No chance for Baltic cod - WWF

Posted on 25 October 2006  | 
Brussels/Luxembourg - EU Fisheries Ministers have written off cod from the Baltic Sea last night in Luxembourg. WWF, the global conservation organisation, denounces the decision of the Council on fishing opportunities in the Baltic for the coming year as irresponsible.

Deaf to repeated scientific advice asking for a ban, the Ministers have refused to close the collapsing cod fisheries in the eastern Baltic and have cut quota by only 10 per cent for 2007. As a result, the eastern Baltic cod is likely to remain overexploited, with no chance for a proper recovery. With yesterday’s decision, the western stock of Baltic cod is also on the black list: quota will only be reduced by 6 per cent.

“The EU Ministers have condemned Baltic cod for the sake of short-term economic interests. Based on the harsh economic reality caused by the collapse of cod in the North Atlantic, we know just how short-sighted this decision is”, says Carol Phua, Fisheries Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office. “The chances for Baltic cod to recover in these conditions are very limited. While we had hoped the EU understood the urgency to follow scientific recommendations, they clearly have, once again, turned their back on science as well as common sense. It is truly appalling”.

The EU Member States have also agreed to weaken the Commission proposal on control and monitoring measures for fisheries in the Baltic Sea, which is a breach in the fight against illegal and unreported fisheries, a serious problem in the region.

For further information
Caroline Alibert, WWF European Policy Office
Tel +32 (0)2 7400 936, Email:
To prevent their commercial collapse ICES is advising zero catch for cod stocks in the North Sea, West of Scotland and in the Irish Sea.
© WWF-Canon / Quentin Bates Enlarge

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