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EU ministers agree on 2018 catch limits in Baltic Sea

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Staff Writer | October 11, 2017
The European Union's Agriculture and Fisheries Council agreed on 2018 year's total allowable catches (TACs) and national quotas for the ten commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, reports LETA/BNS.
Baltic Sea
Seafood   Setting fishing opportunities
For Estonia, the quotas for Baltic herring and sprat catches will increase compared with this year but the quotas for cod and salmon will be smaller.

"Setting fishing opportunities is a squaring the circle exercise. We have done it in full respect of the Common fisheries policy objectives, the Baltic plan provisions and scientific advice.

"In the final agreement economic and environmental sustainability go hand in hand," Siim Kiisler, minister of environment of Estonia and president of the Council, said.

Kiisler said that this time forging an accord proved more difficult than expected, with the search for a compromise taking more than 20 hours.

The Commission's initial proposal concerning central Baltic herring was an increase of 25% over 2017, whereas the final agreement sets out an increase of 20%. The Estonian quota for 2018 is 25,500 tons.

When it comes Riga herring, the Commission made a proposal to reduce catches by 7%, which the member states accepted after a long debate. The Estonian quota under that item is 13,400 tons.

The Baltic cod quota is allocated in two parts. The quota for Western cod was decided to be left on the level of 2017.

The Commission's proposal concerning Eastern Baltic cod was a reduction of 28%, which was narrowed 8% in the course of negotiations.

The Estonian quotas for 2018 are 636 tons of Eastern cod and 54 tons of Western cod.

Allowable salmon catches in the Gulf of Finland were cut by 5%, catches of main basin salmon also by 5%, of Bothnian herring by 40%, of Western herring by 39% and of plaice by 10%.

Besides, an overall increase of one% in allowable sprat catches was agreed by the Council.

The sprat quota for Estonia is 30,000 tons and the salmon quotas 1,919 fish for main basin salmon and 1,021 fish for salmon in the Gulf of Finland.