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Agriculture and Fisheries Council discussed fishing quotas and forests

EU2019FIMinistry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 15.10.2019 13.00
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Photo: Pekka Väisänen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council convened in Luxembourg on 14 and 15 October. The ministers discussed catch limits and fishing quotas, with particular focus on the Baltic Sea, as well as forest issues.

The meeting was chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. 

On 14 October, the Council agreed on next year's total allowable catches (TACs) and member states' quotas for the ten most commercially important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. This agreement therefore sets out how much European fishermen will be able to fish and under what conditions.

In line with the latest scientific advice highlighting poor conditions in the Baltic Sea, the Council decided to decrease fishing opportunities for the majority of fish stocks. TACs were moderately increased only for herring in the Gulf of Riga, and were maintained for salmon in the Gulf of Finland.

Cuts were particularly significant for cod, with a 60% decrease in the Western part of the Baltic Sea, and the permission to have by-catches only in the Eastern part.

Some courageous decisions had to be taken to preserve the health of the Baltic Sea fish stocks and the longer term sustainability of fisheries in the area. Today's agreement not only allows for stock recovery, but also helps mitigate the socio-economic effects on EU fishermen. 
Jari Leppä, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and President of the Council

Forest issues on the agenda

The Ministers also exchanged views on a post-2020 strategy for forests. The current EU Forest Strategy runs until 2020, and preparations for a new strategy are currently under way. In addition, the ministers exchanged views on the Commission communication on stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests.

Deforestation is proceeding at an alarming rate and urgent action is needed to stop it. Forestry is therefore a top priority for Finland's presidency and we are working to highlight, also through the adoption of Council conclusions, the need for afforestation, sound and sustainable management, and protection and restoration of forests.
Jari Leppä, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and President of the Council

Also on the agenda was the state of play in the negotiations on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020.

Other issues on the agenda included the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund post-2020, other fisheries-related matters and agricultural markets.

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