Ministers decide on Baltic fishing catch limits for 2016

EU Fisheries Ministers have agreed on fishing opportunities for 2016 in the Baltic Sea, following discussion at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on 22 October.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) aims to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020 at the latest, with sustainability expressed as achieving maximum sustainable yield (MSY). The Commission had proposed sustainable or precautionary catch levels for all stocks. In incrementally approaching MSY, the agreement brings the EU closer to long-term sustainable levels.

For the stocks of Western and Eastern cod, Ministers adopted 20% reductions in catches. In addition, Member States agreed on several measures to protect the Western stock to accelerate its recovery, including a six-week fishing closure during the spawning period between mid-February and end-March 2016.

The Commission will continue to monitor closely the health of fish stocks in the Baltic Sea and is prepared to take any further measures deemed necessary to protect these stocks, taking due account of scientific advice.

Full details of the Council agreement (PDF)