Poland must apply the rule for Baltic cod | WWF

Poland must apply the rule for Baltic cod

Posted on 24 September 2007    

Brussels, Belgium – Although the EU has closed cod fisheries for the Polish fleet in the eastern Baltic Sea, Poland has allowed fishermen to continue operating this week, thus breaking international law and putting the endangered stock at greater risk of collapse, denounces WWF.

The European Commission’s decision comes as there has been evidence that the country misreported its catch and exhausted its 2007 EU quota for the threatened species.

Other countries like Germany, Sweden and Lithuania have taken strong steps to comply with the recent EU warnings but Poland has refused to cooperate.

“Poland’s decision to disregard the EU ban is simply unacceptable,” says Ewa Milewska from WWF-Poland. “The Polish government must follow the rules and immediately close the fishery, which is the only way to save Baltic cod.”

According to widespread news reports, dozens of Polish trawlers continued to fish, most of them for cod, in an open defiance of the ban.

If this is confirmed, WWF asks the European Commission to take all the necessary measures to ensure the rules are applied, including the reduction of overcatches on next year’s quota, the withdrawal of European funds and the pursuit of Poland in front of the European Court of Justice.

For further information:
Caroline Alibert, Fisheries Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office 
Tel: +32 2 7400 936
Mob: +32 495 26 07 13
E-mail: calibert@wwfepo.org

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