List of essentials and future options for fisheries management systems in the Baltic Sea Region

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1 List of essentials and future options for fisheries management systems in the Baltic Sea Region June 2013

2 Contents Preface... 3 Overview of fisheries and aquaculture management in the Baltic Sea Region countries... 4 Proposal for future development of restocking activities in the Baltic Sea Region... 7 Annex 1: Overview of restocking management systems in the Baltic Sea Region countries Annex 2: List of species and areas for stocking measures This publication was prepared within the framework of the INTERREG IV B project AQUAFIMA The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. 2

3 Preface The situation in the fisheries sector has shown an urgent need for new solutions and improvements of the current system. That is why the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform has entered an important negotiation phase. The Council, the European Parliament and the Commission are going to work out an agreement about the new rules which come into force in As part of the reform, the European Union wants to give new impetus to sustainable European aquaculture production. In the context of the CFP reform the AQUAFIMA project is aimed to underline the importance of (re)-stocking and stock-enhancement (i.e. the release of reared fish into the marine environment) activities of Baltic Sea fish stocks. Restocking activities is presumed as alternative recovery plan for natural fish stocks in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). For this it is important to assess strategies and technologies which are suitable for fish species as part of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. AQUAFIMA project is represented by EU member countries - Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and non EU member country Norway. For now EU countries have centralized fisheries management systems which are implemented through a Common Fisheries Policy with objectives of protection of stocks; a guaranteed income for fishermen; a regular supply of fish at reasonable prices for consumers and the processing industry; and sustainable biological, environmental and economic exploitation of living aquatic resources. Aquaculture as part a of the CFP has been prioritized and partly financed through EU financial mechanisms although it was not clearly set a system how aquaculture should be developed and what kind of cooperation between neighbouring countries should be reached. Due to this fact each country has set an individual aquaculture management system with objectives based on particular country needs and assumptions. Non-EU member countries have developed another way of aquaculture management by developing substantive legislative systems. Norway has adopted an Aquaculture Act with the purpose to promote the profitability and competitiveness of aquaculture industry within the framework of a sustainable development and contribute to the creation of value on the coast. Russia has relatively new regulation on fisheries sector adopted in 2004 with additional regulation on restocking activities. In the new CFP proposal aquaculture gain a more important role in the CFP and four priority areas have been set - simplifying administrative procedures, coordinated spatial planning, enhancing competitiveness and promotion. However, stocking and restocking measures are not covered by the new proposal; moreover financial support for restocking is only allowed for limited number of stocks, covered by management plans (e.g. eel, salmon etc.). 3

4 Overview of fisheries and aquaculture management in the Baltic Sea Region countries Aquaculture management is important for the whole BSR as all countries have common objectives of sustainable economic growth of the sector and preservation of Baltic Sea fish resources. It can be partly achieved by a harmonized approach of restocking activities in the BSR countries. On behalf of AQUAFIMA project, stocking of fish in BSR as part of the aquaculture should be managed in a synergetic way between all region countries to achieve better results and stabilize situation of fish resources in the Baltic Sea. Based on information from BSR countries several conclusions of existing management system are summarized below. 1. Current fisheries management systems, including aquaculture activities, in the EUmember countries are implemented by two governmental bodies Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment (name of ministries can differ accordingly to the country). Ministries are responsible for legislative framework of fisheries management and supervision of sector development in environmentally sustainable and economically efficient way. In the majority of BSR countries aquaculture is presumed as part of the fisheries and aquaculture management and legislation are included in fisheries law and regulations. In Nordic region countries (e.g. Norway) the Aquaculture Act has been adopted which can be presumed as good practise example taking into consideration quality and development of the aquaculture sector. In Russia the law of Aquaculture will be adopted in the near future. 2. National Strategic Plan covering the fisheries sector shall be adopted by each of member states in accordance with Article 15 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006. According to the National Strategic Plan the EU-member countries have prioritised the following: Denmark has prioritized aquaculture development as source for food production in internal market and increasing of fish export, no restocking activities are planned; Lithuania besides other activities has set specific goals for the stocking in stock management, e.g. to increase fish resources ensuring favourable conditions for natural reproduction, migration and spawning, as well as to stock some species; to optimize functioning of pisciculture system; Germany will focus on the maintenance of the traditional carp and rainbow trout pond aquaculture and further development of recirculation systems for e.g. sander, sturgeon, perch and African catfish production (Plan will be worked out till end of 2013). It will also includes: 4

5 Regulations to improve procedures and to reduce administrative burdens and time for licensing of aquaculture business activities Regulations for the selection of aquaculture production sites in coastal as well as in inland areas Description of criteria and indicators for an ecological, economic and social sustainable aquaculture Latvia`s aquaculture and fisheries development indicates investment support in the aquaculture enterprises, including restocking and marketing of the fisheries and aquaculture products; Estonia has set main priority to increase the share of aquaculture production for meeting domestic market demand. Restocking activities are implemented in the country as well; Finland has one of the most developed aquaculture tradition in the region which results that fish raised for food is higher than the value of the catch of professional fishing. Country has continuous restocking activities; Poland is characterized by a very pronounced imbalance between inland and marine aquaculture production, which results from the relatively small capacity of the Polish coast for the development of this type of activity. Certain hopes are being associated with partly closed inshore basins the Szczecin Lagoon, the Vistula Lagoon and the Bay of Puck; Russian Federation has continuous tradition of restocking activities. Fisheries policy is defined in the federal law "On Fisheries and Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources". 3. Restocking activities and plans are supervised and financed by state governmental programmes and managed by state subordinate bodies (Annex 1). That is why amount and species of restocking fish vary between countries: Denmark has no current or planned restocking activities, but till 2010 most released fish species was turbot; Germany with access to the Baltic Sea in rivers were released sea trout, Baltic whitefish, Baltic sturgeon; Latvia with access to the Baltic Sea in Daugava river basin mostly were released whitefish, salmon, sea trout, burbot, pike-perch, brown trout; Estonia s most released species are salmon, sea trout, brown trout, whitefish, pike, eel, pike-perch, tench, carp; 5

6 in Finland most important species for restocking are salmon, sea trout and whitefish; in Poland stocking/restocking issues are regulated by the Stocking Commission of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; released fish species are mainly salmon, trout, whitefish and sturgeon, as well as eel. Russian Federation in the Baltic Sea region releases in the Leningrad region - salmon, trout, whitefish, lamprey, in the Kaliningrad region whitefish. To harmonize stocking and restocking activities in Baltic Sea or water basins with access to the Baltic Sea a list of recommended fish species for stocking and restocking activities has been developed as part of AQUAFIMA project (Annex 2). Proposal for future development of restocking activities in the Baltic Sea Region Within the AQUAFIMA project the following proposals have been worked out to improve the situation in the Baltic Sea Region according to (re-)stocking and stock-enhancement activities of regionally important fish species. Stocking and re-stocking should not be considered as a solution for overfishing or compensation for human caused damage, re-/stocking activities should be viewed as supporting sustainable fisheries (small-scale and recreational) in the Baltic. Withal stocking/restocking should be considered as tool to support national stocks and should not be underestimated; As each sea has different conditions and qualities individual approaches towards Baltic Sea basin can lead to efficiency and advantages for all BSR countries. Regionalisation must be implemented by setting common objectives and strategic plans for restocking activities and stocking measures in the countries with access to Baltic Sea; Fisheries and aquaculture management overview shows that each country has different aims for further aquaculture development and restocking activities are only partly included. It would be in favour of all BSR countries to include an aquaculture based (stocking) management in countries strategies and operational programmes; Closer cooperation, coordination and continuous sharing of information of restocking activities and best practices between the countries are needed. Better communication between BSR governmental bodies in all levels should be reached; 6

7 Evaluation of stocking activities by fish tagging and establishing a central data base for all tagging activities in BSR are needed, as well as a centralized statistical system of all restocking activities in the region; Establishing a legal framework for aquaculture-based management including restocking activities in each country, taking into consideration regional development, setting requirements, control and accounting for private farms for restocking activities; Based on the evaluation of former experience with stocking and re-stocking AQUAFIMA project has identified certain potential fish species for re-stocking in the Baltic Sea for further consideration (Annex 2). 7

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