Fishing of Baltic herring banned owing to full quotas
The Bay of Bothnia is the only sea area in Finland where the fishing of Baltic herring is still permitted with trawl nets or fish traps
The fishing quotas of Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras, an important commercial fish hereabouts) are full for this year in the Archipelago Sea, the Gulf of Finland, and in the Gulf of Bothnia.
In these areas, the fishing of Baltic herring with trawl nets or fish traps has been banned at least until mid-September.
”The herring catches during the first six months of the year have been so huge that the quotas are no longer sufficient”, says Kim Jordas, Managing Director of Finland’s Fisheries’ League (SAKL).
Commercial fishing started from the beginning of the year, continuing through the entire winter, as the sea was largely ice-free. According to Jordas, this fact is one of the reasons for the current ban on fishing. The catches have also been good.
The Gulf of Finland, the Archipelago Sea, and the Baltic Sea’s main basin form one quota area.
”In that area the fishing quotas for this year were also reduced quite a lot. In other words there are several reasons for the present situation”, notes Jordas.
The current fishing quota for the area is now altogether 17 million kilos. The quota for the Gulf of Bothnia is 96 million kilos.
In the Gulf of Bothnia, there are still 15 million kilos left in the total allowable catch, but it will be spared for the autumn.
In the more southern sea areas, there are only 600 to 700 tonnes left in the quota, and in some areas small-scale fishing can still be allowed. However, decisions on this matter will be made later on.
The only area in Finland in which the fishing of Baltic herring is now allowed is the Bay of Bothnia, the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, north of the Kvarken narrows.
Because of thick ice cover, fishing is not possible there in the winter.
The fact is that it would be possible to fish Baltic herring even more, as the stocks of the species are large.
For this reason, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea has proposed a larger quota for next year for the more southern sea areas.
At the same time, commercial salmon fishing will be banned as of Saturday August 11th in the Gulf of Bothnia and in the Baltic Sea’s main basin, as the fishing quota of slightly less than 37,000 salmon set by the European Union has beenn fully taken up for this year.
The ban will continue until the end of the year.
This year the salmon quota for the area was only half of last year’s allowable catch.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Rampant overfishing endangers Baltic fish stocks (29.4.2008)
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
Nordic Recipe Archive: Baltic Herring