The Fisheries Secretariat
Return of the Cod
The goal for the project is to recover the Eastern Baltic cod stock so it can support a viable and sustainable fishing business and supply food sources available in shops and restaurants in the region. FishSec played a key role when the EU Commission took the decision to close the targeted cod fishery in the eastern Baltic Sea in 2019. Through intense contacts we made sure that the EU Commission had up to date scientific information about the critical state of the cod stock, which was crucial for the decision to close the fishery. But just closing the fishery is not enough to save and rebuild the Baltic cod stock. The cod also needs food to eat, in order to grow and become the healthy and plentiful food source people around the Baltic Sea have enjoyed for thousands of years. This project will help convince decision makers in Baltic Sea states and the EU to take the decisions needed and also required under existing EU law, the joint EU Common Fisheries Policy, to help the cod recover for the benefit of the ecosystem, fishermen, anglers, the tourist industry and all the people living by or just visiting the Baltic Sea. - engage the environmental movement and the general public via social media to enable a future viable cod stock. Why is the cod so important? Large predator fish, like cod, has a key function in the marine ecosystem. Without large predators the ecosystem changes dramatically, e.g. science show that without predators algae blooms get worse in coastal waters - instead of clear water and plenty of fish visitors to the coast and the tourist industry get a stinking algae soup that can be literally dangerous to swim in, and no fish to catch. A healthy cod stock is crucial for all professional fisheries but especially for small-scale coastal fishermen and the tourist industry (e.g. restaurants serving locally caught fish, fishing tour operators, angler guides, visiting anglers, etc) in coastal communities.