Western Baltic Cod – EAA/EFTTA position paper
- The fisheries ministers shall decide within the next two weeks, which quota size and management measures for 2017 to be put in place for Baltic cod concerning commercial fisheries. For the very first time also management measures directed recreational fisheries are on the table. The Commission says in a recent published ‘non-paper’
“The Commission remains open to consider legally binding limitations of recreational fishing as an element of a balanced, overall approach that is inspired by a sense of solidarity.”
Recreational angling attacked by commercial fisheries organisation
As a matter of principle, we find it not very fair and equitable that our sector shall show ‘solidarity’ – be legislated - when management of the commercial sector fails. It happened with sea bass, and now Baltic cod. Our sector provides more economy and jobs per fish than any other fishing sector. Our sector is also more vulnerable to ill thought out management measures like seasonal closures and bag limits, than is the commercial sector, which has access to funding to cover the deficit.
In a press release
two days ago, Europêche – an EU level commercial fisheries organisation - attacked recreational fishing. Making use of false and twisted information they try to make the case, that:
".. the problem is not the stock but the way the advice has been assessed which now includes advice for recreational fishermen."
Recreational fisheries is not regulated by quotas but by other means, if regulated at all. Nevertheless, Europêche claims that recreational fishing: "...have been offered the lion's share of the quota; 61% more than the commercial sector." We have not been offered anything. On the contrary, for the very first time management measures are on the table for recreational cod fishing, but nothing is decided yet.
Obviously, Europêche and their members' strategy is, that recreational anglers shall help fill their nets. And that will happen if ongoing talks about bag limit and seasonal closures for recreational fishing are agreed by the ministers next month. That could do untold damage to the many local jobs and economy, which depend on anglers' spending.
Anglers are one of the few tourism segments, which travel outside ordinary holiday seasons. The tourism sector and communes with many summerhouses should be very worried and make contact with their fisheries minister now.
Download the EAA/EFTTA position paper with more details here
Anglers waiting for the charterboat a cold but beautiful December morning at Helsingør harbour, Denmark.