EU countries throw out Baltic Sea eel ban
Source: Kait Bolongaro, POLITICO
10/10/17, 6:48 AM CET
LUXEMBOURG — EU countries today struck out a proposal from the European Commission to ban catches of European eel in the Baltic Sea in favor of a pan-EU plan.
According to a Council of the European Union proposed regulation obtained by POLITICO, fisheries ministers decided to remove any reference to Brussels’ plan to halt eel fishing in the region.
Instead, in a joint statement attached to the document, the European Commission and the Council acknowledged the European eel is an endangered species but that action needed to be taken in all basins.
“In order to ensure the recovery of the stock, urgent measures are needed at EU level to be applicable in 2018, while noting that measures need to be taken in all EU sea-basins, taking account of their specificities, in order to be fully effective,” according to the document.
The regulation asks the Commission to propose an EU-wide plan at December quota negotiations.
The document also throws out the proposition of banning recreational eel fishing in the Baltic Sea.
Denmark took a tough stance on the proposal, pushing hard to ensure the ban didn’t pass. Sweden the only country to support the plan, saying in a separate statement attached to the document that it “regretted” there wouldn’t be one.
“Sweden will continue its efforts to save the eel stock and reach the objectives in the EU recovery plan for eel and urges the Commission to propose new measures,” it said.
The legislation will enter into force January 1, 2018.