November 7, angling representatives from the Baltic countries met in Visby, Sweden. The meeting agreed on the joint statement: “The Baltic Sea in focus”.
Every year, millions of people in the countries around the Baltic Sea fish for recreational purposes. Among large groups of people, sportfishing promote physical activity and contact with nature.
Recreational angling also turnover large amounts of money and is according to us the largest fisheries industry. Fishing with a rod and hook is compared to traditional commercial fishing a more sustainable way of using fish stocks. Anglers are often involved in environmental conservation, and often lead the national work with protection and preservation of the aquatic environment.
In the administration of the fisheries in the Baltic far too little consideration has been taken to the interests of recreational angling and environmental conservation. The conference has come to the following conclusions:
- The over exploitation of the fish stocks in the Baltic Sea must come to an end! The total allowable catch shall be set in accordance with the scientific advice and the precautionary approach.
- The illegal fishing in the Baltic Sea must be stopped! An increased international control is necessary.
- Powerful actions must be taken against the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.
- The freshwaters are an important environment for reproduction of many species in the Baltic and have to be protected. No further exploitation of streams is acceptable.
- The organisations of the recreational anglers must be given increased influence on the fisheries administration.
- All species should be allowed to spawn at least once. The Danish rules concerning commercial salmon fishing is absurd and must be changed!
- The opportunities of recreational fishing in the Baltic region have to be preserved for present and future generations.
Our network has a common intention to work towards these targets. We are a group of representatives from angling associations around the Baltic. As a take-off for the future we have held a meeting in Visby, Sweden, 7-8 of November 2006.
Endrik Tõnsberg, Estonia
Tomas Kolesinskas, Lithuania
Alvis Birkovs, Latvia
Dr. Thomas Meinelt, Germany
Marcus Wikström, Finland
Janne Rautanen, Finland
Juha Ojaharju, Finland
Sergey Anatsky, Russia
Stefan Nyström, Sweden
Joel Norlin, Sweden
Stefan Spahn, Germany
Nils Ljunggren, Sweden