Baltic NGOs have today written to all Baltic EU Members states urging them to introduce emergency measures to protect the eastern Baltic cod stock in accordance with Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) rules.
On 5th April the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published its eastern Baltic cod benchmark report which indicates that the stock is in a critical state. There is clear evidence of increased natural mortality, reduced growth and reduced reproductive capacity resulting in an impaired recruitment. ICES’ conclusions suggest that even with no fishing at all, the stock would remain in a critical condition.
The NGOs write that “the stock has been deteriorating for many years and new scientific evidence now confirms the stock is in a critical state”. In addition, “the CFP includes a legally binding objective to end overfishing by 2015 where possible, and by 2020 at the latest. Yet, despite this requirement, the EU Council of ministers has set the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for eastern Baltic cod exceeding scientific advice each year since 2013.”
And concludes “All of the available scientific evidence points to a stock that is in a critical state, and we urge you to move forward now with preparing national emergency measures using the CFP Basic Regulation”.
The following EU Ministers received the letter:
Denmark: Ms. Eva Kjer Hansen – Minister for Fisheries and Equal Opportunities and Minister for Nordic Cooperation
Estonia: Mr. Tarmo Tamm – Minister for Rural Affairs
Finland: Mr. Jari Leppä – Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Germany: Ms. Julia Klöckner – Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture
Latvia: Mr. Kaspars Gerhards – Ministry of Agriculture
Lithuania: Mr. Giedrius Surplys – Minister of Agriculture
Poland: Mr. Marek Grobarczyk – Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation
Sweden: Ms. Jennie Nilsson – Minister for Rural Affairs