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BALTFISH - Fisheries as part of integrated Baltic Sea marine management – what are the challenges & opportunities?

Time: 10:50-11:50 Tuesday 8 November

Venue: Fogelström

Without improved cooperation and management of the sea Baltic fish will disappear from our plates. The seminar will provide the first opportunity for a public forum to discuss BALTFISH, the regional management body for fisheries established under the Flagship Project: “Regionalisation of fisheries management in the Baltic Sea” in 2010. How can BALTFISH best be developed as a political forum for regional decisions that promote the marine ecosystem services the Baltic Sea provides and so increase prosperity?
Walter Deubner, BALTFISH Chair, Germany
Marcin Rucinski, Low Impact Fishers of Europe, Poland
Nils Höglund, Coalition Clean Baltic, Sweden
Jens Holm, Vänsterpartiet, Sweden

Mikael Karlsson

Fisheries in the Baltic – challenges & opportunities: 
Recently the EU has regionalised its fisheries policy, the CFP, and regional institutions have been developed in order to facilitate this and to develop a common vision. Currently their remit is too limited to safeguard the Baltic and its fish stocks.

The CFP makes a clear commitment to implementing ecosystem-based management through its fisheries policy and we will discuss how regional bodies, such as BALTFISH, can help to put this into practice.

Over the coming decade, it is vital for Baltic fisheries to be better integrated into the regional and trans-sectoral ocean management if they are to be sustainable. The strategy for the Baltic Sea region provides the governance framework to improve regional cooperation and safeguard the health of the Baltic. This workshop aims to strengthen the governance framework. This will lay the foundation for a thriving fishing industry operating within the limits of the ecosystem, benefitting from and contributing to the sustainable use of the sea’s resources.

Moreover, the seminar will better connect the actors in the region working on different aspects of Baltic marine management.

Therefore, this Forum represents a timely opportunity to evaluate BALTFISH and discuss the challenges and opportunities it faces.
In practice: The seminar will begin with an introductory presentation from an academic, we are in discussions with the authors of “Environmental Governance of the Baltic Sea”, to provide an overview. Then the political panel discussion will begin, featuring civil servants from the European Commission, German Ministry governing fisheries and the chairmanship of BALTFISH, Ministry of Environment representative, fishing industry, NGO, and politician.
Two focal points for the discussion:
A concrete discussion, asking what participants would like to see in terms of an integrated functioning regional management body. How can regionalised fisheries management realise the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy and the associated environmental and fisheries legislation from other EU Directives? What would an integrated management body look like? What stakeholders would it comprise of? The revision of the Technical Measures Framework – the toolbox which managers use to meet the legal obligations under EU law – will act as an example for the panel discussion.
The discussion will also cover issues of transparency and the decision-making process. Several stakeholders have raised that the lack of publicly accessible information, a website and Secretariat, and that no minutes are published from meetings, means there is a lack of transparency which hinders the decision-making process in BALTFISH. We will ask whether the current institutional framework is adequate and discuss concrete suggestions for improving BALTFISH.
We aim for a solution-oriented discussion that can provide forward-thinking proposals which encapsulate the importance of integrating fisheries management within marine governance and ecosystem-based fisheries management.
The expected outcome for the seminar is that it will contribute to improvements in the transparency of BALTFISH. A draft working documents on the topic was prepared during the previous Polish Presidency, and we expect this work to be carried on and implemented under the German Presidency. We also expect that BALTFISH will have to be integrated within an existing management body in years to come.
Further, we believe that the debate will increase the understanding among stakeholders for the need to professionalize the institution to deal with the increased workload that regionalised fisheries management will bring. FishSec also expect that participants, all of whom have key stakes in an improved functioning of the institution, will develop a common understanding that integration of fisheries within the wider environment is essential.

Political Seminar

Main organiser: 

FishSec participate in BALTFISH meetings. BALTFISH was initiated as a flagship project under the EUSBSR.

Seminar contact person:
Christian Tsangarides
Jan Isakson