Following the positive vote in plenary by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the 28th of April, MEP Jaroslaw Walesa has an ambitious mandate to negotiate with the council a new plan for managing the fisheries in the Baltic.
So what is the European Parliament’s position for the Baltic Plan?
1. To end overfishing by:
- Setting the goals of the plan to reflect achieving above levels which can produce maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) to all stocks including the fish species caught as bycatch.
- Catch limit ranges to fall between 0 – fishing mortality (FMSY) value and shall aim to be 80% of the FMSY value. These are values that are recommended by scientists (ICES).
- Actions (most likely by fisherman) to be taken if stocks fall below levels which can produce maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) and in addition fishing should halt if stocks fall below the most recent scientific (ICES) advice on the lowest threshold before a stock crashes
- Ensuring that scientific advice is given with a 5% probability that they exceed FMSY values (contrary to current practice where the probability is ridiculously set at 50%)
2. Minimise fisheries impact to wider environment by:
- Integrating an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management to be coherent with environmental legislation. As defined under the Common Provisions Regulation, this means that the plan must ensure that
- achieving both the CFP objectives and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive including on biodiversity obligations and marine protected areas (i.e. Natura 2000)
Official trialogue negotiations are expected to start in June, giving very little time for the Latvian Presidency to conclude this within their mandate. The European Parliament must not be pressured to give in for a quick decision, but instead fight its ambitious asks.
Bruna Campos, EU Marine and Fisheries Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe