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Ministers of fisheries reach the agreement on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea

EU fisheries ministers reached a political agreement in Luxembourg this morning on the total allowable catch for next year in the Baltic Sea. Already yesterday, the ministers exchanged opinions on consultations on fisheries with the United Kingdom and Norway for 2022.

After exhausting and long negotiations, EU fisheries ministers reached a political agreement in Luxembourg this morning on the total allowable catch for next year in the Baltic Sea and quotas per member state for the ten most commercially important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The Chair of the EU Council, Minister Jože Podgoršek, was extremely satisfied with the conclusion of the negotiations. “We have managed to bring different positions closer and reached a common agreement. This means balancing the interests and socio-economic needs of the Baltic fishing communities with the long-term sustainability of fish stocks in the region. It is also important that it is based on sound scientific opinions and reflects the Council's commitment to achieving the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy while addressing environmental concerns.”

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “I think we have arrived at a balanced and responsible agreement that will allow the recovery of fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The region has been in a difficult period; it has faced environmental challenges as sea levels had risen due to climate change. Fishers are not directly responsible for the situation, but they must be part of the solution. The situation calls for caution, so the Council has adopted reduced fishing opportunities.”

In the context of points on fisheries, the ministers also exchanged opinions on the consultations of stocks to be shared with the United Kingdom for 2022. The consultations are expected to begin in early November. The Slovenian Presidency is working to reach an agreement before the December session of the Council, which will enable fishers of all sides involved to work smoothly. Negotiations with the United Kingdom are the first such negotiations under the procedure provided for in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, so the guidelines of this Council meeting have been of paramount importance.

The Council also exchanged views on the consultations on fisheries with Norway and coastal states for 2022. “The discussion has prepared the ground for these consultations, which are crucial for the European fishing industry,” said Minister Podgoršek. Negotiations with Norway are expected to take place by the end of November, and consultations of the coastal states are planned for October.