At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg, EU ministers agreed on next year’s fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea; Estonian opportunities for fishing central herring and sprat.
‘Agreeing on fishing opportunities turned out to be more complicated than we had expected on this occasion – it took the Member States and the European Commission more than 20 hours to find compromises. The final agreement is a balanced compromise between environmental and economic interests,’ explained Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment, who chaired the meeting.
With respect to fishing central herring in the Baltic Sea, The European Commission proposed to increase the fishing opportunities by 25% compared to 2017, but a 20% increase was eventually decided on. Thus, Estonia will be able to fish 25,468 tonnes of central herring in 2018.
With respect to fishing Gulf of Riga herring, the European Commission proposed decreasing of the fishing opportunities by 7%, which the Member States agreed to after long discussions. Estonia will be able to fish 13,392 tonnes of Gulf of Riga herring in 2018.
The cod resources in the Baltic Sea can be divided in two: the eastern and western cod. It was decided to keep the fishing quota of the western cod at the level of 2017. Concerning the fishing quota of the eastern cod, the European Commission proposed to decrease the fishing opportunities by 28%, but a decrease of 8% was agreed on as a result of negotiations. Thus, Estonian fishermen will be able to fish 636 tonnes of eastern cod and 54 tonnes of western cod next year.
With respect to salmon fishing in the main basin as well as in the Gulf of Finland, it was decided to decrease the fishing opportunities by 5%. Thus, it will be possible to fish 1,919 salmon in the main basin and 1,021 salmon in the Gulf of Finland in 2018.
With respect to sprat, the Member States agreed with the proposal of the European Commission to increase the fishing quota by 1%. Estonia will be eligible to fish 30,047 tonnes of sprat in 2018.