The European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers issued a joint statement at the October 2011 Agriculture and Fisheries Council on the need to effectively enforce the European salmon fishery. Following the announcement, the European Commission carried out an inspection programme in 2012 on salmon fisheries in the Baltic Sea. A report summarising the results of the programme was presented to the Member States during the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture (AFCA) meeting on the 22nd March 2013.
The report describes the salmon fishery by geographical area, gear and vessel type, and fishing periods, whilst it also analyses control risks and challenges. The inspection results allowed the Commission to evaluate and rank the risk factors influencing Member States' control strategies. This analysis can be used by Member States to organise their control programmes at national level. It can also be used for Joint Deployment Plans given that salmon was included into the Baltic Sea Special control and inspection programme from 2012. The Commission has followed up this work by conducting audits of control systems in several Member States.
The report is not a snapshot of the state of play in all Member states at the same time, but rather reflects the situation in salmon fishery and control during 2011. Thanks to the common efforts of the Member States and the Commission, the report concludes that all Baltic Sea Member States, most notably Poland, have made a significant effort to reinforce control of their salmon fisheries.
Consistent to its commitment to transparency in its inspection work, and following requests for the results of verifications from Member States, NGOs, ICES and salmon fisheries interest groups, the Commission has now published the report outlining the key results. It should be noted that subsequent to the report being presented to AFCA, comments were received from Poland and Denmark which have been incorporated where possible into this updated report.
This document cannot in any circumstances be regarded as the official position of the Commission. It is intended solely for those to whom it is addressed.