Brussels - Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have released their latest briefing on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy in advance of the next Agrifish Council, with recommendations on Baltic Sea fishing quotas in 2017. The briefing outlines key considerations for the meeting of the Agrifish Council as it will for the first time agree on quotas after having adopted the Baltic Sea Multi-Annual Plan earlier this year.
The organisations emphasize the need to set fishing opportunities below the exploitation level that corresponds with maximum sustainable yield in order to restore and maintain fish stocks above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield as required by the Common Fisheries Policy.
While the Commission’s proposal for several stocks is in line with scientific advice, the Western Baltic cod stock is severely overfished and continued overfishing is substantial. Reproduction is now clearly impaired and the biomass is below the critical limit value. The Common Fisheries Policy and the Baltic Multi-Annual Plan were designed specifically to avoid the risk of recruitment failure, yet this has occurred now. Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat therefore urge ministers to follow the necessary provisions foreseen and set a total allowable catch of no more than 917 tonnes.