HELCOM is revising targets on European eel

Published on September 18, 2020

The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) is currently being revised. The existing plan already contains several targets for European eel. Improvements being discussed now are how to prioritise mitigation measures that will allow eels to pass migration barriers in Baltic rivers, and a phasing out of all recreational fisheries for eel by 2022. Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) has also proposed that HELCOM should establish a harmonized eDNA methodology and begin baseline monitoring throughout the Baltic Sea region of eel and some other species, as it is now a cost-effective and accurate tool that can support traditional monitoring.


The Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) was adopted by the coastal states of the Baltic Sea in 2007. Its overall objective is to reach good environmental status of the Baltic Sea by 2021. As this will most likely not be reached, a mandate for an update was given by the Brussels Ministerial Declaration in March 2018. According to HELCOM, the BSAP update seeks to become a fit-for-purpose and effective tool, addressing the shortcomings of the current plan and taking into account emerging issues.

The efforts to update the plan are in full swing, and the focus is currently on the content. A new BSAP will be adopted by Baltic Sea ministers in October 2021 (tbc). You can find all the proposals here:


HELCOM is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, also known as the Helsinki Convention.