Advice & Recommendations

During the more than 17 years the organisation has been active, the recommendations produced have covered a wide range of topics. The BSAC has advised on fishing quotas, marine spatial planning, technical measures but also on recreational fishing or offshore windfarms. These have sometimes taken the form of letters with compromise positions or divided answers to targeted questionnaires. However, these recommendations are always the product of members’ input whether it is by writing or during meetings.

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BSAC Recommendations on the EU Action Plan: Protecting and restoring marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries

This document sets out the BSAC recommendations in relation to the EU Action Plan: Protecting and restoring marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries.

The recommendations are set out in line with the structure of the Commission document. Different actions are referred to under respective chapters.


04/12/23 BSACrecommendationsAP-2023-2024-35 Reply DG MARE - BSAC letter AP final
BSAC reply to the Commission questionnaire on implementation of the Technical Measures Regulation

The first report on the implementation of the Technical Measures Regulation (TMR) has been adopted in September 2021. This report was based on the scientific information provided by STECF and ICES, and on the results of the consultation. The BSAC provided the Commission with a reply to its questionnaire about the functioning of the EU Technical Measures Framework Regulation on 15th February 2021. With a view to contributing to the 2024 evaluation report, the Commission invited the Advisory Councils to provide their general views on the implementation, and concrete views regarding specific aspects of the Regulation through a new questionnaire.

The BSAC members were invited to provide written input. The BSAC set up a Focus Group to deal with the Commission questionnaire on implementation of the Technical Measures Regulation. The final answer was validated by the Executive Committee on the 24th November 2023 (also the deadline for replies to the Commission).

After the Commission has received input from the Advisory Councils, from the Member States, and an evaluation by the STECF, the Commission will prepare its report.

24/11/23 BSACreply_questionnairetechnicalmeasures2023-2024-34
BSAC recommendations on the STECF 2023 Annual Economic Fleet Report

The BSAC provided the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) with its recommendations on STECF’s 2023 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet (hereafter the AER).

20/11/23 BSAC_RecommendationsSTECF_AER-2022-2023-32
Follow-up on BSAC recommendations concerning the development of offshore windfarms

Following on the BSAC recommendations concerning the development of offshore windfarms (OWF) in the Baltic Sea and the Commission answer of 11th July 2023, the BSAC welcomed that the Commission has put forward a non-recurrent request to ICES to examine the impact of OWF on the environment and recommended the Commission to make its request to ICES recurrent.

The BSAC insisted on

  • compensation of the impacts of OWF (covering present and future, even unforeseen cumulative impacts.
  • the effects of decommissioning OWF
07/11/23 BSAC letter offshorewindfarmfollowup22-23-29 COM reply to BSAC follow up on recommendations on offshore wind_2023
BSAC recommendations on the BALTFISH two draft Joint Recommendation regarding fisheries conservation measures in five marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea

The BSAC was consulted on two draft Joint Recommendation regarding fisheries conservation measures in five marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea

3 BSAC members answered and give a detailed position on the proposed draft JR that are annexed to the letter.

The letter is also sent to the BALTFISH Presidency and Member States representatives at BSAC.


02/11/23 BSACreplyMPA-JR3_2023-2024_30rev
BSAC letter on the effectiveness of cod spawning area protection measures and the possibility to allow scientific test fishing

The provisions of the Regulation on fishing opportunities restrict the fishery in SDs 22-23 from February to March and in SD 24-26 during the summer months (May – August) “to protect cod spawning process”.

ICES noted that there is a lack of specific data on by-catch of cod at 20 m and 30 m depths for active and passive gears

BSAC recommends that BALTFISH Member States allow scientific test fishing to be carried out to find evidence that there is no cod bycatch between 20 and 30 m depth.

30/10/23 BSAC letter codclosures 23-24-28
BSAC letter on STECF work on the Marine Action Plan and the STECF possibility to invite experts to its meeting.

In the context of the Marine Action Plan published in February 2023 and in general, BSAC recommends the STECF and the Commission to invite relevant external experts to its meeting.

BSAC also raises two questions:

  • What timeline STECF will adopt for the development of the advice foreseen in the Marine Action Plan?
  • How STECF will understand the term ‘highest long-term yield’ in the mixed fisheries context ?
30/10/23 BSAC letter Marine AP STECF experts 23-24-27
BSAC letter on the fishing opportunities and scientific advice for 2024 following the recent BALTFISH Forum meeting

In this letter following-up on the BALTFISH Forum meeting discussions, the BSAC highlighted that:

  • It is of the opinion that proposals such as the one made this year by the Commission in terms of fishing opportunities should be developed also in the light of their socio-economic impact.
  • It recommends to the Commission to ask ICES to evaluate the new method behind setting reference points for central herring.
  • It would like to ask the Commission for more transparency in requesting scientific advice
17/10/23 BSAC letter Baltfish forum follow-up23-25-25 Reply to BSAC on Baltic FO 2024 and ICES advice
BSAC recommendations on Eel and Joint Special Group 6th October 2023

The BSAC sent a letter to the Commission, member States and ICES on eel and the Joint Special Group.

The BSAC wants to highlight that European eel is a great example of topic that should be on the work programme of the Group. It is an important file to be discussed by both fisheries and environmental ministries and stakeholders.

The BSAC recommends that the Commission publicly share the draft update of the Eel Management Plan guidance document.

The BSAC recommends that the Commission also enquires on how the agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or “High Seas Treaty”, recently signed by the EU, could help protecting eels throughout their life cycle.

06/10/23 BSAC letter_Joint Special Group_eel23-24-24 Reply to BSAC on eels rev MH
Baltic Sea Advisory Council recommendations on the energy transition of the Baltic Sea fisheries sector

BSAC recommendations on the energy transition of the Baltic Sea fisheries sector.

In the recommendations document, background information is considered first, the BSAC recommendations are then presented. It also includes an Annex with details on EMFAF programs in the Member States.

03/10/23 BSACletterEnergyTransition-2023-2024-23 BSACrecommendationEnergyTransition
Follow-up invitation to Our Baltic Ministerial Conference

BSAC Chair letter thanking the Commission for the invitation to Our Baltic Ministerial Conference on the 29th September and sharing the BSAC recommendations on the energy transition of
the Baltic Sea fisheries sector.

The Commission response was received the 17th October 2023.

03/10/23 BSACletterThankyouOurBaltic-2023-2024-22 BSACrecommendationEnergyTransition Letter_Mr_ Jarek Zieliński
BSAC letter to the Commission Commission requesting guidance on how to apply Article 4(7), of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/242, as amended by Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/204

The BSAC Executive Committee Chair seeks clarification to correctly interpret and implement Article 4(7) of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/242 in the context of the revision of the BSAC Rules of Procedures.

29/08/23 LettertoCOMapplicationArticle4(7)23-24-16 COM Response Art 4 DR 2015-242

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