until the eastern stock is outside the high-risk zone."
“A recovery plan must include a thorough reform of the management and control structures to ensure quota compliance and reliable data for stock assessments – something that is absent from the plan proposed by the European Commission” says Lasse Gustavsson, Director of WWF Baltic Programme.
A new WWF report highlights the urgency of the problems for cod fisheries in the Baltic region and identifies key recommendations to stop overfishing, reduce overcapacity and bring compliance and legitimacy into fisheries management. The full report “A Sustainable Future for Baltic Cod and Cod Fisheries” is available on http://assets.panda.org/downloads/cod_report.pdf
"Fish voice online"
In the run-up to next week Fisheries Council, WWF has launched a new website, where European Fish offer their refreshing views on EU Fisheries policy. “Fish Voice” online is available on www.panda.org/eu/fishvoice.
• Caroline Alibert, WWF European Policy Office
Tel +32 (0)2 7400 936, Email: email@example.com