Positions & Papers

Eel Evaluation Roadmap NGO submission

May 12, 2018

In response to the evaluation of the eel evaluation roadmap, we have produced a joint NGO paper providing feedback on the effectiveness and implementation of the EU Eel Regulation. In 2007 the EU agreed to establish measures for the recovery of the eel stock. This legislation has yet to bring about marked improvements in the state of the eel stock. It is our hope that through implementation of urgent measures and better management and protection in the future, we can enable long-term recovery and sustainable exploitation of European eel, but we note that we are a very long way from there today.

Joint NGO letter to BALTFISH – spatial mangement of the sprat fishery

April 25, 2018

Nine organiations from across the Baltic region have written to BALTFISH requesting the adoption of the ICES recommendations with regards to sprat management.
For several years ICES have advised that "a spatial management plan is developed for the fisheries that catch sprat, with the aim to improve cod condition....[and] restrictions on sprat catches taken in the main cod area should be established."
Redirecting the sprat fishery away from subdivisions 25 and 26 would likely provide more food for the cod in these areas, where the cod stock is most dense however is marked by stunted growth. There are clear ecosystem interactions between sprat and cod which managers should take into account.
Spatial management of the fishery would also allow cluepids (herring and sprat) to grow larger in the more northern areas of the Baltic Sea where their population density is higher. In addition, a lower incidence of the M74 disease in salmon populations would be expected as a result of a reduced proportion sprat in their diet.
We recommend that BALTFISH adopts the recommendations for the spatial management of sprat as this would likely benefit all the main commercial stocks in the Baltic Sea.

Joint NGO letter – Ending illegal, unreported discarding of fish by the Danish fishing industry

March 6, 2018

In an open letter to the Danish fisheries minister Karen Ellemann, dated 21 February, seven NGOs call on Denmark to take action to stop the widespread illegal and unreported discarding in the Baltic cod fishery and suggest solutions for a successful Landing Obligation, which is an obligation under the EU common fisheries policy (CFP).

The signatories to the letter: Our Fish, FishSec, Greenpeace, WWF, Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, Levende Hav and BalticSea2020 urge the Danish minister to:
1) Ensure undersized fish are not caught in the first place, by requiring the use of more selective gear types;
2) Implement proven, cost-effective monitoring onboard all vessels above 10m length and in segments with an increased risk of discarding (EFCA classification) in the Danish fishing fleet, e.g through the installation of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) and closed-circuit video surveillance;
3) Increase inspections and control at sea; and
4) Begin re-allocating quota to those in the fishing industry who have minimal impact, such as small-scale passive-gear fishers, and are complying with the law.

Post 2020 EU Funding for fisheries and maritime sectors – consulation

February 15, 2018

The European Commission wrote to Advisory Councils across the EU requesting participation in a consultation of funding and subsidies to the fisheries and maritime sectors before they produce their official proposals for how the funds will be used after 2020. As part of this consultation, the Fisheries Secretariat together with Coalition Clean Baltic and the Finnish Association for Nature Consulation submitted answers on how public funds can be used to implement the CFP, improve the state of fish stocks, labour conditions, and support the small-scale segment.

Amending the Baltic multiannual management plan – Bothnian herring

February 15, 2018

The Commission has proposed an amendment to the Baltic multiannual management plan to combine the Bothnian Sea and Bothnian Bay and to establish defined fishing mortality ranges and biomass levels for it. The Baltic Sea Advisory Council was consulted as part of the process and The Fisheries Secretariat participated, and our contribution can be found on page 4.

Improving and facilitating assessment of the landing obligation

February 15, 2018

The Fisheries Secretariat has responded to the European Commission consultation on the landing obliation and submitted this contribution as part of our work in the Baltic Sea Advisory Council after a questionnaire was produced for Member States and producer organisations as a way of improving the implementation of the landing obligation and ending the wasteful practice of discards in European waters.

Revision of the EU Fisheries Control System – Joint NGO letter

December 20, 2017

In this letter the undersigned organisations have requested a meeting with the European Commission to discuss the revision of the EU Fisheries Control System.

Northeast Atlantic and North Sea TACs 2018: Council briefing from the Fisheries Secretariat & Seas at Risk

December 4, 2017

This joint NGO letter and annex one and two from the Fisheries Secretariat, Seas At Risk, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oceana and ClientEarth provides recommendations to the Fisheries Council on the European Commission’s proposal on fishing opportunities in the Northeast Atlantic and North Sea for 2018. The Fisheries Council will conclude on 12 December, and we ask the Council to endorse our recommendations in order to meet the requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy and to ensure a more sustainable utilisation of our common marine resources.

Protecting the eel stock – Questions to EU Ministers

November 24, 2017

20 NGOs have written to EU ministers and called upon them to explain what they will do to protect the endangered European eel after the EU Commission proposed to ban marine catches of adult eels.
  1. Do you agree that the state of the European eel is critical and that eel must have better protection than what the current recovery plan provides?
  2. What further measures do you envisage in addition to closing the EU-wide marine fisheries?
  3. What measures will you take at a national level to further protect the European eel?

Council brief on Baltic TACs for 2018

September 27, 2017

This briefing provides recommendations to the Fisheries Council on the European Commission’s proposal on fishing opportunities in the Baltic for 2018. This is the first time the Commission has proposed a prohibition of fishing on the endangered eel.

Quotas will be set in line with the measures outlined in the Baltic multiannual management plan. The Fisheries Council will conclude on 10 October, and we ask the Council to endorse our recommendations in order to ensure more sustainable utilisation of our common marine resources.

Annex I provides a detailed set of recommendations for the main commercial stocks in the Baltic Sea and Annex II is a briefing detailing our support for the prohibition on eel fishing.