On Wednesday, in a letter to the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Mr Karmenu Vella, eight environmental NGOs request a closure of the western Baltic flatfish and cod bycatch fishery. The fishery for flatfish in the western Baltic was recently opened during the spawning season closure for cod in February-March, despite the substantial amounts of cod bycatch in this fishery. The western Baltic cod stock is below the biomass reference point and has been overfished for many years, and there is a scientifically recognized need to protect the stock during the spawning season. In our view, this additional fishing pressure during the closed period does not comply with the Baltic multiannual plan, Common Fisheries Policy, or the Control Regulation. We urge the Commission to intervene and close the flatfish fishery as a safeguard measure to avoid any catch of western Baltic cod during its spawning season and prevent a
possible collapse of this stock.
Read the full letter to the Commissioner here.