Workshop on the Ecosystem-Based Management of the Baltic Sea (WKBALTIC)
The main objective was to identify important management issues and needs, to be carried out with stakeholders. This could include inter alia: mixed-fisheries interactions, ecosystem drivers of fisheries productivity and inter- and intra-specific interactions. Also to consider and potentially adapt existing mixed fisheries methodology for application in the Baltic, and prioritise recommendations for a new mixed fisheries model for pelagic species. And finally to develop a roadmap for the delivery of future research needs for EBM and mixed fisheries management of Baltic Sea fisheries.
The main message is that there are a wide range of important issues in the Baltic including from the industry; Stock sizes, misreporting, accuracy of discarding data, and relevance of closures. Issues identified by other stakeholders included; need for foodweb modelling, differences in patterns locally and globally, and uncertainty about discards.
The information on issues was catalogued, and possible scientific interventions identified, including; fisher self-sampling, Ecological Risk Analysis (ERA), and Mind Mapping of issues and linkages.
Based on the above, a road map was developed. The core idea was to set up a Baltic Task Force, to assemble data and initiatives in the Baltic, probably supported centrally, (e.g. by the European Commission) and involving the BAC, and other representative bodies. The TF would then carry out and analyse the ERA, and systematically map the stakeholders concerns in a conceptual (mind mapping) approach. The EU funded PANDORA project will also look at the issues raised and determine what analyses and new information can be provided by the project. On that basis, the Workshop should meet again in 2021, with the important stipulation, that it would need full participation by fishing (and other) industry representatives.
The principle conclusion, and agreed by all, was the need for a single, small, dedicated and funded group to act as the central motivators or this work. A similar group was initiated for WKIrish, albeit unfunded, and not dedicated to this work.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee