Oceana welcomes new Danish HELCOM Chairmanship and encourages prioritization of work on fisheries and marine protection

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July 13, 2012
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




Oceana welcomes the new Chairwoman of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (known as HELCOM), Helle Pilsgaard, in her new position, and looks forward to the two-year Danish Chairmanship of HELCOM. In a letter addressed to Ms. Pilsgaard, Oceana marked its appreciation for plans to tackle the human causes of eutrophication by setting country-wide nutrient reduction targets and cleaning wastewaters. However, the international marine conservation organization also emphasized the need to concurrently promote direct actions to safeguard biodiversity.

Better management of both Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and fisheries will have a positive impact on the entire Baltic Sea, help curb the effects of eutrophication, and create more resilient ecosystems.

“Curbing eutrophication should absolutely be one of the primary targets of regional actions,” stated Hanna Paulomäki, Oceana Baltic Project Manager. “It is however equally important, given the troubled state of the Baltic Sea, to work towards creating an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas (MPAs), and better management of fish stocks.”

The existing network of MPAs in the Baltic is both poorly distributed – failing for example, to cover offshore areas and protect primary benthic habitats – and poorly managed. Destructive fishing practices, like bottom trawling and overfishing, threaten the sensitive ecosystems of the Baltic Sea.

Oceana is looking forward to following the Danish Chairmanship in their work to fulfill the Baltic Sea Action Plan and achieve good environmental status for the Baltic Sea.

Learn more: Oceana in the Baltic Sea