Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 276

Fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2021

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 settembre 2020

It has been known for several years that Eastern Baltic cod was not doing well. In 2019, scientists discovered that the stock was actually in a worse state than expected and warned that this fish stock had been below safe biological limits for several years. It is expected to stay at such low depleted levels at least in the medium term even without any fishing. The Commission therefore invited Member States in early 2019 to take action. Some did, others did not. As the stock is widely distributed in the Baltic Sea and as all Member States of the Baltic Sea participate in the fishery, the Commission decided to take action at EU-level and adopted in July 2019 emergency measures prohibiting for the rest of 2019, fishing for cod in the most concerned areas with some derogations.For 2020, scientists advised to totally stop any catches of cod. As many fisheries have at least some by-catches of cod, a total fishing ban would have led to “choke” situations. On the other hand, there could no longer be targeted fisheries on cod and by-catches of cod of course needed to be drastically limited. The Commission therefore proposed and the Council agreed to establish a very limiting total allowable catches (hereafter TAC) which can only be used for by-catches of cod in order to avoid that other fisheries in the Baltic Sea have to be stopped entirely. As the scientists had unfortunately not been in a position to provide on time a figure for those by-catches that cannot be avoided in other fisheries, the TAC was set based on an estimation made by the Commission.As expected, for 2021 the scientist advise a continued stop for all catches of cod. In addition, the scientists provided different scenarios and related figures for by-catches of cod in other fisheries. The Commission has taken those figures as a basis for its proposal and estimates that the scenario of 20% cod by-catches on average in other fisheries is a reasonable one given the dire situation of the eastern Baltic cod stock.

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