Oceana questions 2014 quota

23 Aug 2013
The Commission has recommended a 15% cut in Baltic cod quota, despite scientific advice. Photo: FAO

The Commission has recommended a 15% cut in Baltic cod quota, despite scientific advice. Photo: FAO

The European Commission’s 2014 Total Allowable Catches (TAC) recommendations for the Baltic Sea fall short of already agreed upon international targets, says Oceana.

For western Baltic cod stock, scientific advice has suggested a 44% quota decrease to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015.

Despite this, the Commission has recommended a decrease in quota by just 15% but expects the long-term effects of the approach to lead to “more sustainable fishing activities and increased landings”.

“The Commission claims its proposal is in line with scientific advice, which is clearly not true. If this proposal is agreed upon, it is certain that several fish stocks will not reach sustainable levels by 2015, the international commitment made by the EU, and recently upheld in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy,” said Hanna Paulomäki, project manager, Baltic Sea, Oceana.

Oceana says salmon stocks, which are in a bad state following decades of overfishing and degrading environmental conditions, are also a cause for concern.

While scientists have stated that a 50% quota cut would still not be enough to ensure the restoration of the stock to sustainable levels, the Commission has chosen to maintain last year’s quota for the main salmon stock.

 “It is out hope that the Fisheries Ministers will have the fortitude to follow scientific advice when they decide on fishing opportunities at the October Council meeting,” added Magnus Eckeskog, policy advisor, Oceana.

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