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Multiannual management plan for fish stocks in the Baltic

Cod catches. (Photo Credit: Steve Schweitzer)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Council of Fisheries Ministers was briefed in Brussels by the European Commission (EC) and held a public exchange of views on a proposal for a regulation of the establishment of a multiannual plan for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea.

Member states generally welcomed the proposal considering that it will be a test case for a new generation of multiannual management plans. Even having pointed out that there are issues to discuss further, such as the legal basis or the acts delegated to the Commission, most of the ministers envisaged very positively the examination of the proposal in the months to come. In those conditions, the Presidency hopes to reach a general approach on this proposal before the end of the Presidency and launch the negotiations with the Parliament.

This management plan aims to ensure that the Baltic stocks of cod, herring and sprat are exploited in a sustainable way according to the principles of maximum sustainable yield (MSY). It aims to replace the existing management plan for the Baltic Sea cod stocks (in place since 2007) with a multispecies approach because the stocks of herring and sprat are not yet subject to a management plan.
In view of the strong influence that biological interactions and environmental effects have on those fish stocks, exploitation rates and patterns should be adapted. In addition, scientific advice has indicated that the current exploitation rates for some of the Baltic fish stocks are currently not consistent with achieving MSY.

The proposal belongs to a new generation of multiannual management plans designed on the basis of principles jointly agreed between the Council and the European Parliament, as a result of the report on the subject from the inter-institutional Task Force. The Task Force was created to resolve an inter-institutional disagreement on the allocation of responsibilities between the Council and the European Parliament under article 43 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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