EU Commission ignores scientific advice on Baltic wild salmon catch



Posted on 17 October 2013  | 
(Brussels, 17th October) European Union Fisheries Ministers will meet today to decide on the Baltic Sea commercial fish stock quotas for 2014. WWF is deeply concerned that the European Commission proposal to Fisheries Ministers exceeds the recommended scientific advice and increase catches by nearly 40% for next year’s quota of the Baltic wild salmon.

Quote from Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office
“The advice from the European Commission flies in the face of the agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council in May that set a clear goal of reaching sustainable stocks levels in the period between 2015 and 2020.”

“Wild Baltic salmon are continuously overexploited and of the 30 salmon stocks only a handful have reached or are likely to reach the minimum recovery targets in the foreseeable future. WWF calls on the Baltic countries to follow the scientific advice provided and hold true to their agreement under the CFP. Fisheries Ministers should apply the precautionary principle and allow the salmon stocks the chance for recovery.”

EU Fisheries Ministers will decide how much fish can be caught in the Baltic Sea for 2014. Most of the commercial fish stocks in the Baltic Sea are exploited sustainably following the scientific advice given by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). However, the Baltic wild salmon it is another story.

Not only is salmon threatened by overfishing, they are also victim to high illegal and unreported catches along with unsuitable spawning areas due to poor water quality and river barriers by waterpower plants. These factors prevent their further recovery. WWF and many other environmental and scientific organisations working with the fisheries sector have asked to set a long-term management plan for the Baltic Salmon. We are still waiting for this plan to be adopted.

The Fisheries Council meeting is held in Brussels on 17 October.

FACTS
• Most of the commercial fish stocks in the Baltic Sea are utilized sustainably and according to the scientific advice given by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

• For the Baltic Salmon in the Main Basin , ICES advice is to allow the total catch for 2014 to be at 78,000 individual salmon whereas the European Commission is proposing a total catch of 108,421 individual salmon.

Note to editor

Link to ICES advice for more information on the proposed quotas for 2014: www.ices.dk
For more information, contact


Philippe Carr:
pcarr@wwf.eu
WWF European Policy Office
168 avenue de Tervurenlaan Box 20
1150 Brussels
Belgium
Mob: +32 (0)4786 25 68 79
wwf.eu


See www.wwf.eu/fisheries for the latest news and media resources

Fishing in the Baltic sea
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