Baltic Sea cod quota increase proposed

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
September 3, 2009

The European Commission on Thursday proposed increasing the cod quota and reducing the herring quota in the Baltic Sea next year.

The EC recommended a 15 percent increase in the 2010 eastern cod quota, to 51,267 metric tons, and a 9 percent increase in the 2010 western cod quota, to 17,700 metric tons.

“The positive trend for Baltic Sea cod gives us confidence that the plan we have adopted to rebuild the stocks is working,” said EC Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg.

“We have paved the way for the comeback of Baltic cod by strictly applying the cod plan. This strict application is essential also in bountiful years along with further measures as might be deemed necessary,” he explained. “While discarding used to be rather low in the Baltic so far, there are indications that it might be on the increase. In line with the EC’s position on discards, we are therefore proposing a high-grading ban for next year.”

The EC also proposed a 21 percent reduction in the 2010 western herring quota, to 21,469 tons, and a 15 percent reduction in both the 2010 central herring quota, to 122,068 metric tons, and the 2010 sprat quota, to 339,960 metric tons.

“For herring, the stock is in a long-term slump, witnessed by the fact that incoming year classes are continuing to decline and are now merely a quarter of what they used to be,” said Borg. “Serious cuts in fishing possibilities are needed to stop overfishing this stock and compensate for the poor recruitment.”

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