A declaration to improve the environment in the Baltic Sea was signed today by minsters of all EU Baltic Sea countries at the Our Baltic conference, hosted by the European Commission.
Topics conversed during this one-day event stretched over several important issue areas such as marine litter, microplastics, ghost nets, impacts of bottom trawling, sustainable fisheries and the need of ecosystem-based management and cross sectorial solutions. A new Task Force for the environment was suggested and a common denominator of the meeting was a discussion regarding the need of stronger legal tools versus the merits of soft law approaches. A sharp comment by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, stated that nature is already sending a clear signal of the dire conditions in the Baltic Sea.
Now it’s time to put some actions behind the words in the Declaration!