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Commission Welcomes Council Adoption of Baltic Sea Fishing Opportunities

Sustainability Politics

EU - The Fisheries Council has just reached a political agreement on Fishing Opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2013. After the discussions among the ministers, the compromise was reached just after the first exchange of views.

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Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki welcomed the Council decision: "Such a decision was only possible due to the extensive preparatory work carried out by the Presidency and Commission but also by BaltFish, the forum established by Member States around the Baltic Sea. This voluntary initiative is a good example of a regional platform for discussing Commission proposals or developing new initiatives at regional level. The Baltic Member States showed a clear commitment to keep to the objective of achieving fisheries at MSY levels by 2015 for almost all stock."

The total allowable catch (TAC) for the western cod stock has been adopted lower than initially proposed by the Commission in order to achieve sustainable levels, known as Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) sooner than forecast in the management plan.

Since the BaltFish proposals were within the limits of the scientific advice, and commonly agreed among all Baltic Sea MS, the Commission decided to agree with them as a final compromise in the Council.

With the decision reached, three of the Baltic stocks will continue to be fished at MSY levels (Western herring, Eastern cod, sprat) whilst three other stocks pursue their progress towards reaching this target by 2015 (Central herring, Gulf of Riga herring, Gulf of Bothnia herring).