The Commission has adopted its proposal for the 2024 fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea in response to a scientific assessment that indicates several fisheries are in a dire situation.
The Commission proposed the total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for three out of the ten stocks managed in the Baltic Sea. The Commission proposes to increase fishing opportunities for salmon in the Gulf of Finland by 7%, while proposing to decrease fishing of salmon in the main basin by 15%, and to decrease herring catches in the Gulf of Riga by 20%.
As for the other stocks in the Baltic (western cod, eastern cod, western herring, Bothnian herring, central herring, sprat and plaice), the Commission has requested additional information from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) to take better account of the fact that cod is caught together with flatfish, and herring together with sprat. The remaining quota proposals will be established at a later stage.
Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “I am increasingly worried about the effects of the Baltic Sea ecosystem’s degradation on fish stocks and the multiple food chains that depend on them. The urgency of taking action to address these changes is becoming more evident every year. Fishers are the first to face the consequences, despite our joint efforts to rebuild the Baltic fish stocks. We must all take action so that local fishers can again rely on healthy fish stocks for their livelihoods. EU environmental legislation needs to be fully implemented if we want to turn around the current situation of the Baltic. For this reason, I have invited all Environment and Fisheries Ministers of the EU Baltic Sea countries to the “Our Baltic” conference on 29 September in Palanga, Lithuania.”
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