Council agrees on Baltic Sea fishing quotas

On Friday 21 October, the EU fisheries ministers reached a political agreement on fishing opportunities for 2012 for several fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.

“This has to be very balanced, because on the one hand side we have to protect the stocks of the Baltic Sea, and on the other – we have to make sure that the interests of the member states are provided for. This was a very difficult compromise,” said Marek Sawicki, Minister for Rural Development of Poland, in a written statement.

As seen in the table below, the Council followed the Commission’s proposal closely on herring and cod. This means increased catches of cod and western Baltic herring

However, the plaice quota was reduced by only five percent, although the Commission had proposed a 25 percent reduction. For salmon, the Council watered down the Commission’s proposed 79 percent cut to a 51 percent cut. The salmon TAC is still about 57 percent higher than the level recommended by scientists to ensure stock recovery, according to the Fisheries Secretariat.

Mikael Karlsson, president of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation issued a statement saying that it troubled him that the Swedish government had not defended the Commission’s proposal on salmon and plaice. “This does not bode well for the reform of the CFP, when fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki more than ever needs Sweden by her side,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Nevertheless, fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki welcomed the Council’s agreement in an email newsletter on Moday: “Following the Commission proposal, all quota decisions are based on scientific advice,” she wrote.

Click image for bigger version of the table:

Legend: Latin name – English name/ Nom français/ Deutsche name
Gadus morhua – cod/ morue/ Dorsch
Pleuronectes platessa – plaice/ plie/ Scholle
Salmo salar – Atlantic salmon/ saumon atlantique/ Lachs
Sprattus sprattus – sprat/ sprat/ Sprotte
* AC expressed as number of individuals
** a negative % indicates a reduction in the TAC, a positive % indicates an increase in the TAC and 0 % indicates a roll-over of the TAC

The table with all the quotas can also be found in the Council’s press release. Watch the press conference.

Axel Naver

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