News from our Brussels Bureau (part II)

18 Sep 2019
Author: Jan Kappel

Category: Lobby,News,EFTTA

Baltic cod fishing 2020 - angling restrictions proposed by the EU Commission

EFTTA supports the Commission’s proposal to allow by-catches only in the Eastern Baltic sea. Not much angling for cod happens in this water. However, EFTTA is not happy about the proposed reduction in the bag limit from 7 to two cod in the Western Baltic Sea. EFTTA, together with the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) will try to avoid that to happen. The EU fisheries ministers will decide finally on these measures at a Council meeting 14-15 October.

Eastern Baltic cod
- For eastern Cod, scientists found that the stock size has decreased substantially and has been below safe biological limits for some time already. Therefore, in July, the Commission adopted emergency measures for the remainder of 2019, prohibiting the fishing of cod in the areas where eastern Baltic cod is most present.
- For 2020, the Commission proposes to allow by-catches only.
- Moreover, it proposes to extend the existing spawning closure period in time and scope,
- and to prohibit recreational fishing in those areas where eastern Baltic cod is most present.

Western Baltic cod:
- Western Baltic Cod had been at very low levels for several years. However, last year, indications showed an increasing stock size. Based on this, the total allowable catches for 2019 were 70% higher. Unfortunately, the most recent scientific observations indicate that the stock size did not increase as much as previously estimated.
- Therefore, the Commission proposes to reduce the total allowable catches by 68%,
- to re-introduce a spawning closure period and
- to reduce the limit for recreational fishermen from 7 to 2 specimens per day.
- Furthermore, the Commission proposes to limit the use of the TAC in deeper waters to by-catches
- and to prohibit recreational fishing for cod.
These measures are necessary because of the mixed presence of both western and eastern Baltic cod in a specific area and the exceptionally bad condition of the eastern stock.
> Read the full commission proposal of 30 August.

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