European Commission Proposes Fishing Opportunities For 2024 In The Baltic Sea


Monday, the European Commission has adopted its proposal for the 2024 fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea in response to a scientific assessment that indicates several fisheries are in a dire situation.

The Commission proposed the total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for three out of the ten stocks managed in the Baltic Sea. The remaining quota proposals will be established at a later stage. The Commission proposes to increase fishing opportunities for salmon in the Gulf of Finland by 7 percent, while proposing to decrease fishing of salmon in the main basin by 15 percent, and to decrease herring catches in the Gulf of Riga by 20 percent.

As for the other stocks in the Baltic (western cod, eastern cod, western herring, Bothnian herring, central herring, sprat and plaice), the Commission has requested additional information from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) to take better account of the fact that cod is caught together with flatfish, and herring together with sprat.

Scientists estimate that the size of the central Baltic herring stock has been around or below minimum levels since the early 1990s. The stock size of Bothnian herring fell below healthy levels due to the lower number of young fish and the smaller size of older fish. The Commission therefore proposes to close the targeted fisheries for both stocks, and to maintain the closure for the targeted fisheries on cod stocks, western herring and salmon in most of the main basin.

The Commission will propose setting by-catch TACs for western cod, eastern cod, western herring, Bothnian herring and central herring on the basis of additional information expected in autumn. This proposal will allow vessels to land the unavoidable catches of each of these weak stocks when fishing for example for plaice or sprat.

The Commission said that the proposed TACs are based on the best available scientific advice from ICES and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted in 2016 by the European Parliament and the Council.

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