The European Commission adopted Tuesday its proposal for fishing opportunities for 2023 for the Baltic Sea, focusing on efforts to rebuild fish stocks which remain under severe pressure. Based on the proposal, EU countries will determine the maximum quantities of the most important commercial fish species that can be caught in the sea basin. The Commission proposes to increase fishing opportunities for central herring and plaice, while maintaining the current levels for salmon and the levels of by-catch of western and eastern cod, as well as western herring.
The EU executive proposes to decrease fishing opportunities for the four remaining stocks covered by the proposal, in order to improve the sustainability of those stocks and to allow them to recover. Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius says he remained worried about the poor environmental status of the Baltic Sea.
“Despite some improvements, we are still suffering from the combined effects of eutrophication and slow response to tackle this challenge,” he said: “We must all take responsibility and take action together. This is the only way to ensure that our fish stocks become healthy again and that our local fishers could rely again on them for their livelihoods. Today’s proposal goes in this direction.” Over the past decade, EU fishermen and women, industry and public authorities have made major efforts to rebuild fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. However, many fish stocks are still under severe pressure.
The total allowable catches (TACs) proposed by the Commission are based on the best available peer-reviewed scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan (MAP) adopted in 2016 by the European Parliament and the Council.
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