STECF advices reduced effort for Baltic cod
The EU Commission’s main scientific advisory body has generally agreed with earlier scientific advice on next year’s Baltic catch quotas, but adds that fishing effort should be reduced for the dominant eastern cod stock.
In its review of advice published in May by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) okays the recommendation to raise the 2010 TAC by 15 percent, but sharpens the ICES stance that no further reduction in fishing effort (e.g. days at sea) is needed. In order to match the required decrease in fishing mortality, STECF says, fishing effort for the eastern Baltic cod stock should be reduced by 20 percent.
“To ensure that the discrepancy between fishing effort and fishing mortality does not result in increased discarding or unreported landings, it is important that the fisheries catching cod in 2010 be regulated in such a way that all catches of cod do not exceed the TAC plus expected discards”, STECF writes, an unstated call for stringent controls.
The Commission will publish its proposal for the 2010 Baltic fishing opportunities in early September, up for a vote at the Council meeting on October 19-20.