European Union Agriculture and Fisheries ministers reach a political agreement on Baltic Sea catch limits for fishing opportunities in 2023 MEPs from the European Parliament’s PECH Committee has called for fishermen and their communities to be more involved in fisheries management baltic sea fishing opportunities 2024

Fisheries ministers reached an agreement on TACs for the most commercially significant fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2024

Fishing opportunities for 2024 in the Baltic Sea

Fisheries ministers reached a political agreement on next year’s total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for the most commercially significant fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.

The agreement is in line with the scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as well as with the provisions of the multiannual plan for Baltic Sea stocks.

The political agreement includes:

  • due to low biomass levels, the Council decided to continue to set TACs for by-catches only for Western herring (subdivisions 22-24), for Eastern cod (subdivisions 25-32) and for Western cod (subdivisions 22-24)
  • in the case of herring in the Gulf of Bothnia (subdivisions 30-31) and Central herring (subdivisions 25-27, 28.2, 29, 32), to take into account the low biomass levels and allow for the recovery of the stocks, the Council reduced TACs, respectively, by 31% and 43%
  • the TAC for salmon in the Gulf of Finland (subdivision 32) was increased by 7%
  • in the case of plaice, the fishing opportunities from 2023 were rolled over; while the state of plaice stocks has considerably improved, cod is an unavoidable by-catch in plaice fisheries, so plaice TACs take this into account
  • the TACs for Riga herring, main basin salmon and sprat were reduced, respectively, by 17%, 15% and 10%, given the unhealthy situation of the stocks

 

“The agreement reached today shows that we are committed to taking action to tackle environmental concerns and to help rebuild and preserve the Baltic fish stocks, but it also shows our commitment to the Baltic fishing community. The future livelihoods of fishermen and women in the region depend on the long-term sustainability of fishing stocks, so we ensured a fine balance was struck between these two sensitive issues,” stated Luis Planas Puchades, the Acting Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

 

The agreement in detail

The Council’s agreement on TACs and quotas in the Baltic Sea for 2024 is based on the latest scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and is in line with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It takes into account the socio-economic impact on the fisheries sector, while striving to ensure that the sector remains sustainable in the long term.

The work conducted by BALTFISH, the regional fisheries forum for the Baltic Sea, currently chaired by Poland, contributed to the Council’s efforts to reach today’s political agreement.

In addition to the abovementioned TACs, the Council also agreed on specific measures, including:

  • limiting the recreational fishing of salmon to no more than one specimen of adipose fin-clipped salmon retained per fisher per day. After catching the first specimen, recreational fishers will have to stop fishing salmon for the remainder of the day
  • prohibiting the recreational fishing of cod in subdivisions 22-26

As part of the political agreement on the Baltic stocks and in accordance with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Council also decided on fishing opportunities for Norway pout in the North Sea between the Union and the United Kingdom, since this is a shared stock. Following consultations with the United Kingdom, delegations agreed to establish a Union TAC of 8 234 tonnes, which will apply from 1 November 2023 to 31 October 2024.

Management of the EU’s fish stocks (background information)

 

ICCAT 2023

Ministers exchanged views with the aim of providing the Commission with guidance on the position to be taken by the EU at this year’s annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which will be held on 13-20 November 2023.

The agenda of this year’s annual meeting includes a wide range of issues including tropical tuna species, blue shark, bluefin tuna, and control and enforcement measures.

Within the Council, work will continue at technical level with the aim of agreeing on the EU’s position ahead of the meeting.

International agreements on fisheries (background information)

 

Source: Press Release

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