EAA adopts two new position papers on Atlantic Salmon in the Baltic and Western Baltic Cod

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04 Jul

The European Anglers Alliance has adopted two new position papers with recommendations regarding fishing opportunities for 2024 and conservation measures for the Atlantic Salmon in the Baltic and the Western Baltic Cod.

Atlantic Salmon in the Baltic
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published its advice for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the Baltic Sea (SD´s 22-31) for the year 2024. All current scientific information shows clear problems for several river stocks. EAA agrees with ICES that the current management involves a risk for extinction of several weak river stocks and calls for a strong management.

More specifically, the European Anglers Alliance asks for:
  • A bag limit of one salmon (wild or fin-clipped) per angler and day for sea anglers south of latitude 59.30 N.
  • Recreational trolling north of 59.30 N to be subject to member state regulation and avoiding unnecessarily regulation through a 4 nautical mile boundary.
  • A new study of mortality of Atlantic salmon released after being caught via trolling to be carried out.
  • Regulations demanding landing of whole un-filleted fish to be applied only for salmonids (salmon and sea trout), not for other species such as pike, perch and pikeperch.
  • More EMFAF funding to be allocated to the removal of fish migration barriers in the rivers.

Read the EAA position paper here.

Western Baltic Cod
The ICES also published its advice for western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) for the year 2024. Current scientific information shows that the western Baltic cod stock suffers from environmental factors affecting reproductive success, a previous history of overfishing and the lack of selective commercial fishing gears to reduce bycatch of small cod.

The EAA makes the following recommendations:
  • Recreational fishing opportunities for cod must be preserved.
  • Introduce a maximum landing size for anglers.
  • Increase the minimum landing size.
  • Combine previous measures with seasonal closures and bag limits.
  • Intensify the dialogue between the interest groups, science, and politics.
  • No dedicated fishing activities on spawning cod.
  • Improvement and obligatory use of selective gear to reduce bycatch of cod in commercial fisheries.
Read the EAA position paper here.

For both species, EAA highlights the positive socio-economic impact of recreational fisheries for coastal regions
EAA also recalls that, as protectors and users of these stocks, anglers have made their contribution to the recovery of fish stocks, in particular for Atlantic Salmon, and will continue to do so in the future by respecting the harvest limits.

Finally, EAA once again raises the alarm on the impact of cormorant predation on these stocks. The exponential growth of cormorant predation within rivers and estuaries along the Baltic coast is extremely worrying and must be further investigated and considered

Next steps
The European Commission’s proposal for fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea stocks is expected to be published in late August. It will then be up to the Member States to agree on TACs and quotas for 2024 by the October Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting.
A public consultation is currently opened for the European Commission to gather views on fishing opportunities for 2024 across EU sea basins.
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