The Foundation has switched its environmental work for the Baltic Sea

Since the Foundation began its work in 2006 through to 2020, the Foundation has funded measures and development projects that actively support a healthier Baltic Sea, as well as research that has broadened or enhanced knowledge of the Baltic Sea and its catchment area. The Foundation has initiated nearly 100 projects and the board has allocated grants of approximately SEK 650 million to projects in the fields of Fishery, Eutrophication, and Information. In 2020, the Foundation began reviewing its environmental work as part of efforts to switch its focus from a research foundation to a prize and research foundation in 2021. The Foundation has accordingly established a prize: The Björn Carlson Baltic Sea Prize. The prize money, initially set at SEK 3 million, will be awarded annually beginning in the spring of 2022. For more information, please visit bcop.se.


Fisheries Brief no. 25: Baltic herring engages and MSC confuses

Our Fisheries Brief has so far focused on the Baltic cod crisis, but we have repeatedly pointed out the need for ecosystem-based management because fish stocks are dependent on and affect one another. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the fisheries policy has failed not only to conserve cod stocks but several other stocks as well.


Fisheries Brief no. 24: Fishing quotas 2021 - Long-term focus is needed

On Friday 29 May, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which advises on EU fisheries management, presented its recommendation for next year’s fishing quotas for Baltic cod.


Fisheries Brief no. 23: Prioritise small-scale fishing

At the end of April, the Stockholm newspaper Mitti ran an article about the super trawler Clipperton from the west coast of Sweden, which alone catches 175 times more Baltic herring in the waters off Stockholm County than all the county’s fishermen combined. “This has disastrous consequences for the entire archipelago,” says Henrik C. Andersson, the county’s fisheries advisor.


Fisheries Brief no. 22: The fight for a sensible fisheries policy continues in 2020

Last autumn, for the first time, the Council of Ministers took a drastic decision on Baltic cod – setting the quota for all cod fishing in 2020 to zero. We summarised the decision in Fisheries Brief no. 21.


The release of "Baltic Sea: Closure" by Folke Rydén

Today, November 25, the documentary film "Baltic Sea: Closure" is released in SVT's Vetenskapens Värld (Swedish broadcast). The film is made by Folke Rydén and is the last film in the ten-year Baltic Sea Media Project funded by BalticSea2020.


Baltic Sea Science Center has received the award “Helgjutet”!

We are delighted and proud that the Baltic Sea Science Center at Skansen is the winner of the Svensk Betong award “Helgjutet”! this according to a press release today. The award is awarded every two years to highlight good examples of solid-cast solutions, and is instituted to show the opportunities to “create good architecture, innovative design and rational work execution with concrete. By utilizing all the possibilities of concrete, we can create beautiful, functional and durable designs”.


New documentary by Folke Rydén reveals: High levels of chlorine paraffin in humans and animals

November 25, “Baltic Sea: Closure” by Folke Rydén was released in SVT Vetenskapens Värld (Swedish broadcast). The documentary reveals that there are high levels of chlorine paraffins in humans and animals living in and by the Baltic Sea. At the same time, researchers are seeing a general reduction in DDT and PCBs in the population, environmental toxins that were previously at about the same levels as chlorine paraffins are today.


Fisheries Brief no. 21: Good decisions – but the fish in the Baltic Sea require a long-term solution

The decisions made by EU fisheries ministers at their meeting in mid-October were generally good ones as far as the Baltic cod is concerned. However, there are some short-term issues still to resolve, and there is a great need for a new doctrine in the longer term.


Agreement on TACs for next year's fishing in the Baltic Sea

the last cod photo by peter ostlundLast night, the Council of Ministers agreed on next year's TACs (total allowable catches) in the Baltic Sea. Important steps have been taken for the cod as all directed fishing for cod is banned in the eastern Baltic Sea and only a smaller by-catch is allowed, with the purpose to help small-scale fisheries survive the difficult stock situation. All in all, the decision is a success for the Commission, the Swedish position and the Finnish Presidency. 


Fisheries Brief no. 20: Crucial decisions in the short and long term

There will be a great deal at stake when Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson joins the EU’s other fisheries ministers on 14-15 October at meetings to decide next year’s fishing quotas. Ahead of these, the Riksdag’s Environment and Agriculture Committee and the Committee on European Union Affairs will set out their instructions for Sweden’s negotiating position on 10-11 October. These next few days will therefore be crucial, both in the short term and long term.


Fisheries Brief no. 19: Recovery takes time

In mid-October, EU fisheries ministers will make a decision on next year’s cod fishing in the Baltic Sea. Scientific advice published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) states that the quota will have to be zero for a number of years. The EU Commission has this year already introduced an emergency ban on all cod fishing and has called for next year’s quota to be zero for all targeted cod fishing. A very heavy responsibility now rests on the shoulders of the region’s politicians – they have to resist special interests who want to continue fishing, while at the same time ensuring that the proposal for a fishing ban for 2020 is followed by long-term measures.


Fisheries Brief no. 18: The Commission proposes a zero quota

The Commission is proposing a ban for 2020 on all targeted cod fishing in the eastern stock, with a sharp reduction in the quota for the western stock also proposed. The Council of Ministers will make the final quota decision in mid-October. The Council of Ministers is often opposed to the Commission’s proposals and allocates larger quotas than those set out in scientific recommendations.


Fisheries Brief no. 17: Prioritise the environment over a handful of jobs

Stick to the plan to save the Baltic cod
At the end of July, the Commission, prompted by the Baltic cod crisis, introduced an immediate ban on fishing for the rest of the year. Earlier this year the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommended that no cod fishing involving the eastern stock should be permitted during 2020. Responsibility now rests entirely with the region’s fisheries ministers, who in October will make a decision on cod fishing in the Baltic Sea in 2020. Will they listen to the scientific advice from the ICES, which says that it will take years of fishing bans before we stand any chance of seeing an improvement in the stock? Or will they bow to pressure from short-term special interests?


Fisheries Brief no. 16: Navigating the hidden perils of the fisheries policy

June has been an eventful month for both the fisheries policy and the Baltic cod. Since the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published its recommendation for next year’s fishing quotas for Baltic cod, there has been a flurry of activity among politicians and other officials. An evaluation of the multiannual management plans (MAPs) is ongoing in parallel with this, and the Commission has approved a communication on fishing opportunities for 2020, which also covers Baltic cod.


Fisheries Brief no. 15: Good job government! Now the real work begins

The situation facing the Baltic cod is so severe that this could be our last chance to ensure that the stock recovers; otherwise it will be destroyed (see Fisheries Brief no. 12).On 29 May, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) presented its recommendation for next year’s fishing quotas for Baltic cod. The proposed quota for the eastern stock is zero (0), while for the western stock a range between 5305 and 7245 tonnes, including recreational fishing, has been proposed. On 3 June, the Swedish government announced that it will work to introduce an emergency ban from 1 July this year. The government also supports ICES’s recommendation of a ban on cod fishing in 2020.


The government wants to see emergency measures for Baltic cod

On the 3rd of June, representatives from the EU’s Baltic countries attended a meeting of the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum (BALTFISH) in order to discuss the situation facing the cod. Following last week’s publication of scientific advice on next year’s fishing in the Baltic Sea by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), it was clear that the situation facing cod in the eastern Baltic stock is now so critical that a zero catch is proposed (read more about the advice here).


Comment on ICES advice on cod quota in the Baltic Sea

Today the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) proposes that the fishing quota for eastern Baltic cod should be set to zero next year. The cod stock has deteriorated for a long time and is now considered to be so close to the limit that it is unclear if recovery even is possible. ICES notes that the only thing that can be done is to stop all fishing for cod in the Baltic Sea.


Fisheries Brief no. 14: The system that fools itself

The situation facing the Baltic cod is so severe that this could be our last chance to ensure that the stock recovers; otherwise it will be destroyed (see Fisheries Brief no. 12).


Fisheries Brief no. 13: List of measures for the Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs

Jennie Nilsson, the Minister for Rural Affairs, and Isabella Lövin, the Minister for Environment, recently wrote an opinion editorial for Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) about the crisis facing Baltic cod. It is good that the Baltic cod is now on the agenda of both ministers. Although a number of factors have contributed to the crisis, we believe that it is a case of keeping the focus on an aspect that can be influenced in the short term – the fisheries policy.