The situation of fish stocks in the Baltic Sea remains difficult. The reasons for this are manifold. These also include, in particular, climate change, eutrophication, marine litter and industrial pollution.
This is also reflected in the quota decisions reached.
- A moderate 5 % increase could be achieved for the western cod stock.
- The situation for western herring looks quite different. On the basis of scientific advice, further cuts in this stock were necessary. The 2021 quota will decline by 50 per cent. The rebuilding of the western herring stock will crucially depend on whether, during the forthcoming negotiations with Norway, efforts will be successful to assert corresponding reductions in the catch quotas for the Skagerrak/Kattegat area where this stock also occurs.
- With respect to eastern cod, targeted fisheries for this stock remain inadmissible as has been the case to date.
- The catch levels for plaice and sprat were moderately increased, i.e. by five and six per cent respectively.
- The decisions also stipulate that the maximum daily catches for recreational fisheries continue to amount to five cod per day and angler. They account for two cod in the closed period for fishing.
Federal Minister Klöckner:
We have struck the right balance with these decisions. Fish stocks must recover. Excessive quotas would jeopardise fish stocks. At the same time, it is important to ensure sustainable management on the basis of scientific data as the economic livelihoods of many families living along our coasts depend on fishing and angling tourism. The new catch quotas are the common denominator for this.
And we have provided help where the poor state of stocks makes fisheries permanently impossible: Under our Presidency, the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed to promote the permanent cessation of fishing activities in the Baltic Sea. This is important to cushion the serious impact on the fishermen concerned and to offer them economic prospects.
Specifically, the Council adopted the following total allowable catches and quotas that are relevant for Germany:
Total allowable catches and quotas for the Baltic Sea in 2021 (quantities in tonnes):
EU total catches 2020
German Quota 2020
EU total catches 2021
German Quota 2021
Herring (western Baltic Sea)
|- 50 %
+ 5 %
595 (only by-catch)
|- 70 %
|+ 5 %
|+ 6 %
The proposals for fishing opportunities in 2021 are based on the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy to achieve sustainable fisheries, the scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the multi-annual plan for fisheries in the Baltic Sea.