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2019-08-26

Fisheries Brief no. 17: Prioritise the environment over a handful of jobs

Stick to the plan to save the Baltic cod
At the end of July, the Commission, prompted by the Baltic cod crisis, introduced an immediate ban on fishing for the rest of the year. Earlier this year the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommended that no cod fishing involving the eastern stock should be permitted during 2020. Responsibility now rests entirely with the region’s fisheries ministers, who in October will make a decision on cod fishing in the Baltic Sea in 2020. Will they listen to the scientific advice from the ICES, which says that it will take years of fishing bans before we stand any chance of seeing an improvement in the stock? Or will they bow to pressure from short-term special interests?

2019-06-27

Fisheries Brief no. 16: Navigating the hidden perils of the fisheries policy

June has been an eventful month for both the fisheries policy and the Baltic cod. Since the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published its recommendation for next year’s fishing quotas for Baltic cod, there has been a flurry of activity among politicians and other officials. An evaluation of the multiannual management plans (MAPs) is ongoing in parallel with this, and the Commission has approved a communication on fishing opportunities for 2020, which also covers Baltic cod.

2019-06-12

Fisheries Brief no. 15: Good job government! Now the real work begins

The situation facing the Baltic cod is so severe that this could be our last chance to ensure that the stock recovers; otherwise it will be destroyed (see Fisheries Brief no. 12).On 29 May, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) presented its recommendation for next year’s fishing quotas for Baltic cod. The proposed quota for the eastern stock is zero (0), while for the western stock a range between 5305 and 7245 tonnes, including recreational fishing, has been proposed. On 3 June, the Swedish government announced that it will work to introduce an emergency ban from 1 July this year. The government also supports ICES’s recommendation of a ban on cod fishing in 2020.

2019-06-10

The government wants to see emergency measures for Baltic cod

On the 3rd of June, representatives from the EU’s Baltic countries attended a meeting of the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum (BALTFISH) in order to discuss the situation facing the cod. Following last week’s publication of scientific advice on next year’s fishing in the Baltic Sea by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), it was clear that the situation facing cod in the eastern Baltic stock is now so critical that a zero catch is proposed (read more about the advice here).

2019-05-29

Comment on ICES advice on cod quota in the Baltic Sea

Today the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) proposes that the fishing quota for eastern Baltic cod should be set to zero next year. The cod stock has deteriorated for a long time and is now considered to be so close to the limit that it is unclear if recovery even is possible. ICES notes that the only thing that can be done is to stop all fishing for cod in the Baltic Sea.

2019-05-17

Fisheries Brief no. 14: The system that fools itself

The situation facing the Baltic cod is so severe that this could be our last chance to ensure that the stock recovers; otherwise it will be destroyed (see Fisheries Brief no. 12).

2019-05-02

Fisheries Brief no. 13: List of measures for the Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs

Jennie Nilsson, the Minister for Rural Affairs, and Isabella Lövin, the Minister for Environment, recently wrote an opinion editorial for Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) about the crisis facing Baltic cod. It is good that the Baltic cod is now on the agenda of both ministers. Although a number of factors have contributed to the crisis, we believe that it is a case of keeping the focus on an aspect that can be influenced in the short term – the fisheries policy.

2019-04-15

Environmental organizations ask Fisheries Ministers to introduce emergency measures for the Baltic cod

Last week, a letter was sent to the Fisheries Ministers of EU around the Baltic Sea. In the letter, several environmental organizations, including BalticSea2020, ask the ministers to introduce emergency measures to try to save the eastern Baltic cod.

2019-04-02

Fisheries Brief no. 12: Continued cod fishing is harmful

The catastrophic development of the Baltic cod continues with no sign of intervention on the part of authorities or politicians.

2019-03-13

BalticSea2020 supports yet another scientific project to better understand the critical situation of Baltic cod

Since it was founded, BalticSea2020 has focused on projects that aim to strengthen predatory fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The cod is a top predator and plays an important part in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. However, since the 1990s cod from stocks in the eastern Baltic Sea have gradually been getting smaller and thinner.

2019-03-04

Did you miss the seminary The Expansion of Low Oxygen Zones in the Global Ocean and Coastal Waters?

On February 21, several prominent international professors participated in the full-day symposium The Expansion of Low Oxygen Zones in the Global Ocean and Coastal Waters in Stockholm. The symposium addressed the impact of changes in productivity, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles with declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters.

2019-02-25

The oxygen conditions in the Baltic Sea main basin is still poor

At the end of January to the beginning of February this year, a research expedition was conducted in the Baltic Sea to investigate phosphorus concentrations and oxygen levels.

2019-02-15

Fisheries Brief no. 11: Crucial year for Baltic cod

Swedish politicians must get involved in the process far earlier than a few days before the Council of Ministers in October. They must make it clear to officials what the priorities are. Our minister for fisheries must talk to colleagues from around the Baltic Sea to find political solutions.

2019-02-13

New article: Pike wetlands – do they have any importance for the Baltic Sea coastal area?

Pike is one of Sweden’s most common predatory fish with an important role to play in the coastal ecosystem. Unfortunately, pike stocks in the Baltic Sea have declined in recent decades. Can pike wetlands, or ‘pike factories’, help strengthen the pike stock along the Baltic Sea coast?

2019-02-13

The county administrative boards will receive more than SEK 400 million for local water conservation

Today, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) announced that the Swedish county administrative boards will receive over SEK 400 million this year for local water conservation work to reduced eutrophication.

2019-01-24

SwAm publishes report on the status of our commercially most important fish species

Today, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water management published the report Fish and shellfish stock in sea and freshwater 2018, a compilation of the condition of our commercially most important fish and shellfish species.

2019-01-10

Interesting seminary: The Expansion of Low Oxygen Zones in the Global Ocean and Coastal Waters

On February 21, several prominent international professors will participate in the full-day symposium The Expansion of Low Oxygen Zones in the Global Ocean and Coastal Waters in Stockholm. The symposium will address the impact of changes in productivity, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles with declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters.

2018-12-11

New study: the grey seal is not the reason that Baltic cod stock is in crisis

This weekend, an article was published in the scientific journal AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment. The article states that the grey seal is not the reason for the Baltic cod´s crisis.

2018-12-07

Nine marine areas in the Baltic Sea included in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

On Thursday, 29 November 2018, it was agreed that nine marine areas in the Baltic Sea will be included in the international Convention on Biological Diversity. This means that these marine areas are deemed to merit special protection. Such areas are known as Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs).

2018-12-06

SwAM’s assessment of the Swedish marine environment complete

As part of its work to implement the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) has been assessing the status of the Swedish marine environment. SwAM issued a press release on the 29th of November about the results of that assessment.