February 7, 2017

Monitoring, control and enforcement of Baltic Sea discard ban to be reviewed

A joint meeting with representatives from BSAC, BALTFISH and EFCA will be held in Hamburg, Germany, March 9, to review the monitoring, control and enforcement of the landing obligation that entered into force 1 January 2015 in the Baltic Sea. Still, one out of four cod caught in the Eastern Baltic stock was thrown back dead in the sea during 2015, amounting to 18 million individuals, according to ICES[1].

February 7, 2017

STECF gives DFPO rebuff on spatial fisheries closures

Over the past year the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation, DFPO, has successfully been advocating to open up the western Baltic cod fishery during February and March. Their main argument has been a lack of scientific evidence that closures has a positive effect on the fish stocks, but without providing such data. Now The Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) concludes that spatial closures benefit both increase spawning stock biomass and decrease fishing mortality.

February 7, 2017

Will BSAC move towards a fair and balanced external representation?

The Baltic Sea Advisory Council has a significant imbalance in which organisations represent the Council in external fora, a FishSec review shows. The Other Interest Group (OIGs) holds 40% of the seats and yet attends only 17% of the meetings on an annual basis. By contrast the fishing industry attends 58% of meetings and the Secretariat 25%. FIshSec has proposed measures to achieve a fair and balanced representation, but the Executive committee still struggles to take the final step and come to a decision.

January 10, 2017

LIFE rejects Individual Transferable Quotas

In a recent position paper the Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) have rejected Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) as a primary method of quota allocation because of the disproportionately negative impact they have on small scale coastal fishers and fishing communities.

January 4, 2017

Hypocrisy of the bottom trawling fleet

Following the quota reduction for western Baltic cod in 2017, the Fisheries Secretariat put forward a proposal to the Baltic Sea Advisory Council (BSAC). The proposal urges member states to support the most vulnerable fishers in line with Article 17 of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). However, this proposal was not supported by a single member representing the industrial fleet in the executive committee (ExCom) meeting, 15 November 2016 in Copenhagen.

January 3, 2017

Germany promises move towards a more transparent BALTFISH

Germany, holder of the BALTFISH presidency, will take initiatives to improve the transparency of the regional group. - We will contact the EU commission and ask if they can host a website for BALTFISH, said the chair Walter Dübner during a seminar at the EU Baltic Sea Strategy Forum in Stockholm.

December 22, 2016

Plan for closer cooperation between marine environment and fisheries management in the Baltic Sea

At the recent HELCOM Heads of Delegation meeting, 14-15 December, a commitment was made to initiate closer cooperation with BALTFISH.

December 19, 2016

The Fisheries Secretariat is looking to hire

Along with the North Sea Foundation and Seas at Risk, we are looking to hire an NGO Advisory Council support officer to coordinate the work of NGOs in the EU fisheries advisory councils.

November 23, 2016

North Atlantic and North Sea TACs 2017: Policy briefing from the Fisheries Secretariat & Seas at Risk  

For the upcoming December Council meeting, at which quotas will be set for over 150 stocks, we have prepared a briefing outlining our main recommendations for certain key and vulnerable stocks. The principle outlined in the reformed CFP means that Ministers must set quotas below Fmsy, where possible. Thereby ensuring a sustainable harvest whilst allowing … Continued

November 17, 2016

NGOs renew calls for greater transparency when quotas are set

In a letter to the Slovakian Presidency of the EU, NGOs have requested that the December Council meeting at which quotas are set for hundreds of Atlantic and North Sea fish stocks is live streamed and publicly accessible. Fish stocks are a public resource and it is in the public interest that decisions are taken … Continued