Fifth HELCOM Fisheries/Environmental Forum to focus on actions to restore Baltic salmonids
Helsinki, 17 November (HELCOM Information Service) – Representatives of the fisheries and environmental authorities of the Baltic Sea countries will meet today in Helsinki for the Fifth HELCOM Fisheries/Environmental Forum, which aims to intensify the integration of fisheries and environment policies in the Baltic Sea area in order to ensure conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.
“At the Meeting we will continue our dialogue, exchange experiences and opinions and develop common solutions for the implementation of the fisheries-related actions in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan between relevant stakeholders from the fisheries management and the environmental protection field,” says Anne Christine Brusendorff, HELCOM’s Executive Secretary.
According to the Agenda, the Forum will discuss the first outcomes of the EU-funded project HELCOM SALAR on the status of preparation of the “Overview of the state of salmon and sea trout stocks in the Baltic rivers”. The Project is part of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to restore the good ecological status of the Baltic marine environment by 2021. HELCOM SALAR will produce a classification and inventory of rivers with salmon and sea trout populations in the Baltic Sea, including the status of their habitats, which will provide an important basis for the implementation of the commitments of conserving threatened wild salmon populations and developing restoration plans for migratory fish species. The Project will also produce a list of priority populations and rivers based on the state of the salmonid populations in the Baltic Sea catchment as well as the environmental conditions in the rivers. The List will be used for initiating habitat restoration planning and activities in several of the top-priority rivers.
The Meeting is expected to discuss follow-up activities to the HELCOM SALAR Project with a view to continue actions, as required in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. It includes restoration plans (including restoration of spawning sites and migration routes) in suitable rivers to reinstate migratory fish species and to provide active conservation of at least ten endangered/threatened wild salmon river populations in the Baltic Sea region as well as the reintroduction of native Baltic Sea salmon in at least four potential salmon rivers.
The Meeting will also consider the need for a project on fisheries management measures within the Marine Protected Areas in the Baltic Sea. This project would be done based on an assessment of the extent and impacts in and around the Marine Protected Areas in order to avoid potential conflicts with the conservation objectives of the MPA’s.
Additionally, the Fifth HELCOM Fisheries/Environmental Forum will consider the process of development of long-term management plans for eel and flatfish in the Baltic Sea and particularly how to obtain relevant scientific information to back-up this process. Two joint ICES and HELCOM workshops have been organized to contribute to this information gathering and the Forum will address the outcomes of these first activities and discuss the way forward.
The Forum is arranged back-to-back with the Third Meeting of the Priority Area 9 “To reinforce sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries” under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region that will take place in Helsinki on 18 November. This will allow better coordination of the HELCOM activities with the actions and projects that are carried out under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Note to Editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organization of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU which works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution.
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," known as the Helsinki Convention.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Orian Bondestam
Tel: +358 (0)40 0392011
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 639
Mr. Nikolay Vlasov
Tel: +358 (0)46 8509196
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 639