On the 17th of October, experts from the organisations in the Return of the Cod campaign travelled to Luxembourg where fisheries ministers from Baltic countries and the European Commission met to decide fishing limits in the Baltic Sea for 2023. Our experts were there to remind policy makers that this year is a vital year for the highly depleted cod populations in the Baltic and for reaching conservation measures are needed to make sure this iconic species is not lost.
Over the past months we asked our supporters to send us photos from around the Baltic Sea showing the beauty of the Baltic and the need to conserve it’s natural resources. With these photos we made a beautiful photobook which also has a Call to Action to #SaveBalticCod which was signed by 7,884 people.
The photobook was presented to the European Commission and to the German state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Silvia Bender. As they were heading into the Fisheries Council meeting on Monday morning where they would decide on the future of Baltic cod. Other delegates were presented with cod shaped pins to wear during the meeting to remind them of the need to save cod.
Where in the past fisheries council meetings have lasted deep into the night, Monday’s meeting was unprecedentedly short. Ministers and Commission needed just three hours of negotiations to reach an agreement. The outcome is not as progressive as we would have wanted but it is very hopeful that the decision makers are starting to incorporate ecosystem considerations in the quota setting that are essential for rebuilding cod populations in the Baltic.
Lead our full press release on the October council outcomes here.