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A dark day for the Baltic cod

EU member states have agreed on the Baltic Sea fishing quotas for 2019. For the eastern cod a reduction in the quota with 15% was set. It is a reduction that does not follow the scientific advice (50% higher), the advice from interest groups and is much higher than what the professional fishermen themselves proposed. It can only be summed up as a total political failure.

For the stock in the western Baltic Sea, an increase of the quota with 70% was decided. The increase is within the higher range of ICES recommendations, but last year the stock were judged to have fallen below biologically safe limits. With that in mind the precautionary principle should prevail when setting the quota for western cod. Especially when ICES recommendations contain red warning signs for all criteria for which the stock is assessed.

Overall, yesterday's quota decision on cod in the Baltic Sea is deeply deplorable. After decades of miserable management and poor political decisions, which resulted in a reduction of cod stock in the Baltic Sea by almost 90%, the mismanagement is allowed to continue.

Next year's fishing quotas for the Baltic Sea can be found on the Government Offices of Sweden´s homepage (only in Swedish).