Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

A fishy part of marine environmental policy?

​​​This week is all about fish in the Baltic Sea as three HELCOM meetings dealing with sustainable fisheries are held back-to-back in Gothenburg, Sweden. Key topics for HELCOM professionals gathering this week include migratory fish species, indicators, as well as the follow up of the recent HELCOM Recommendation on aquaculture. HELCOM has worked for years for healthy Baltic Sea as important parts of the ecosystem, weakened by unsustainable fishing as well as pollution including eutrophication-induced oxygen depletion and high levels of hazardous substances. Baltic herring. Photo: Riku Lumiaro/SYKE.On Monday, the nominated Task Force will prioritize HELCOM tasks for the next two years in the field of migratory fish such as salmon, sea trout and eel.  The following day’s HELCOM workshop on fish indicators focuses on the goals related to fish in the Baltic. More specifically, the participants will weigh in on the interaction between goals rooted in environmental policy – HELCOM indicators – and those derived from fisheries policy of the European Union. On Wednesday and Thursday, HELCOM discusses, e.g., the ways to start implementing the HELCOM Recommendation on sustainable aquaculture, which was adopted in March. Work has started on creating a suitable set of Best Available Technology / Best Environmental Practices descriptions. The group will also work on solutions to improve the information exchange between HELCOM and other Baltic Sea regional organizations active in the field of fish, fisheries, and aquaculture. Data collection on fish, such as the availability of information on incidental catches, will also be addressed at the Fish group meeting. All documents will be available after the meetings:Second Meeting of the HELCOM Task Force on migratory fish species (), 9 May 2016. The Meeting will elect a chair for itself.HELCOM workshop on fish indicators (), 10 May 2016. Moderated by Ulrika Gunnartz, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SWAM). 4th Meeting of the Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries (), 11-12 May 2016. Meeting will be chaired by Mr. Marcin Rucinski, Chair of the group.  * * * Note for editors: deals with the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach in fisheries and considers how the sector could help reach Good Environmental Status in the Baltic Sea by 2021. The group involves representatives from fisheries and environmental authorities of the Baltic Sea countries, as well as EU, and HELCOM Observers and others as appropriate. Its official name is the HELCOM Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries.  is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention. * * *For more information, please contact:Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groupsHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199Skype: helcom02E-mail: hermanni.backer(at) Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

This week is all about fish in the Baltic Sea as three HELCOM meetings dealing with sustainable fisheries are held back-to-back in Gothenburg, Sweden.