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.
The summary of recommendations are repeated here and discussed in greater detail in this letter of recommendation, intended for all of those engaged in creating cohesive, representative governance in our shared Baltic Sea.
Summary of recommendations
- Develop a regional vision for what the Baltic Sea fisheries should look like within EBFM and a fully implemented Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
- Ensure coherence between different EU legislation and directives, e.g. between the CFP and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Managers need to have the tools necessary within CFP to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) under the MSFD, which the EU has committed to achieving by 2020.
- Allow for more local management of commercially exploited fish stocks.
- Develop a Baltic Sea management structure that efficiently channels existing scientific knowledge into the decision making process and includes stakeholders and communities of interest. The science is often in place, but managers need to ask scientists the right questions. Thus, In order to move the implementation of EBFM forward Baltic Sea EU member states should:
- Create a BALTFISH EBFM working group.
- Develop scoping studies of stakeholders and their interests in the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem services.
- Set up regular regional meetings for EBFM stakeholders and communities of interest.
- Integrate ecosystem scenario modelling to better understand the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that managers need to consider.
- Begin preparing to revise the Baltic Sea multiannual management plan to support the implementation of EBFM and the EU legislation underpinning EBFM, such as the MSFD.