Plaice is up and and quotas for both eastern and western cod fisheries are a rollover, but this still leaves Baltic fishermen with some very tight quotas for 2023 as the Council of the European Union has reached agreement on Baltic fishing opportunities for next year.
The cod allowances are to cover unavoidable by-catches with other fisheries while the adoption of new rules making more selective fishing gear for flatfish mandatory is expected to result in improvements allowing for the increase of the plaice total allowable catch (TAC), without adding to the pressure on cod.
The Council agreed increases for central herring, while the TACs for sprat, Bothnian herring and Riga herring were reduced.
‘In recent years, we have been working together to restore the marine environment and the fish stocks of the Baltic Sea. I am happy that the Council has agreed to follow the Commission’s comprehensive approach to setting fishing opportunities and has followed our proposal for most stocks,’ said Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, welcoming this outcome.
‘The very responsible decisions reached today, built on the sustainable compromise reached by the Member States in the Baltic Sea region, will help bring the Baltic to a better environmental status, so that it can once again become a source of living and livelihood for our fishermen and women. Furthermore, 2023 will mark three years since the Our Baltic Ministerial conference. The Commission will use this milestone to look at the progress we have all made in making the commitments we pledged to in the Declaration a reality and making the Baltic thrive again.’