WWF criticises EU ruling
The WWF has criticised the decision, describing it as inadequate from a nature conservation viewpoint.
Stella Nemecky, a fisheries expert at WWF, described the ruling as legalised overfishing rather than sustainable management, saying that the western cod would be overfished with official approval, despite the fact that the stock was in the red in the coming season.
Although fish stocks had increased, the numbers for the western cod is growing from such a low level that it is still at risk. The fish would require ideal conditions at sea to flourish, which is not the case of the Baltic Sea.
At the meeting, the ministers had restricted the fish catches by 20 percent, instead of the 40 percent recommended by the scientific community. Besides cod, the catches of herring in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea, as well as salmon, also exceed the recommended levels.
The Baltic Sea is far from being sustainable, according to the WWF. A discard ban implemented at the beginning of the year was sluggish. The process of transforming the fisheries management into a sustainable one for cod, herring and sprat over a period of several years had hit a dead end. The design of this process – particularly in the area of catch limits – had been much debated over. Actually, the negotiations between the EU Commission, Council of Ministers and the EU Parliament have been suspended for months; originally, the plan should have been decided and confirmed by mid-2015.
Further Information: www.wwf.de