Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Fishing for space in the Baltic

As a pioneering region in spatial planning, experts, industries and managers from around the Baltic Sea join for two days of workshops on fisheries sector, aquaculture and harmonized planning of the marine area. The growing use of marine space requires clever planning and management across several national borders and sectors.  , holding the joint horizontal leadership in maritime spatial planning with Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB) in EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea (EUSBSR), organizes . It is co-financed by the EU through technical assistance under EUSBSR.  The intention is to discuss the many aspects of cross-border planning; to further assess the benefits and challenges of integrating fisheries in maritime spatial planning (MSP); as well as MSP data needs. The outcome and recommendations of the first day, with a main focus on the Baltic Sea, will be passed on tomorrow Friday to the European Commission’s stakeholder on all EU seas. Even though positively acknowledged e.g. regarding the low numbers of overfished stocks, Baltic fisheries are not yet fully sustainable or integrated into the overall maritime planning. The discussions today will ponder on the aspects of interaction between fisheries and other sea users, such as essential fish habitats in MSP; consultation of fishery stakeholders; spatial and temporal dimension of MSP as regarding seasonality in fisheries and planning; and fishery data challenges in MSP.  The importance of fisheries has been increasingly recognized in maritime spatial planning. Knowledge is a necessity that underlies sound management decisions but many challenges prevail, particularly in successfully applying such relevant knowledge. The fishing sector needs to be better involved in the planning process if spatial measures that affect fisheries, nature conservation and other uses of the sea, are to be decided.As a part of the continuous work of the joint HELCOM-VASAB Working Group on MSP, established in 2010, the Regional Baltic MSP Roadmap for 2013–2020 has just been adopted in the HELCOM Copenhagen last month. The HELCOM workshop is coorganized with PartiSEApate, Baltic Sea RAC and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).* * *Note for editors:A joint co-chaired (MSP) was established to ensure cooperation among the Baltic Sea region countries for coherent regional MSP processes in the Baltic Sea. The Group, launched in October 2010 by HELCOM and the Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea () meets regularly; and follows and examines as well as makes use of the outcomes and findings of regional project activities relevant to MSP, such as , and . The HELCOM Fisheries and Environment Forum () enhances dialogue between fisheries and environmental authorities on the Baltic fisheries and fish stocks in the context of protection and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea marine environment. The key focus of the Forum, established in 2008, is to facilitate the successful implementation of the fisheries related actions in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has governed the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * *For more information, please contact:Marco Milardi Project ResearcherHELCOMTel: +358 40 557 5631 Skype: helcom51E-mail:  Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail:  

As a pioneering region in spatial planning, experts, industries and managers from around the Baltic Sea join for two days of workshops on fisheries sector…