Press release: Rescue plan for Baltic cod shall be based on the latest research

Published on February 19, 2021

FishSec (Fisheries Secretariat) is starting a two-year project to aid the recovery of the collapsed cod stock in the Baltic Sea. As part of the Return of the Cod project, which is part-funded by the Postcode Foundation, FishSec will develop proposals for a rescue plan for Baltic cod, as well as analyze the potential socio-economic effects of implementing the plan. In the next phase, the proposals will be presented to decision-makers throughout the Baltic Sea region.

Cod is the most important predatory fish in the Baltic Sea and it plays a key role in the marine ecosystem. For decades, the large eastern cod stock has declined dramatically. In addition to historical overfishing and continued large unauthorized discards of unwanted cod, the stock has been affected by lack of prey, parasites and oxygen-depleted sea beds. Today, the eastern Baltic cod stock only spawns in one area – the Bornholm deep north of the island of Bornholm.

To facilitate the recovery of the eastern cod stock, it is important to implement measures based on the best available scientific knowledge. The marine ecosystem, as well as fishermen and coastal communities around the Baltic Sea, are all hard hit by today’s situation with starving cod and collapsed stocks.

“This project includes partners in all eight EU countries involved in the management of the Baltic Sea. We start by producing two research papers: a literature review on cod and a socio-economic analysis. The reports will result in a number of concrete proposals to facilitate the recovery of cod stocks. The proposals will form the basis for extensive advocacy work aimed at responsible politicians and officials in each EU country “, says Cornilla von Plomgren, Acting Director at FishSec.

The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s most studied seas, and there is no lack of research. There are also many good objectives and rules for the management of both the marine environment and fish stocks. There is, however, a lack of measures that translate the scientific knowledge into concrete actions to achieve the objectives. The support from the Postcode Foundation makes it possible to develop a rescue plan for Baltic cod, a plan that supports ecosystem-based fisheries management to the benefit of cod but also to the interaction between organisms in the Baltic Sea in general.

“Supporting the recovery of eastern Baltic cod is extremely important. Both for the balance of the ecosystem but also to enable sustainable fishing that benefits the people of the region. We are therefore pleased to support the FishSec staff in their work to provide decision-makers with relevant information so that they can make the decisions needed to enable a strong cod stock in the Baltic Sea”, says Marie Dahllöf, Secretary General of the Swedish Postcode Foundation.


For more information visit or contact:

Cornilla von Plomgren, FishSec Acting Director


Mobile: +46 (0)76 049 28 00


Sara Söderström, FishSec Policy Officer


Mobile: +46 (0)70 440 41 86


About FishSec

FishSec is an independent non-partisan not for profit organization that works for the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystem services, with a focus on fishing. The goal is well-managed seas with rich biodiversity and thriving fish stocks. FishSec is active on the EU-level and in the Baltic Sea region and advocates for fishing that is within the limits of what the marine ecosystem can handle.  


About the Swedish Postcode Foundation 

The Postcode Foundation is a beneficiary of the Swedish Postcode Lottery and provides timely support to projects that contribute to a positive change in society. The foundation supports non-profit organizations in Sweden and internationally that actively contribute to the fulfillment of the global goals and to create positive change through concrete efforts. The projects are about everything from human rights to environmental issues as well as about social change and education through sports and investments in culture. Since 2007, 1.5 billion has been allocated to over 600 projects.