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Turska. Kuva: Wikimedia Commons


Dear Commissioner Vella


Emergency measures for Eastern Baltic cod stock and a meeting to discuss Baltic fishing opportunities for 2020

Further to the letter to you on 14 Feb 2019 from Baltic NGOs with regard to the crisis situation for Eastern Baltic Cod and the need for emergency measures. Thank you very much for your reply on 13 March 2019. We are writing now to update and inform you of further relevant correspondence on this matter. We would also like to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the Baltic fishing opportunities for 2020.

Following the publishing of the ICES benchmark report on Eastern and Western Baltic cod we wrote to all Baltic member state fisheries ministers on 11 April 2019. We attach a copy for your information. A number of Baltic member states have replied. We have put all of the correspondence onto one publically accessible website to increase transparency. You can find these at the weblink below:

Some member states have not yet replied to our letter but have responded publicly in other ways, for example you will see the opinion editorial published in a main Swedish newspaper by the

Swedish agriculture and fisheries minister Nilsson and environment minister Lövin and also the press release by the Danish government.

We have also been informed that you recently wrote to all Baltic member states fisheries ministers urging them to take action and noting that if they do not you will recommend the Commission itself takes action under CFP article 12.

A number of member states have pointed towards the BALTFISH high level group meeting on 4th June in Stockholm as the occasion when Baltic Member states have the opportunity to agree appropriate emergency measures for Eastern Baltic Cod. We understand that Commission representatives will also attend that meeting in person.

We hope that the BALTFISH high level group will agree to close the fishery and take all other necessary emergency measures. However, we urge the Commission to come to that meeting prepared with a plan echoing the resolve in the letter that you sent to all countries asking for appropriate measures and prepared to act if member states cannot agree. We note that a long-term re-building plan for the stock will be required and that discussion and agreement on this also needs to happen soon.

Unfortunately we must also note that other Baltic stocks continue to show clear signs of crisis. In particular there are ongoing serious concerns about the Western Baltic Spring Spawn Herring and Western Baltic Cod.

We await the ICES advice for Baltic stocks, the outcome of the group meeting and the Commissions further action with great interest.

Following the publication of the ICES advice we would like to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the Baltic fishing opportunities for 2020. We would welcome your suggestion for a potential meeting date.

With regards,

Lindsay Keenan, Fisheries Policy Officer, The Fisheries Secretariat

Nils Höglund, Fisheries Policy Officer, Coalition Clean Baltic

Conrad Stralka, Director, BalticSea2020

Andrzej Bialas, Fisheries Policy Officer, Oceana in Europe

Rebecca Hubbard, Program Director, Our Fish

Tapani Veistola, Senior Advisor, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation

Monica Verbeek, Executive Director, Seas at Risk


Toiminnanjohtaja Tapani Veistola

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