Last night the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and Commission reached a disappointing political agreement on the multiannual management plan covering the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea. The plan in its current form allows for the continued overfishing of the most important Baltic stocks essentially making the CFP's commitment to the restoration of fish stocks back to healthy levels redundant.
"The Fisheries Ministers of the European Member States have yet again proved that EU conservation law exists on paper only by choosing to continue ignoring the obligation to manage our fish stocks sustainably," explains Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. "Ending overfishing by 2020 has to be our top priority and the decision makers had the power to do this. Yesterday's proposal is a lost opportunity to achieve that"
The Baltic multiannual plan is an important piece of legislation being the first of a set of management plans adopted under the reformed CFP and its faults set a low ambition for future management plans in other regions (e.g. the North Sea multiannual plan).