HELCOM Fisheries and Environment Forum (HELCOM FISH/ENV FORUM)
The HELCOM Fisheries and Environmental Forum enhances the dialogue between fisheries and environmental authorities on the Baltic fisheries and fish stocks in the context of protection and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea marine environment. The key focus of HELCOM FISH/ENV FORUM is to facilitate the successful implementation of the fisheries related actions in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.
By adopting the Baltic Sea Action Plan, the HELCOM Contracting Parties recommended that all fisheries management should be developed and implemented based on the Ecosystem Approach in order to enhance the balance between sustainable use and protection of natural marine resources. To reach this goal, a set of actions that are related to fisheries management in the Baltic Sea has been approved. Understanding the complexity of these tasks, the competent national authorities of the HELCOM Contracting Parties were invited to establish an international co-operation network to promote the ecosystem-based management of fisheries in the Baltic region.
For this purpose HELCOM established the Baltic Fisheries and Environmental Forum in 2008 and the Terms of Reference were adopted by the HELCOM Heads of Delegation in 2009 (HELCOM HOD 28/2009). The Forum provides a platform for discussion between the fisheries and environmental authorities, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure that all sectors concerned take and share responsibility for their impacts on the quality of the marine environment. The Forum also aims to build up a cross-sectorial integration of environmental and fisheries policies, and to identify what further steps may be needed for this purpose.
Participants in the Forum are representatives of both the fisheries and environmental protection bodies from the HELCOM Contracting Parties and Observer organizations. Through the Forum, participants can improve and share knowledge and experiences, highlighting any constraints and needs for support. In this way, the HELCOM FISH/ENV Forum has an important role in supporting and facilitating the successful implementation of the BSAP and the respective decisions of the HELCOM Ministerial Meetings.
In order to facilitate the successful implementation of the fisheries related actions in the BSAP the HELCOM FISH/ENV FORUM has the following objectives:
- to improve communication and cooperation between the fisheries and environmental administrations of the HELCOM Contracting Parties and with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), other scientists and non-governmental organizations in the fields of fisheries and environmental/nature conservation as well as with the Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council under the Common Fisheries Policy (BS RAC);
- to jointly develop and promote broad-scale, cross-sectorial guidelines and projects to facilitate the implementation of the fisheries related actions in the BSAP, taking into account the Ecosystem Approach and the Convention on Biological Diversity and other related requirements as well as and ICES recommendations;
- to assist the HELCOM Contracting Parties that are also European Union (EU) Member States, in consultation with the Russian Federation, in the fulfillment of their obligations under the HELCOM BSAP to develop a joint submission to the 2012 review of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
To date the Forum has held 1-2 meetings a year, addressing issues such as management of salmon, sea trout and flatfish, eel conservation, eradicating discards, by-catch of mammals and birds, sustainable aquaculture and managing fisheries in marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea region. The meetings also provided joint input by those HELCOM Contracting Parties being also EU Member States, to the revision of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
Mr. Mikhail Durkin
phone: +358 46 850 9195