Fisheries and environmental experts and authorities from the Baltic region start today a 2-day with key focus on a mature draft for a new HELCOM Recommendation on aquaculture which, once adopted, will help cultivate fish in a more balanced and environmentally sustainable way. A handful of the most challenging pending issues in the draft Recommendation will be addressed by the Meeting. The Recommendation will also set the common, regional principles and understanding of the Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) to be applied in the sector. Baltic herring. Photo: Riku Lumiaro/SYKEThis is the first fisheries meeting after modernization of HELCOM, signifying for this group a slightly sharper Terms of Reference as well as new name: HELCOM Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries aka . The Meeting will also plan how to continue HELCOM work to address fishing practices which have a potential negative impact on conservation goals as well as for threatened or declining species and habitats especially in the coastal and marine protection. Another major task for the Fish Group meeting is the work on data gaps that prevent adequately assessing human pressures on the ecosystems. The tasks related to such gaps, such as concerning physical loss and damage to the seafloor, will be conducted in cooperation with relevant bodies, thus contributing to HELCOM holistic assessments. The next major one, Holistic assessment of the status of and pressures on the marine environment of the Baltic Sea (HOLAS II) has already begun. The assessment will be indicator based and will cover, among others, the status of fish-stocks as well as all significant pressures on the Baltic Sea, including fisheries. The Meeting will also discuss, among others, migratory fish species and cooperation required to meet the related targets set in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. . All documents will be public after the Meeting * * * Note for editorsHELCOM Group on Ecosystem-based Sustainable Fisheries – – deals with fisheries in relation to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach. Moreover, the group responds to the need to find solutions on how the sector could further contribute to reaching Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea by 2021. The Fish Group involves representatives from fisheries and environment authorities of the Baltic Sea countries, as well as EU, and HELCOM Observers and others as appropriate. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization 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 been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For further information, please contactDmitry Frank-KamenetskyProfessional SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 630 9933Skype: helcom68E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fiJohanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
The draft HELCOM Recommendation on aquaculture which, once adopted, will help cultivate fish in a more balanced way, is a key topic of a meeting starting today.