Fisheries ministers set the 2022 TACs for the Baltic Sea

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29 Oct

On 12 October, the European Union’s fisheries ministers agreed on the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and quotas for the fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The situation has been worrying for the past years and the Ministers took measures to counteract the dire state of some stocks. Measures have also been taken on recreational fisheries around the Baltic.

For western Baltic cod, and in view of the latest scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Council agreed to drastically reduce the TAC by 88% to 489 tonnes of by-catches. ICES had however advised for a TAC of 698 tonnes, both for commercial and recreational catches to reduce the pressures on the stocks.

For recreational fishers, ministers agreed to reduce the bag limit to one cod per day, a drastic cut compared to the 5 cod bag limit established last year. This will hit the angling tourism sector with sharp losses of income for charter boats, the measures appear though to be justified concerning the condition of the stock. The European Anglers Alliance states that economic support measures for the sector should however be implemented. A closed season is also introduced from 15 January until 31 March during the spawning period.

As regards salmon in the main basin, ICES advised for a zero TAC, both for commercial and recreational fisheries. ICES however advised that spatial-temporal management could be implemented, allowing for some fishing opportunities, up to 75,000 salmon. For 2022, the Council agreed to reduce the TAC by 32% to 63,811 salmon. It phases out commercial fishing at sea and only the northern coastal fishery with a catch based mostly on strong river stocks will continue. For recreational fishers at sea (trolling fishers), ministers agreed to introduce a bag limit of one fin-clipped salmon per day.

Reactions from EAA members:

Deutscher Angelfischerverband e.V. (Germany): Fishing opportunities for cod and salmon will be severely restricted in the Baltic Sea in 2022

Sportfiskarna (Sweden): Sport fishing for cod and salmon is more tightly regulated

Danmarks Sportsfiskerforbund (Denmark): New rules for fishing in the Baltic Sea from 2022: 1 cod and 1 fat fin-cut salmon per day

Suomen Vapaa-Ajankalastajat (Finland): Baltic salmon fishing rules for 2022
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