The role of ICES in the assessment and management of resources in the Baltic Sea
reportposted on 2022-03-01, 08:56 authored by E. Ojaveer
The first recommendation of ICES concerning the exploitation of resources in the Baltic Sea (presented in 1905) suggested protecting small plaice in the Kattegat. Later, controlling the number of seals was advised. Between the World Wars, recommendations were aimed at regulating the fisheries for flatfish, salmonids, and crustaceans. They resulted in some agreements between the countries in the region for the protection of flatfish. A mechanism for the comprehensive regulation of the exploitation of living resources in the Baltic was achieved by the signing of the Gdansk Convention and the establishment of the International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission (IBSFC) in 1973. ICES has regularly submitted both qualitative and quantitative recommendations to the IBSFC for managing the main Baltic fish stocks (cod, herring, sprat, salmon, and sea trout). However, generally higher exploitation rates than recommended have been adopted by the IBSFC. The assessment and management of fish resources in the Baltic Sea are complicated as important fish species (cod, herring) have developed local populations with different abundance dynamics, which should be treated separately.