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The council supports the management plan for cod fishery in the Baltic Sea

The Council of Ministers took yesterday a historical decision for the cod quotas in the Baltic Sea. The decision means that the Council will follow the management plan that was set by the Council last year.

The decision could be crucial for the cod stock and the environment in the Baltic Sea. For the first time in many years the ministers followed the scientist’s recommendations when deciding on the cod quotas for next year.

The cod quotas have during many years been set too high, this have had negative effect on the fish stocks and the environment of the Baltic Sea. The quotas have been set much higher than the ICES (International Council of the Exploration of the Sea) recommendations; despite alarming reports about sever low levels of the cod stocks. Yesterday’s decision gives hope to a sustainable fishery in the future.

The EU Ministers of Fishery decided on, in their meeting in Luxemburg, following the recommendations from the Commission and ICES about the eastern stock. This means that the Ministers will stick to the management plan for cod that was decided on in 2007. The Council decided to set the quota for cod in the eastern stock at +15 %.

Twice as much fish in five years
Simulations made by Baltic Sea 2020 shows, if the quotas would be set according to the management plan, that the effect on the stocks would be surprisingly positive. The cod stocks would increase; within five years the stocks could have doubled.

”Year after year the quota negotiations have lead to too high quotas that has lead to anything but a sustainable fishery. Finally this negative trend has changed! The decision gives us an opportunity to get back a stabile cod stock in the Baltic Sea. But even though this is a positive decision for the Baltic Sea, is it important to mention that it’s not enough. To be able to restore the cod stock in the Baltic Sea, the EU Ministers of Fishery needs to take their responsibility. They have to follow the management plan for the coming three years and to take strong measures against illegal fishing”, says Katarina Veem.

”Baltic Sea 2020 will during the coming years put great resources at following the political process in the Baltic region as well as in Brussels. A larger cod stock will lead to a better economy for the fisheries and a better environment in Baltic Sea. We will make sure that the politicians won’t forget this”, Katarina Veem concludes.