Commission Consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2018

July 14, 2017

This letter with recommendations regarding the Communication from the Commission concerning a consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2018, (COM(2017) 368 final) is aimed at the Fisheries Ministers to consider at the upcoming Council meeting. The European Commission sets out principles for the fixing of fishing opportunities for 2018. It shows a commitment to implement the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), however, time is running out to fully implement the objective of fishing below Fmsy in order to bring stock biomass above Bmsy for all stocks by 2020.

FishSec EBFM Recommendations

June 27, 2017

FishSec has completed a set of recommendations for the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Baltic Sea region. The recommendations are based on the EBFM seminar in June 2016 that was organised by Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, The Fisheries Secretariat (FishSec) and the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in Stockholm.

Summary of ICES advice on Baltic stocks for 2018

June 1, 2017

On 31 May 2017, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Advisory Committee published their advice regarding the exploitation of the Baltic Sea fish stocks for 2018. Here we provide a summary and comment on the assessments and advice.

A table with the summary of the ICES advice can be found here.

Joint NGO request for a meeting with the new DG Mare Director Hélène Clark

April 28, 2017

With the appointment of Hélène Clark to the position of DG Mare Director, the undersigned NGOs have requested a meeting to discuss the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Our overarching goals are a swift end to overfishing; the application of precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management; and the transition towards low-impact fisheries.

Moreover, we also seek a consistent implementation of the CFP, especially by means of science-based fishing opportunities; sustainable and ecosystem based multi-annual management plans (MAPs) and a robust framework of technical and conservation measures.

Joint NGO letter to the European Parliament against harmful subsidies

March 20, 2017

In the letter 101 environmental organisations wrote to Members of the European Parliament calling on them to maintain the EU ban on subsidies for the construction of fishing vessels. This ban has been in place since 2004 and we ask parliamentarians to maintain this position. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on the ocean and seas (SDG 14) calls explicitly for the elimination of subsidies that contribute to overfishing by 2020. Attempts to reintroduce subsidies for the construction of new vessels undermines the objectives of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing and send the wrong political signal from the EU to leaders around the world.

Joint NGO letter to DG Mare Commissioner requesting closure of western Baltic flatfish and cod bycatch fishery

February 22, 2017

In this letter the undersigned NGOs requested a closure of the western Baltic flatfish and cod bycatch fishery. This was opened during the spawning season closure for cod, which is in February and March. The stock is below the biomass reference point and has been overfished for many years. In our view, this additional fishing pressure during the closed period does not comply with the Baltic multiannual plan, Common Fisheries Policy, or the Control Regulation.

Proposal to Baltic Sea Advisory Council for Fair and Balanced external representation

February 9, 2017

The Baltic Sea Advisory Council has a significant imbalance in which organisations represent the Council in external fora, a FishSec review shows. The Other Interest Group (OIGs) holds 40% of the seats and yet attends only 17% of the meetings on an annual basis. By contrast the fishing industry attends 58% of meetings and the Secretariat 25%. FIshSec has proposed measures to achieve a fair and balanced representation.

Proposal to Baltic Sea Advisory Council for quota distribution in line with Article 17

January 4, 2017

In light of the significant cuts to the TAC for western Baltic cod in 2017, FishSec proposed a motion for adoption at the Baltic Sea Advisory Council that the limited quota should be allocated to the most vulnerable fishers, in terms of jobs and income, and to those who have the lowest environmental impact.

Joint NGO request for a meeting with the Maltese Presidency of the EU

November 30, 2016

With the Maltese EU Presidency to begin in 2017, the undersigned NGOs have requested a meeting to discuss the ongoing negotiations relating to the North Sea multiannual plan and the Technical Measures Framework, in addition to the revision of the Fishing Authorisation Regulation and the recast of the Data Collection Framework regulation. In the Mediterranean, where over 90% of stocks are overfished we also are looking to Maltese leadership to manage stocks in line with the MSY principle and end overfishing.

Joint NGO letter to DG Mare Director concerning Baltic quotas in 2017

November 28, 2016

In this letter the undersigned NGOs outlined their concerns regarding the science underpinning the quotas set for stocks, in particular western Baltic cod and Gulf of Riga herring, and their compliance with the Baltic multiannual plan. We welcomed the Commission's statements that this information would be made available and have requested that this is done so publically, so as to address the transparency concerns that have become apparent through the negotiations.