Baltic Sea: EU agreement for new fish stocks
The TACs have been reshaped, with the aim of reconciling sustainability and the interests of fishermen
European Union fisheries ministers have reached a political agreement on total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for the most commercially important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The agreement is in line with the scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as well as with the provisions of the Multiannual Plan for Baltic Sea Stocks.
Due to low biomass levels, the Council decided to continue setting the TAC for by-catch only for western herring (subdivisions 22-24), eastern cod (subdivisions 25-32) and cod western white (subdivisions 22-24). In the case of Gulf of Bothnia herring (subdivisions 30-31) and Central herring (subdivisions 25-27, 28.2, 29, 32), to take into account the low levels of biomass and allow the recovery of stocks, the Council reduced TACs by 31% and 43% respectively.
The TAC for salmon in the Gulf of Finland (subdivision 32) has been increased by 7%. In the case of plaice, the fishing opportunities from 2023 have been renewed; Although the state of plaice stocks has improved significantly, cod is an unavoidable by-catch in the plaice fishery and the Plaice Tacs take this into account. TACs for Riga herring, mainland salmon and sprat have been reduced by 17%, 15% and 10% respectively, given the unhealthy state of the stocks
“The agreement reached today demonstrates our commitment to take action to address environmental concerns and help rebuild and preserve Baltic fish stocks, but it also demonstrates our commitment to the Baltic fishing community – said Luis Planas Puchades , Interim Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and President of the Council of Agriculture Ministers in this European Semester - The future livelihoods of fishermen and women in the region depend on the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. , so we ensured that a good balance was struck between these two sensitive issues."
The ministers exchanged views with the aim of providing the Commission with guidance on the position to be adopted by the European Union at this year's annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT ), which will be held from 13 to 20 November 2023.
The agenda for this year's annual meeting includes a wide range of issues, including tropical tuna species, blue shark, bluefin tuna, and control and enforcement measures. Work will continue at a technical level within the Council with the aim of agreeing the European Union's position before the meeting.
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